Virtual Exhibit


Fair Portia's CounterfeitThe L.W. Conolly Theatre Archives hosted at the University of Guelph represent the largest archival theatre holdings in Canada. A significant portion of these archives is devoted to Shakespearean productions and adaptations. The primary focus of the collection has been contemporary Ontario theatre, and today most major Ontario theatres are represented, as are a number of prominent individual theatre artists, including playwrights, directors, designers and actors. The L. W. Conolly archives are a testament to the rich history of movement of productions, actors, and playwrights across provincial and national borders, a movement also documented in the archives’ holdings.

The L.W. Conolly Theatre Archives are a major resource for scholars around the world, and include collections of rare materials from William Hutt, the Canadian Players, the Stratford Festival and Tony Van Bridge, to name only a few. These collections include a wide array of documents and objects such as house programs, performance scripts, set models, posters, technical drawings, production photographs, costume designs, personal correspondence, and theatre props. Importantly, the collections showcase the ephemeral nature of theatrical performance and the necessary technical and artistic contexts that make theatre possible. And, of course, the archives illustrate the rich and varied contributions of individual artists and theatre companies, and display the evolution of theatrical culture in Canada. Though there are many strands of information in the archives, one important one relates to Shakespearean performances in Canada, providing further testament to Canada’s extraordinary relationship with Shakespeare, and how that relationship has permeated Canadian theatrical culture as a whole.

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