Image: A film still showing a Christmas carol singalong (SPRA 0477.04.03.09, Fonds 477: Eaglesham and District Drama Club fonds)
Movie Monday highlights videos from the Archives’ film collection. Every week, an archival film will be featured on our YouTube channel and here on our blog. The Movie Monday project is made possible with the generous funding support of Swan City Rotary Club of Grande Prairie.
This being the last Movie Monday before Christmas, it seems only fitting that we share with you this Christmas carol singalong!
In December 1989, the Eaglesham and District Drama Club presented a theatrical production that featured Indian, written by George Ryga and directed by Beth Chmara, and Hansel and Gretel Revisited, written, directed, and acted by Steve and Pauline Cregg. Stephen Cregg taught high school English, music, and drama in Eaglesham, and was the Eaglesham and District Drama Club’s vice president. His wife, Pauline, was also a teacher and a director of the Drama Club.
The Olde Tyme Music Group provided intermission entertainment at the Drama Club’s production, and at the end of the performance led the audience in the singing of Christmas carols. The songs featured in this clip are “Deck the Halls” and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”.
We at the South Peace Regional Archives do indeed wish you a very merry Christmas!
Note from the SPRA Indigenous History Committee: The Eaglesham and District Drama Club’s production of Indian was a significant effort to portray a powerful message in a local setting. Playwright George Ryga was born in Deep Creek, near Athabasca. With only a grade six education, he began writing and, with the aid of the Banff School of fine Arts and the BBC, he became one of Canada’s most controversial and productive poets of the 1960s. His first play, Indian, was performed on television by the CBC (Q for Quest) in 1961. Though eclipsed by his most famous play, The Ecstasy of Rita Joe, this early work present much of his experiences working with his Cree neighbours while growing up, and their experience of injustice. A critical review and sympathetic summary can be found in Macleans: https://archive.macleans.ca/article/1962/12/1/indian#!&pid=30.