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A Trinity College Dramatic Club was formed in 1892 at the University of Trinity College (Toronto, Ontario), apparently under the auspices of Lally McCarthy (a Trinity College
graduate of the same year). The Dramatic Club produced plays in Toronto and toured Guelph, Woodstock, Brantford, and Hamilton in 1894, ultimately bankrupting itself later that year.
The Trinity College Dramatic Society (TCDS) is known to have existed as early as 1919, with annual productions beginning in 1921. Little is currently known about dramatic activities at the University of Trinity College during the years between the insolvency of the Dramatic Club in 1894 and the emergence of the TCDS, but a few records exist – and are described within this collection – testifying to the existence of dramatic activities, however casual, during those years.
In 1921 the operation of the Hart House Theatre at the University of Toronto was transferred from The Player’s Club to the Board of Syndics. Trinity College had federated with the University of Toronto seven years earlier and sought to obtain the Hart House Theatre, under its new management, as the venue for its annual productions. Since the opening of the George Ignatieff Theatre (GIT) in 1979, it has formed the main venue for the TCDS’ productions. However, plays have also been held in Cartwright Hall (at Saint Hilda’s College), the quadrangle, Seeley Hall, and the chapel.
Over the years, the TCDS’ activities have increased. At first, one play was produced per year. Later, two or three additional short or student-authored plays were also produced per year. Nowadays several major productions are mounted every school year, as well as special events such as an orientation (or frosh) week play and “Shakespeare in the Quad.” The TCDS arranges the College’s contributions to various intra- or inter-university drama festivals and organizes events such as play readings, workshops, screenings, revues, and parties. Every year, the TCDS celebrates students’ involvement in dramatic endeavours with the “Iggies” (short for “Ignatieff”), an award ceremony in the style of the Academy Awards, where students are presented with “Iggy Awards.”
All students of Trinity College are automatically members of the TCDS and events are mainly student-run. An elected executive handles the administration of the TCDS.
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