Heather McCallum Scholarship/ La bourse Heather McCallum

The Heather McCallum Scholarship was established in 1987 by the Canadian Association for Theatre Research (CATR) in honour of the former head of the Theatre Department at the Toronto Reference Library. The McCallum Scholarship supports projects that involve original research in archives and collections. Interdisciplinary projects and projects that take researchers outside of traditional theatrical archives are welcome. Projects with a Canadian emphasis are particularly encouraged.

La bourse Heather McCallum a été créée en 1987 par l’Association canadienne de la recherche théâtrale (ACRT) en l’honneur de l’ancienne directrice de la section théâtre de la Bibliothèque de référence de la Communauté urbaine de Toronto. Cette bourse soutient des projets de recherche originaux dans les archives et les collections. Les projets interdisciplinaires ou sortant des voies traditionnelles de la recherche archivistique sont également admissibles. Les projets ayant une perspective canadienne sont tout particulièrement encouragés.

Deadline: April 16, 2018. See here for more details

2017 Winners:

David DeGrow - 

The Association congratulates David DeGrow on his successful proposal to research three Toronto theatre companies and their synonymous theatre spaces: Theatre Passe Muraille, Buddies in Bad Times, and the Theatre Centre. His in-depth and comparative examination of the mandates, audiences and relationships of each of these companies will allow us to better understand how they were each dramatically changed by the acquisition of permanent spaces. Mr. DeGrow’s proposal struck the committee for its precise description of the project, with theorized contexts, his well prepared objectives for specific archival work, and his clear set of anticipated outcomes. His proposal was succinct and clearly written with a modest but well thought-out budget for travel to the L.W. Conolly Archives at the University of Guelph.

As part of his larger dissertation research, Mr. DeGrow carefully chose three companies to allow an analysis of specific aspects of the relationship between the theatres and their spaces, both architecturally and within the larger socio-economic currents at work in the city. In addition, he expressly links the outcomes of his research to larger contributions to Canadian theatre studies: first, a complex case study of the interconnection between Toronto’s theatre ecology and the city over a span of forty years; second, the work will reveal the symbiosis between theatre companies and the urban landscape (real-estate market, shifting demographics, urban planning, etc.). Mr. DeGrow hopes his work will contribute to the long-term needs of theatre makers in the future by offering new viewpoints on how theatre spaces are used and how they impact theatrical creation.


L’Association félicite David DeGrow pour avoir proposé avec succès d’étudier trois compagnies de théâtre torontoises et leurs lieux attitrés : Theatre Passe Muraille, Buddies in Bad Times et le Theatre Centre. Son examen approfondi et comparatif des mandats, du public et des rapports de chacune de ces compagnies nous permettra de mieux comprendre comment elles auront radicalement changé suite à l’acquisition d’espaces permanents. Le comité a été frappé par la proposition de DeGrow, notamment la précision de sa description du projet par le biais de contextes théorisés, ses objectifs bien préparés pour un travail en archives particulier, et son ensemble clair de résultats escomptés. Sa proposition était succincte et clairement rédigée, cela avec un budget modeste mais judicieux pour consulter les Archives L.W. Conolly à l’Université de Guelph.

Katrina Dunn - 

Ms. Dunn’s dissertation project “Real Estate and Theatricality in Vancouver’s Downtown Core” investigates the theatrical past in Vancouver by applying concepts arising from the spatial turn in performance studies and incorporating recent work in economic geography to three diverse case studies, each of which represents a different relationship between urban life, civic government, and arts infrastructure: the Vancouver Playhouse and the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Livent’s The Ford Theatre, and the application of Wagner’s concept of “Gesamtkunstwerk” to the development of Vancouver House. The project employs an ambitious mixed methodology, combining immersive spatial research, archival research, and semiotic analysis. Ms. Dunn aims to create “a deep map that allows the reader to view layers of time and space both underneath and above the site, and to foreground the global, national, and local forces that have brought a particular space into being.” The McCallum scholarship will allow Ms. Dunn to travel to the Provincial Archives in Victoria, BC and the L.W. Conolly Archives at the University of Guelph.

The committee was impressed by the potential of Ms. Dunn’s project to employ archival research to shed light on under-examined case studies and to extend the boundaries of performance scholarship by delving into the relationships between theatre, economic geography, and real estate development. The committee agreed with Ms. Dunn’s referee, who noted the project’s strong interdisciplinarity, the need for scholarly attention to the three case studies, and the potential of the project to combine materialist analysis and an investigation of socio-economic and political discourses to provide an important study of Vancouver’s urban theatre environment.


Le projet de thèse de Katrina Dunn, intitulé Real Estate and Theatricality in Vancouver’s Downtown Core [Immobilier et théâtralité dans le centre-ville de Vancouver], vise à étudier le passé du théâtre à Vancouver en mettant à contribution des concepts découlant du tournant spatial des performance studies et en intégrant les travaux récents en géographie économique, pour les appliquer à trois études de cas, chacun de ces cas représentant une relation différente entre vie urbaine, gouvernement civique et infrastructures artistiques : le Vancouver Playhouse et le Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Livent’s The Ford Theatre et l’application du concept wagnérien de Gesamtkunstwerk au développement de Vancouver House. Le projet s’appuie sur une ambitieuse méthodologie mixte combinant recherche spatiale immersive, recherche archivistique et analyse sémiotique. Dunn veut créer « une deep map permettant au lecteur de visualiser des couches temporelles et spatiales autant au-dessous qu’au-dessus du site, et de mettre à l’avant-plan les forces globales, nationales et locales qui ont mené à l’avènement d’un espace particulier ». La bourse McCallum permettra à Katrina Dunn de visiter les Archives provinciales à Victoria, en Colombie-Britannique, ainsi que les Archives L.W. Conolly à l’Université de Guelph.

2017 McCallum Committee: Heather Davis Fisch, Rosalind Kerr, Glen Nichols

Past Winners


Kimberly Richards - for her dissertation on the Calgary Stampede and the performance of civic labour in 2013, during “the year of the flood.”


Kimber Sider - for her project titled “Théâtre Equestre Zingaro: Interspecies Performance & Equestrian Theatre.”

Sebastian Samur - for his research with Montreal’s Mime Omnibus

Ashley Williamson - for her dissertation project titled “Living Canada’s History: Troubling the Narratives of Canadian History through Museum Performance.”


Natalie Mathieson

Peter Kuling

Dalbir Singh


Jennifer Cole

Sasha Kovacs

Jessica Riley


Helene Vosters


Richard Wilcox - to support his research on Daniel MacIvor


Gill Garratt - to assist with plans to traverse the 150km Maitland River system, a serpentine body of water winding through Huron County, in order to devise a performance-based enactment of the river system as a performance text in its own right

Keren Zaiontz – to assist in her travels travels to Vancouver, British Columbia in the spring of 2011 to document the fourth annual HIVE festival


Anton Wagner – to assist him in his archival research into the relationship between William Lyon Mackenzie King, and government policy on the performing arts.

Steph Berntson - to assist in her travels to witness contemporary Kabuki, Kyogen and Noh performances in Japan, for an exploration into the relationship between the sounds of these historical forms and the contemporary city


Halli Marshall – for travel to London with a special invitation to visit a new archive that will further her research on Gilbert Murray.


Tony Berto – to support an archival effort to compile a list of ‘every Queer representation on (non-musical) Canadian theatre stages in English that have been written by a Canadian playwright between 1995 and 2007.’


Lisa L’Heureux – for a study on theatre for young audiences in francophone Ontario during the 1980s

Mark Turner – for his proposal to organize the audio-visual materials relating to the performing arts, that are sitting in the archives of the Centre for Newfoundland Studies


Jane Baldwin – to assist her in her study of the contribution of Jean Gascon to theatre in Canada.


David Ferry – for travel costs in his update and collation of James Reaney bibliography

Natalie Papoutsis – for duplication of CBC radio adaptations of Greek tragedies by celebrated Canadian peformers


Birgit Schreyer – to fund her travel to Vancouver, so that she could assist director/ dramaturge Rachel Dito. Ms. Shreyer intends to turn her research results and experience into an article on current Vancouver-based theatre artists and forms.


Krista Charbonneau – for a research project involving Canadian puppet artist Ronnie Burkett and his unique form of puppet theatre – the focus of her project is “to develop new sources of primary research materials to study the development and function of Burkett’’s text-based puppetry.”


Rebecca Burton – “to research and gather information on feminist/ women’s theatre in BC,” for an academic paper to be given either at the Staging the Pacific Province – Theatre in BC Conference, or at the 2002 ACTR Conference in Toronto.

Heather Fitzsimmons-Frey – to attend the Wole Soyinka Conference at the Drama Centre in October of 2001, as part of her ongoing research into the performance of African, and especially Nigerian, plays in Canada. Heather also intends to consult the lack Theatre Archives at the University of Guelph, and to conduct several interviews with theatre practitioners in her field.

Myra Malley – for research on the American connections of four pre-World War II professional stock companies that operated in Toronto between 1874 and 1936. Among other things, her findings will be featured in a Toronto performance chronology that she is compiling to cover the period of her research.


Shannon Hengen – the history of Debajehmujig Theatre for a monograph entitled – Tellers of Tales – the First Fifteen Years of Debajehmujig Theatre.

Susan Stackhouse – to collect dialect samples from PEI, NB, and NS as part of her work as Associate Editor (and sole Canadian representative) for the International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA).


Allana Lindgren – for research on the early choreographic works of the Canadian dancer, choreographer and visual artist Francoise Sullivan


Shauna Dobbie – for a project entitled “Unveiling the Lighting Design Process in Canadian Theatres”


Erin Hurley – for research in Quebec on the relationship between nationalism & theatrical production

Gilles-Philippe Pelletier – for a mémoire-création entitled Les trois corps


Lisa Coulthard – to attend School of Criticism & Theory

Shemina Keshvani – for travel to India for comparative study of postcolonial theatre & film


Tony Van Bridge – for distribution costs of his autobiography Also in the Cast


Ann Jansen – for Australia trip to 3rd International Women Playwrights Conference & Australasian Drama Studies Association conference

Martin de Jonge – to produce a documentary video on the theatrical dimensions of recreating “living history”


Catherine Graham – to conduct research in Headlines Theatre Co. archives in light of interest in Boal popular theatre techniques

Ted Little – for work documenting the archival material for the Calling Lakes Community Play (1992) at Fort Qu’Appelle


Toby Ryan & Mayte Gomez – for their editing project on the criticism of Oscar Ryan


Erdmute Waldhauer – for publication costs of Drama at Queen's, a sesquicentennial history

Erika Patterson – for research on Canadian Fringe Festivals


Patricia Badir & Lise Ann Johnson – for help in preparation of An Annotated Bibliography of Plays and Criticism Pertaining to Women in the Canadian Theatre Written Between 1950 and 1990


Paula Sperdakos –  for research on Dora Mavor Moore


Bruce Kirkley – for research into the transformation of major Canadian stage dramas into television productions

Robert Barry Scott – to create a performance calendar data base related to the history of theatre in Ontario 1914-1967

Kathleen Fraser – to support her project “A Butterfly on the Wheel”, a study of the image and reality of women on the Canadian stage 1880-1914