Glasgow School of Art Dramatic Club

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Glasgow School of Art Dramatic Club

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Theatre productions have been prominent at the Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland, since the production of Masques by Headmaster Fra Newbery in the early 1900s which were designed, costumed and enacted by staff and students of the GSA.
A Dramatic Club started in 1922 with productions of St. George & the Dragon and a Mummer's Play (the earliest extant programme is from 1925), and was lead by a group of students and staff, notably Dorothy Carleton Smythe. In 1928 they proclaimed their objectives in the programme:
i. To produce plays of Artistic interest to students and Artists
ii. To promote the study of the Art of Theatre
iii. To promote by performance and readings of plays the study of Dramatic Literature
This Dramatic Club produced two or three plays a year until 1934. Many members of the group were also interested in cine-film and active in the Kinecraft Society. Cast lists for 1931 and 1934 respectively, include Alexander MacKendrick (the director of Whisky Galore) and Norman McLaren (animator and film maker).
The plays were usually staged in the Lecture Theatre in the Mackintosh Building, although after 1930 some were put on in the Assembly Hall at 168 Renfrew Street. The group was also renowned for its displays of classical drapery, which could include up to 40 students.
The Dramatic Club was re-established in the 1957-58 session, and in 1958 presented three one-act plays. This "rough and ready effort" led to a general resurgence of interest and for the next 20 years a play was produced every session. H. Jefferson Barnes (Registrar at the time and Director of the GSA 1694-1980 ) was the Stage Director in the three productions of 1960-1962 and Stage Manager in 1963. Plays were performed in the Mackintosh Lecture Theatre, the Assembly Hall, the Glasgow Concert Hall, Jordanhill College of Education and in Edinburgh . The Dramatic Club was also known as the Dramatic Society, the Dramatic Section, the Amateur Dramatic Society and the Drama Club.


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Mackendrick, Alexander (1912-1993)

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Alexander Mackendrick was a member of The Glasgow School of Art Dramatic Club.

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