Internet Payments

Secure & Reliable

Your data is encrypted and secure with us.
Godaddyseal image
VeraSafe Security Seal

Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

- Page 30

Join us for 7 days to view your results

Enter your details to get started

or Login

What will you discover?

  • 108,666,265 Obituaries
  • 86,129,063 Archives
  • Birth & Marriages
  • Arrests & legal notices
  • And so much more
Issue Date:
Pages Available: 45

Search All United States newspapers

Research your ancestors and family tree, historical events, famous people and so much more!

Browse U.S. Newspaper Archives


Select the state you are looking for from the map or the list below

OCR Text

Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 15, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD _ Tuesday, May 15, 1973 Festival curtain May 2O marks Playgoers SOth anniversary By JOANNA MORGAN, Herald Staff Writer History compiled by BILL MATHESON Playgoers of Lelhbridge pre- sent a week-long arts festival at the Yates Memorial Centre later this month. As the curtain goes up May 20th the interesting history of tliis drama group should also come into play, since this festi- val is timed to coincide with and celebrate the Playgoers' 50th anniversary. The group's origin is attri- buted directly to Ernest Stern- dale-Bennett who arrived in Lethbridge with his family in 1921. From England, the family had lived in Moose Jaw and Medicine Hat, and in both these cities Mr. Bennett explored his Interest in amateur theatre. During bis first tvvo years in Lethbridge, Mr. Benr.ett en- couraged travelling dramatic companies to stop in Letih- bridge. In 1923 however, he de- ckled to go one step further ond farmed a local club that make theatre more than a spectator sport. Mr. Bennett's tool to dig irp interest was a letter to The Herald. A few "theatre buffs" re- sponded, and the Playgoers was the collective answer. Retain- ing Mr. Bennett as general di- rector, the first executive was formed and consisted of II. W. Church as president, Ralph A. Thrall as secretary, and C J. Ferguson as music director. Members In the four months that fol- lowed Mr. Bennett's January letter to Hie newspaper, the group grew in membership to over 300. The musical comedy "Going Up" was their first ef- fort, presented in April, 1923, with a east of 58 at the Majestic Theatre. This building, long since demolished, stood on the site of the present-day Purity Dairy Building, 516 5th Ave. S. "Going Up" was such an ac- complishment that it was greet- ed everywhere with encourage- ment. One critic in The Herald DRIVE 'N SAVE CENTRE QUALITY 10W30 MOTOR OIL Regular 79c qt. This week n T An Only for THRIFTY 30 H.D. MOTOR OIL Regular 69c qt. This week n m Only Jtfor NEW SPARE TIRE GARNER FRONT MOUNT 11.95 PRICED AT A LOW, LOW SPARE WHEEL TIRE COVER ..............12.95 TRAILER JACKS SPECIAL, SET OF 4 15.OO LO-MOUNff TRUCK MIRRORS SAVE NOW Only 1 2.66 MOUNT AIR DEFLECTOR For Station Wagons NOW ONLY 18.66 8-TRACK AUTO STEREO A REAL BUY AT ONLY 12 VOLT HAND SPOTLIGHT Regular 8.95. NOW ONLY............ 7.TT CLIP-ON CLOTHES ROD SPECIAL AT ONLY.................. 2.44 DEALS ON WHEELS VOLKSWAGEN SLOTS Complete lug nuff and caps. EACH 2 ONLY STEEL SLOTS Fits GM 34.88 MIDLAND AUTO SUPPLY (1971) LTD. 421 5th St. S. Phone 327-4951 SALE ENDS SAT, MAY 19 gave a miew that was more approving than astute. He wrote of the male cast: "Good Gosh! were these the guys from whom we had borrowed the oc- casional cigarette? They were, but we were lost in admiration of their stage presence Regular Rudolphs, Boasting a membership dur- ing the Xte twenties that at one tim3 topped 800, the Playgoers performed musicals and dram- atic monologues -at the Majes- tic Theatre or St. Augustine's church hall, and vied success- fully for audiences with the commercial touring companies. Fame It was only to be expected that the increasing incidence of live theatre would replace the "Gocd Gosh1' attitude with sharper criticism. "The Green Goddess" in 1927 was Playgo- ers' first financial failure. Their deficit contrasted painfully with the whopping profit of grossed four years be- fore by the production of "Go- ing Up." Ignoring this upsetting re- versal, Playgoers continued to function, and in 1930 achieved some measure of fame. At this time Mr. Bennett organized the first competitive drama festi- val in Canada. It was held at the Grand Theatre in Calgary, and the sold-out house was the show case for plays by groups from Edmonton, Calgary, Leth- bridge and Medicine Hat. This event was so unusual that it came to the attention of the Toronto Globe and Mail. Fully appreciative, the newspaper commended Mr. Bennett as "an untiring worker for Can- ada's artistic progress." Thq Calgary festival had proved popular and Mr. Ben- nett was soon sought by out-of- province drama groups who wished to set up their own provincial competitions. Spur- red on by this success, Mr. Bennett began to organize the framework for a drama-compe- tition that would be Canado- wide. Mr. Bennett was given the necessary authority for his ambitions in 1932, when Sena- tor W. A. Buchanan, publisher of The Herald, introduced him to a Lethbridge visitor who was an avid patron of the arts. The visitor was the young Vincent Massey who became Governor- General. Because of Mr. Massey's en- couragement, Mr. Bennett mov- ed las family to Toronto, where be joined the first board of di- rectors for the Dominion Drama Festival, which includ- ed such famous company as Lord Bessboraigh, the Gover- nor-General at that time. Hard time Like everybody else. Playgo- ers had a hard time of it in the thirties. Somehow the club scrimped along on a deficit budget and adopted some in- genious financial measures. In the attempt to bolster the sagging attendance, tlie Leth- bridge group would put on pro- ductions in combined bills with other clubs from the district These did not always meet with success. In January 1933, for example, the Majestic held the assembled talents of groups from Lethbridge, Cardston, Medicine Hat, and Stirling. Continued on Page 5 See Superior for all Your IRRIGATION NEEDS Propane Tanks and Trailers Complete Service on Carburetion Equipment Good stock of all Carburetion equipment and parts Dynamometer test your motor for maximum horse- power Be sure of a trouble-free season by having your equipment checked now: BOOK NOW CALL BOB JACKUN or RON WOLFE AT 3307 5th Avenue N., Lethbridge Phone ;