Robert Wallace has been playing an important part in making Canadian theatre known abroad. Wallace, professor of English and drama studies at Glendon College, was on an eight-city tour over a two-week period in October. He had engagements in the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom, speaking about Canadian theatre.
The following is an excerpt from an account of his tour, provided by the Glendon Public Relations & Communications Department.
Wallace has an international reputation as a Canadian theatre scholar, and his talks were based on research that he undertook as the John P. Robarts Chair in Canadian Studies from 1998-1999.
As a guest of the Theatre Institute and the Archa Theatre in Prague, he spoke at the Celetna Theatre for an inaugural event of The Canadian Season in Prague – a month-long celebration of Canadian dance, theatre and music that is the first of its kind in the Czech Republic. Afterward, he talked with students and academics in Canadian studies programs at universities in Brno and Hradek Kralove.
In Glasgow his lecture at the Tron Theatre introduced the Six Stages Festival of Canadian Performance. At the invitation of Queen Margaret University College in Edinburgh, he discussed similarities and differences between Québecois and English-Canadian theatre in a lecture at the historic Gateway Theatre.
Wallace reported that one of the highlights of his speaking engagements was the Canada House Lecture in London, a prestigious biannual event. In his address, “Staging a Nation: Evolutions in Contemporary Canadian Theatre”, he spoke of the major transformation which has taken place in the Canadian theatre scene since the late 1960s, in which plays written and produced by Canadian artists have replaced those from other countries as the theatre’s primary resource. His paper will be published as a monograph by the Canadian government and distributed to university libraries throughout the United Kingdom.
He concluded his tour by talking with students and faculty at universities in Birmingham and Leeds.
Wallace’s tour was financed by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.