Betty Mitchell

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Betty Mitchell (born May 4, 1896 in Sandusky / Ohio , † September 10, 1976 in Calgary ) was a Canadian director and theater director.

Mitchell came to Canada with her family when she was sixteen. She attended the Normal School in Calgary and later studied botany at the University of Alberta . Here she took part in student theater performances. In Calgary, she helped found the theater groups The Green Room Club (1930) and Side Door Playhouse (1932). A student performance of Thornton Wilder's Our Town under her leadership persuaded the head of the Cleveland Play House , Barclay Leathem , awarded a grant by the Rockefeller Foundation to nominate, they for a professional theater training at the University of Iowa used. After completing her studies in 1944, the Cleveland Playhouse made it possible for her to travel through the United States, where she got to know professional and amateur theaters.

On her return to Calgary, she first became a consultant and later head of the workshop 14 theater group, founded by three of her former students ( Kaye Grieve , Betty Valentine and Frank Glenfield ) , with which she won several awards at the Dominion Drama Festivals between 1949 and 1959 . In 1958 the University of Alberta awarded her an honorary doctorate. In 1962, the Betty Mitchell Theater was founded at the Allied Arts Center , which later became Calgary's first professional theater.

A second theater, bearing Mitchell's name, was established in 1982 in the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium . The professional stages of Calgary have presented the Betty Mitchell Awards annually since 1998 .