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268 THE UNIVERSIT¥ OF TORONTO QUARTERLY amateurs.1 There are, here and there, isolated performances pf Canadian plays; which may be applauded or ignored; but in. either case,_the play is returned to the author, usually without payment, in order to be filed away . in oblivion. Again, one frequently sees a splendid performa.nce by a young' actress who will, upon the maturing of her talent, either stifle her instincts or go abroad to develop and express herself. All this is very much as it was before the war. While Canadian radio has been able to absorb a part of our native talent in recent years, and to reward it; there is a greater an1ount of promising young talent working at present in our amateur theatre than could ever find its outlet by that medium." In recognition of , this fact, at least two.ambitious enterprises have been launched to contain and direct some of the creative energy that is in our people: the Everyman Theatre, already mentioned as .touring the vVestern provinces this season, and,, the New Play Society in Toronto, which presented -twelve productions during the winter. Their work may eventually prove of great importance to the future of the Canadian theatre. But where is a larger plan? If the firmly established amateur movement is to be a broad base for some national organization of drama, what is to be its apex? Over two years ago this question was asked during the preliminary (and unfruitful) discussions about the founding of a National Theatre organization, and it will come up again in connection with the finals of the Dominion Drama Festival (in London, Ontario) this spring. There is an obvious need for closer ties between the theatre groups of the East and the West, and for an immediate exchange of views on this matter particularly. If the best of our Canadian dramatists and performers are to live and work in Canada -and to be adequately rewarded for their contributions-a professional theatre of national significance, soundly financed, of high artistic stand.ard, must be developed. The need is urgent, for the drawing-off of ·our talent to other countries is being accelerated in these post-war years. It is certain that as long as we are unable to employ our artists professionally here, and to make it worth their while to learn and do their jobs in the theatre, we need look for no very large improvement of our dr_amatic literature on a national scale. IV. FRENCH-CANADIAN LETTERS '"'· E. CoLLIN · I-" . V•le are approaching a decisive moment in the history of FrenchCanadian nat.ionaljsm. The struggle for political equahty closed with Confederation. The "national" movement then followed the line of 1We may here briefly notice an addition to the books on the practical problems ·of play product-ion which are available to amateur groups: Drama is Fun, by Ralph Jones Morris. Mr. Morris's brief introductory discussions of the questions of acting, stage terminology, make-up, direction and adjudication should interest and help students who have not studied dramatics previously, a_nd teachers· who have never taught or been timght in the theatre. The book is short, clearly arranged, and readable. See check-list, page 338. LETTERS IN. CANADA: 1946 269 "economic conquest." This phase of the struggle, in which the pioneer work of Er~ol Bouchette and Edmond de Nevers ·was continued by M. Gerin and M. Montpetit, is now closing, and the mo_vement as we see it in Fran~ois Hertel and M. Minville is riow towards autonomy or integral nationalism. In their drive towards national sovereignty · the leaders of French-Canadian thought have made use of what they call "our national mystique,: the idea of an apostolic mission assigned to the French race in America. . This idea, first articulated by Mgr Lafleche some eighty years ago, has been propagated by Mgr L. A. P~quet, "the theologian pa; excellence of our national mystique," and Canon Lionel Groulx, the ·"nation,al" historian. La Vocation de Ia race jran~aise en Amerique du Nord, besides giving statistical information regarding the three branches of the French race· in North America-Canadian, Acadian, American__:_contains e:JScerpts from the writings...


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