Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


1879 to 1914 were boom years for professional theatre in Canada; hundreds of companies toured cities and towns in central and eastern Canada. Most were British and American, but a few were Canadian. The Tavernier Company toured Canada between 1882 and 1896, a period which marks the change from resident to touring stock. Some essential background history has been completed but no detailed study of any Canadian company for this period exists.;Albert Tavernier (1854-1929), the son of an actor, was born in Boston but grew up in Hamilton. He made his debut in Cleveland in 1877 and subsequently managed theatres and acted in his own company. Ida Van Cortland (1855-1924) was born in England and grew up in Chicago. She began her stage career in 1877 at Toronto's Grand Opera House. They met in Halifax in 1879 and were married in New York in 1881. In 1882, they formed their own company.;This thesis analyzed a large collection of primary material donated by the Taverniers' children to the Metropolitan Toronto Library, as well as smaller private collections. The collection contains programmes, reviews, photographs, music, prompt-books, account books, correspondence, and notes on acting techniques. To analyse this material properly, a calendar of the Company's itineraries was prepared using the New York Dramatic Mirror, the Collection and other sources. This material and various recorded memories are interpreted in the light of what is known about contemporary theatrical styles and practices in North America. The Tavernier Collection provides clues to daily existence of a Canadian company and the vicissitudes of touring life in the eighties and nineties.;The Taverniers toured in Canada and the north-eastern United States at a time when theatre practices were evolving substantially. The thesis and the appendices document the Taverniers' immense efforts towards keeping ahead of the changing theatrical times.



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