"Who's in the Goose Tonight?": An Anecdotal History of Canadian Theatre


656 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-55022-482-4
DDC 792'.0971





Reviewed by David E. Kemp

David E. Kemp, a former professor of drama at Queen’s University, is
the author of The Pleasures and Treasures of the United Kingdom.


Vernon Chapman was bitten by the acting bug in 1935 and has been
practising his craft ever since. He co-founded the first post–World
War II Canadian professional theatre company, and, in addition to his
theatre work (that is, acting, directing, and producing), acted in
radio, television, and film. He also served on the board of ACTRA and as
chairman of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association for six terms. In
a book that is part history and part autobiography, he traces the
development of Canadian theatre from the mid-1930s to 1970. In addition
to engaging portraits of the theatres and theatre personalities (e.g.,
Bruno Gerussi, William Shatner, Billie Burke, Jackie Burroughs, Mickey
Rooney, Tallulah Bankhead, and Jackie Coogan) that contributed to the
rise of the Canadian stage, he offers a candid and often self-critical
account of his own artistic successes and failures that will inspire,
and educate, budding actors in particular. Anyone remotely interested in
Canadian theatre should read this elegantly written, witty, and
altogether delightful book.


Chapman, Vernon., “"Who's in the Goose Tonight?": An Anecdotal History of Canadian Theatre,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 22, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/9679.