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The STAGE Project

Lead Researcher and Department
Dr. Denyse Lynde, Department of English

Collaborators and Students
Dr. Rob Ormsby, Department of English, Colleen Quigley, Queen Elizabeth II Library and Tom Halford, Graduate Student (2011-2013), Mandy Rowsell, Graduate Student (2014-)

Funding Resources
The Applied Research Fund 2012-2013 - The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development

Summary
The STAGE project was re-started in 2011, after it had been on hiatus for several years. For the project, students interviewed members of Newfoundland and Labrador’s performing arts community and then transcribed those interviews. STAGE’s origins were in a three-sided relationship among the University’s library, the English Department and the theatre community. By the time the original STAGE project went into hiatus in 2003, 275 people had been interviewed and 65 students were employed as interviewers.

By extending the project’s activities we continued to build the archive of recorded and transcribed interviews, acquired performing arts material to be added to the archives (i.e. in people’s personal collections including play-scripts, posters, pictures, programs, etc), reviewed the current state of the STAGE holdings and updated information that needed to be updated. Furthermore, recording the interviews and including that video material in the archives enables those using the archives to read, hear, and watch the interviews.

The interviews provided an opportunity to solicit archivable material (posters, playbills, etc.) from the interviewees. The interviews are of great benefit to stakeholders in the province: they contain a tremendous amount of factual detail about the history of performing arts in Newfoundland and Labrador; shed light on individual careers and how practitioners relate to various institutions; the STAGE archive provides an extremely valuable resource to theatre practitioners, to researchers, and to media when writing about performing arts communities.

Our objectives were derived from our observations about the nature of the interviews and their value as records of the province’s culture. In light of these facts about what the STAGE project is able to document and the kind of experience that the interviewing process is able to provide the students, we established the following objectives:
- Continue to build the archive of interviews and memorabilia
- Consolidate the gains of the earlier phase of the project by determining how to improve upon earlier practices
- Enhance the interview content by video recording the interviews, allowing us to present the information that we collect and present in a format that is both more accessible (previously users could only read transcripts) and that gives a very full picture of the individual interviewees and their recollections of theatre and related activities in the province.
- Continue and improve STAGE’s tradition of student training. In particular, we continue to make the public, specifically the performing arts community and policymakers who affect the arts community, aware of the existing and forthcoming interviews and help them discover the value of the project to them.

To this end, we created outreach material for the broader, non-academic community and partnerships to help disseminate information about STAGE to other stakeholders in the arts community throughout the province.

Dates
2011 - 2013

Keywords
STAGE, Theatre, interviews, Newfoundland and Labrador actors and actress, Performing Arts Collection, Theatre Memorabilia Archive

Locations
Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
St. John's
Avalon Peninsula
Zone 19 - Northeast Avalon

Industry Sectors
Arts, entertainment and recreation
Performing arts, spectator sports and related industries (Arts, entertainment and recreation)

Thematic Categories
Arts, Culture & Heritage
Theatre (Arts, Culture & Heritage)
Archives (Arts, Culture & Heritage)

Departments
English, Faculty of Arts (STJ)