Theatre Guild

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There were at least four companies which went by a name including the phrase "Theatre Guild"

There is currently still some confusion in the records about the differences between the Theatre Guild (1951-1958), the Amateur Theatre Guild (1961-1963) and the Port Elizabeth Theatre Guild (1962-) - and its relationship to the Port Elizabeth Shakespearean Festival.

THIS ARTICLE IS STILL BEING EDITED

Theatre Guild - Johannesburg

Presented The Lady of the Rose in 1946.

The Theatre Guild - East London

See the East London Theatre Guild Association

Theatre Guild (or Amateur Theatre Guild) - Port Elizabeth

According to the March 1985, edition of Scenaria magazine (Issue no 50), The Company of Four assumed the name of the Amateur Theatre Guild from 1951 till 1958 when it became the Port Elizabeth Theatre Guild.

The Theatre Guild was inaugurated in 1951.

In 1952 the Guild, produced A Phoenix Too Far, for The Company of Four.

In 1953 the Guild produced Private Lives as their entry for Pemads Salter's Cup.

In 1954 their entry for the competition was Sorry Wrong Number and in 1955 they entered The Snow Goose. They also produced Home and Beauty for the Port Elizabeth Jewish Guild.

In 1956 the Guild produced Miranda.

1957 saw the production of Hands Across the Sea for the Salter's Cup.

The final production was A Child is Born in 1958.

Port Elizabeth Theatre Guild

The Port Elizabeth Theatre Guild was inaugurated in 1959 with the production of Dial M for Murder for The Company of Four.

1960 saw three productions, Rope and Our Town for the Juvenile Guidance Committee, and King Lear for the Red Cross.

On May 10, 1960, the Shakespearean Festival was inaugurated and basically replaced the Port Elizabeth Theatre Guild.

==The Amateur Theatre Guild

he Amateur Theatre Guild was one of a few amateur theatre organizations in Port Elizabeth.

Founding and early history

Port Elizabeth's Amateur Theatre Guild was founded in 1961 by members of the cast of King Lear which was produced in that year after the death of producer Andre Huguenet. The group cooperated so well together that they decided to form a new organisation under the name Amateur Theatre Guild. During their first year they produced Our Town, Rope, Tea and Sympathy, and The Lark. Hundreds of people were unable to see The Lark because the season, fully booked, could not be extended as no other suitable venue could be found. These four productions raised well over R4 000-00 for various charities. Founding "members" included Christine Roberts, George Jones, Jill Shepherd, Alan Williams, and David Hemmings.

Aims and function

The Amateur Theatre Guild was unique in South Africa as it had no funds, no members as such, no committee, no secretary and no constitution.

Later status

By August 1962, the Amateur Theatre Guild was also calling itself the Port Elizabeth Theatre Guild.

According to the March 1985, edition of Scenaria magazine (Issue no 50), The Company of Four assumed the name of the Amateur Theatre Guild from 1951 till 1958 when it became the Port Elizabeth Theatre Guild.

February 20 - 24, 1962: The Amateur Theatre Guild produced Five Finger Exercise at the Port Elizabeth City Hall.

August 14 - 18, 1962: Death of a Salesman was produced by the Port Elizabeth Theatre Guild, at the Port Elizabeth City Hall. Directed by David Barnett - Starring David Barnett (Willy Loman), Helen Mann (Linda), Brian Gaven (Biff), Colin Ward (Happy), Alan Williams (Bernard), Ursula Burnett (Woman), John Hamber (Charley), Raymond Howell (Uncle Ben), Gerry Baker (Howard Wagner), Antoinette Assemaine (Jenny), Tommy Walker (Stanley), Jill Shepherd (Miss Forsythe), Cynthia Harvey (Letta) and Rob Binnell (Waiter)..

April 16 - 23, 1963: The Amateur Theatre Guild staged Hamlet at the Port Elizabeth City Hall. The play was produced by Will Jamieson with all proceeds going towards the Red Cross.

Sources

Sunday Tribune, February 11, 1962.

Evening Post, April 10, 1963.

Eastern Province Herald April 20, April 17, 1963.

Percy Tucker, 1997

The Port Elizabeth Shakespearean Festival - book, 1982.

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