Andrew Ross accepted the position of Artistic Director on the understanding that he was to professionalize La Boite. So in 1983 he produced its first season of three professional plays. Under his direction, La Boite’s first fully professional production was Alma De Groen’s Vocations, designed by David Bell and with actors Eugene Gilfedder, Ingrid Mason, Richard Moir and Kaye Stevenson. The second and third professional productions were Jack Hibberd’s A Stretch of the Imagination directed by Andrew Ross and featuring Errol O’Neill, and Female Parts by Franca Rama and Dario Fo, directed by Alison Richards with Genevieve Mooy and Kaye Stevenson. Both Vocations and Female Parts were artistic and financial successes but A Stretch of the Imagination, while receiving critical acclaim, did only mediocre business at the box office.[i] This vision towards a professional company was not however shared by the majority of Council members or the membership and it dropped off the agenda with Andrew Ross’s departure in 1983.
Writer: Christine Comans
[i] President’s AGM Report, March 6, 1983