UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The Cooperative Commonwealth Federation and amateur theatricals in 1930's Vancouver, BC Everett-Kabut, Patricia Hews


This research investigates a collection of short one-act plays in the Arthur J. Turner Fonds held in the University of British Columbia Rare Books and Special Collections. These plays, written by Arthur J. Turner, Thorvald “Denny” Kristiansen and Hubert Evans in the mid-1930’s, formed part of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation’s broader social and propaganda efforts to educate and indoctrinate new members in the basic tenets of Socialism and the CCF platform. Like agitprop plays created elsewhere in Canada, Britain and the United States, dramatic groups within CCF clubs wrote and performed such plays as one of many means of legitimization for parties and movements of the Left along with other educational, social and political activities. For the CCF, a recently formed political party built by the merger of many disparate groups and cultures, solidifying their voting base and creating new centres for progressive culture, social gatherings, shared political vision and party solidarity was vital in the 1930’s to ensure the continued existence of the party as well as electoral success and political change. This research seeks to situate these plays amid their social, cultural, historical and political contexts to show that their emergence was a result of the unique set of circumstances created in the Depression-era and a manifestation of the larger global workers’ theatre movement. Finally, this research seeks to recover and publicize the plays of the CCF drama groups that have been almost entirely erased from the broader discourse of Canadian theatre due to their amateur status and exclusion from the hegemonic archive.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International