Canadian Boys' Clothes: Drama


Figure 1.--Here is a group of little girls 5 to 7 years old attending a course in Montreal for developping skills in drama. It is conducted at a school operated by Madame Jean-Louis Audet (1890-1970) who was devoted to teaching children about drama in the French language. Note the ladies' hats. The potograph was taken in 1946 by Conrad Poirier. Note that even in the late Fall, that most of the children are dressed nore as id it was summer, rather like little Shirley Temple wearing short skirts and ankle socks. To protect against cold weather, children wore long leather gaiters for oudoors. You can see two girls still wearing them at right. Click on the image for a fuller discussion of the clothing. A reader thought that one of the children is a boy, but they all look like girls to me. Source: Bibliothòèque et Archives nationales de Quebec.

Drama for most children an activity normally pursued through school. Here there was until the 1960s a diference between French Catholic and English schools. A Canadian reader tells us, "There were no school plays in French Catholic schools where the arts were restricted by the clergy." All English schools had drama activities as they were stringly influenced by the English education system. The younger children do plays where everyone gets invilved. Older youths in high school do drama as an elective. School is not, however, the only drama activity. Sunday school and Scouts often put in informal skits and Churches may produce pagents. There are also drama schools that nterested children can attend, rather like dance schools. And of course particularly interested children can get involved with amateur darma societies and productions. Many plays have roles for children so that children who exhibit a talent for drama are often in demand. The children here are attending a course in Montreal for developping skills in drama (figure 1). It is conducted at a school operated by Madame Jean-Louis Audet (1890-1970) who was devoted to teaching children about drama in the French language. A Canadian reader tells us that, "Madame Audet taught diction and elocution in her drama classes. Her school was renowned in French Canada (especially in Québec). She helped to an elite corps of youths who performed the children's roles in radio dramas and for children's progeams during the 1930s and 40s and beginning in the 1950s for television. Here we see wealthy little girls at Mme Audet school. They were really pionners in enhancing many aspects of art education which became extended to the whole population in 1963 with the creation of the Ministery of Education in Quebec. Mme Audet's contribution was especially useful because because the French language was really deteriorated before "the Quiet Revolution" in 1960. At that time, prononciation was really bad and for naming "un cheval" (horse), we said "joual", a kind of mixture of English and french in a French very far from Parisian French. With the advent of television, things changed greatly and now we are able to be understood by French in France!!!"










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Created: 12:23 AM 10/11/2006
Last updated: 4:13 AM 10/11/2006