The 1800s

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Modern Theatre in Context: A Critical Timeline

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Robertson Davies

The publication by Clarke Irwin in Toronto of Robertson Davies' full-length drama Fortune, My Foe and five of his one-act comedies in Eros at Breakfast and Other Plays establishes Davies as English-Canada's most important and most widely produced mid-20th century playwright.

Writing in the December 13 Saturday Night, its editor and theatre critic B.K. Sandwell calls Fortune, My Foe "so much the most important dramatic work yet written in Canada that it is difficult to think of any other as being in the same class."

The Dominion Drama Festival awards the Ottawa Drama League production of Fortune, My Foe the Sir Barry Jackson Trophy for the best production of a Canadian play. The DDF also selects the Ottawa Drama League production of Eros at Breakfast to represent Canada at the Edinburgh Festival and in Glasgow, where the play receives an enthusiastic reception.

Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent establishes the Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences. The Commission asks Robertson Davies to study the theatre in Canada. His "A Dialogue on the State of Theatre in Canada" is published in Royal Commission Studies in 1951.