Title and statement of responsibility area
Black Theater Workshop fonds
General material designation
- Multiple media
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
- Source of title proper: Title based on the content of the fonds.
Level of description
Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
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Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
-2016, predominant 1972-2007 (Creation)
- Black Theater Workshop
Physical description area
6.25 m of textual records
12 sound recordings
3 moving images
Publisher's series area
Title proper of publisher's series
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Archival description area
Name of creator
The Black Theater Workshop (BTW), also known as the “Theatre B.T.W.," is an English-speaking theatre company located in Montreal, Quebec that “is committed to reflecting Black culture and community by developing and providing visibility for Black Canadian artists.”
Incorporated in 1972 as a non-profit organization, the BTW is the oldest Black theater company in Canada. Beginning in 1965 as the Trinidad & Tobago Association (TTA) Drama group with the goal of becoming a theatre for the whole Montreal community, the TTA drama group became the Black Theatre Workshop in 1971 with the presentation of How Now Black Man, written by Lorris Elliott and directed by Jeff Henry. To respect the rules of French language use in Quebec, the Workshop officially changed its name to “Theatre B.T.W.” in January 1984.
The mission of the BTW “is to encourage and promote the development of a Black and Canadian Theater, rooted in a literature that reflects the creative will of Black Canadian writers and artists, and the creative collaborations between Black and other artists.” The Black Theater Workshop primarily stages the work of Black Canadian playwrights and selects plays that deal with themes relevant to Black communities in Canada. Since the beginning of the 1980s, the Black Theater Workshop annually runs school tours as part of its regular season.
One of the 35 founding members of the BTW is Clarence Bayne, who also served as both president and artistic director during the first years of the theatre. Since 1991, he has been Vice-President of the organization’s Board of Directors. As Artistic Director, Clarence Bayne was followed by Errol Sitahal (1970s), Terry Donald (1970s), Dwight Bacquie (1983-1984), Lorena Gale (1984-1985), Don Jordan (1985-1988), Winston Sutton (1988-1994), Fleurette Fernando (1994-1996), Nancy Delva (1997-1999), Kate Bligh (1999-2001), Rachael Van Fossen (2001-2005), and Tyrone Benskin (2005-2011). Since 2011, Quincy Armorer has been Artistic Director at the BTW. The BTW is governed by a board of Directors, which is presently formed by Jacklin Webb (president), Dr. Clarence Bayne (vice-president), Dr. Horace Goddard (secretary), Phylicia Burke (treasurer), Yvonne Greer (member), and Allison DaCosta.
The BTW is the recipient of numerous awards, including various Montreal English Theatre Awards (META) and several Montreal’s English Critics Circle Awards (MECCA).
From 1976 to 1985, the BTW used Montreal’s Centaur Theatre performing space. In 1984, BTW opened its first administrative office, and started performing in a space rented from L’Atelier Contenu. In the 1990s, offices were located at 1827 Ste Catherine West. Since 2003, the workshop is using the spaces of the Montréal Arts Interculturels (MAI) Centre, located at 3680 rue Jeanne-Mance.
Scope and content
The Black Theater Workshop fonds is composed of materials created and compiled by the Black Theater Workshop (BTW) and contains materials documenting the activities and operations of the BTW from its founding in 1972 until its 2007-2008 season. Documents are also reflective of the BTW's contributions to Montreal’s Black communities and to theater in Canada. Textual records and other materials document the BTW's administration, finances, awards, plays, programming, promotional activities, communications, and facilities, among other things.
The fonds is divided into the following series :
F034/B Financial records
F034/C External relations
F034/D Productions / Programming
The fonds is composed of textual records, including without limitations financial documents, grant applications, board meeting minutes, reports, play scripts, newspapers and newspaper clippings, promotional material, and correspondence; graphic materials as photographs, posters, logos, drawings, and others, sound recordings, moving images, and a T-shirt.
The documents are in good condition.
Immediate source of acquisition
The Black Theater Workshop fonds was donated to Concordia University Library's Special Collections in April 2019 and was transferred to Concordia on May 29, 2019.
In most cases, materials are arranged in the order of receipt.
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
In most cases, reproductions are allowed for the purpose of research and private study. Other uses of the materials, including the reproduction of documents in a publication, may only be done with written consent of the copyright owner(s).
Box listings are available.
Generated finding aid
Further accruals are expected.
Copyright belongs to the creator(s).
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