UBC Players' Club

The UBC Players’ Club was established under the direction of Frederic G.C. “Freddy” Wood soon after the opening of the University in the fall of 1915. The Club’s objective was to provide training in the theatre arts for UBC students.

In February 1916 the Club staged its first performance at Vancouver’s Avenue Theatre on Main Street. That production of Fanny and the Servant included a cast of twenty-three with the entire faculty of twenty-seven as guests in the theatre box seats. Following favourable reviews, UBC President Frank Wesbrook suggested a repeat performance after exams and then additional productions in Victoria and New Westminster. This gave rise to the Players’ Club spring tour. Freddy Wood made all the arrangements and accompanied the troupe as a chaperone.

Players' Club 12th annual tour: "The Romantic Young Lady", 1927 -- UBC 1.1/13110-4Players' Club 12th annual tour: cast and crew of "The Romantic Young Lady", 1927

Beginning in 1920, the spring tour expanded to include Nanaimo, Kamloops and three Okanagan towns bringing the annual number of performances to ten. By 1931, the last year of Wood’s direction, the Players’ Club appeared in twenty-seven towns and cities around British Columbia. The spring tours offered numerous benefits including: helping raise funds for worthy causes, introducing students to parts of the province they might not otherwise see, providing many communities with their only opportunity to see productions acted by others than members of a local organization, and giving people outside the Lower Mainland their only contact with a University that they helped support with their taxes.

The Players’ Club continued as an important part of the University life until it finally disbanded following the establishment of the Theatre Department.

Poster for Players' Club production of "Sweet Lavendar", 1921
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