Inventory of the
Richard Courtney fonds

Inventory #F0156

The digitization of this finding aid was made possible - in part or entirely - through the Canadian Culture Online Program of Canadian Heritage, the National Archives of Canada and the Canadian Council of Archives.


Fonds/Collection Number:F0156
Title:Richard Courtney fonds
Dates:1896, 1943-1997
Extent:10.41 m of textual records and other material
14 audio reels
6 film reels
2 videocassettes
ca. 120 photographs
Biographical Sketch/
Administrative History:
Richard Courtney, drama teacher and theatre scholar, was born in Newmarket, England on 4 June 1927 and was educated at Culford School and Leeds University. Between the years 1948 and 1952, Courtney, studied at Leeds with Shakespeare scholar G. Wilson Knight and Pirandello scholar and translator Frederick May. On 21 December 1953, he married Maureen Rosemary Gale. While attending Leeds, Courtney directed and appeared in a number of theatre productions and upon graduation continued his this endeavor with the Arts Theatre in Leeds and the Rep Theatre in Yorkshire. From 1956 to1960, he played various roles on BBC radio. Between 1952 and 1959 he taught drama at schools in England before becoming Senior Lecturer in Drama at Trent Park College of Education in 1959, a position he would retain until 1967. From 1968 to 1971, he was Associate Professor of Theatre at the University of Victoria, British Columbia and was Professor of Drama from 1971 to 1974 at the University of Calgary. While in Calgary, Courtney also directed theatre and served as President of the Canadian Child and Youth Drama Association as well as being an advisor to the Minster of Culture, Andre Fortier. In 1974 he was appointed Professor of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and the University of Toronto Graduate Centre for Drama. He maintained these positions until his retirement in 1995. In 1975 he traveled to New Mexico to research the dramatic rituals of the Hopi and the Navajo nations. He visited the University of Melbourne in 1970 and 1974 and was a Visiting Fellow in the Spring of 1979 at the Melbourne State College, Victoria. Above all Richard Courtney was a well respected drama theorist. He wrote extensively on the subject and has roughly one hundred published works to his name including Drama for Youth (1964), Teaching Drama (1965), The School Play (1966), The Drama Studio (1967), Play, Drama and Thought (1968), The Dramatic Curriculum (1980). In addition, he was also responsible for numerous reports and journal articles touching on such subjects as educational drama, drama therapy, arts education, criticism and the history of drama. Courtney lectured extensively in Australia, Canada, the UK and the US. He was President of the Canadian Conference of the Arts, 1973-1976 and Chairman of the National Inquiry into Arts and Education in Canada, 1975-1979. Richard Courtney died on Saltspring Island, British Columbia on 16 August 1997.
Scope and Content:

Fonds consists of manuscript and typescript drafts and notes for many of Richard Courtney's works, personal and business correspondence with friends, colleagues, publishers and other individuals and organizations, background and resource material for Courtney's writing and teaching, lecture notes, copies of journals and other publications in which Courtney's work either appeared or which he used as resource material, scrapbooks documenting Courtney's role as an actor and director in a number of productions including those undertaken as a student at Leeds as well as a number of audio-visual samples of his work.

Fonds is comprised of the following series:

S00080Correspondence and subject files
S00081Journals and publications
S00083Audio-visual material
Conservation Note: Textual material relating to the Canadian Conference of the Arts and to Drama in Therapy has been removed for conservation treatment (ca. 0.2 m).
Restrictions on
Access and Use:
No restrictions on access.
Finding Aid: Series descriptions with associated file lists available.
URL of Finding Aid:http://archivesfa.library.yorku.ca/submissions/fonds/ON00370-f0000156.pdf
Accruals: The fonds comprises the following accession: 1998-001. No further accruals are expected.
Immediate source of acquisition: Received in 1998 from Courtney's widow Rosemary.
Provenance Access Points:Courtney, Richard, 1927-1997

Date of creation: 2002/04/04
Date of last revision: 2003/04/09
Printer friendly version: ON00370-f0000156.pdf
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