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Donna Butt

Pages >> Biography | Address to Convocation | Oration

{Donna Butt}
Donna Butt

For her contribution to the development of Newfoundland's theatre, tourism and rural economy, Donna Butt was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree at the session of convocation held at 10 a.m. on May 9 at Grenfell College.

Ms. Butt was born in Spaniard's Bay, Newfoundland. Since 1978 she has been working full-time to create a dynamic professional theatre company that reflects the culture and heritage of her province. Involved in all aspects of the creative process, she excels in writing, acting, directing and producing. She has traveled to Ireland and the mainland showcasing her productions, but she works predominantly at home. In 1978 Ms. Butt was one of the co-founders (with David Ross) of Rising Tide Theatre Company in St. John's. The company's first production was a collective creation called Daddy, What's a Train? The troupe has presented a wide variety of works, notably by Sharon Pollock and Michael Cook, as well as works such as Amadeus and Children of a Lesser God.

As co-artistic director of Rising Tide Theatre, 1978-1984, Ms. Butt concentrated her efforts on creating plays about Newfoundland and Labrador. Since 1984 she has been sole executive and artistic director of the group, responsible for bringing to the stage a diverse selection of works, from new and innovative pieces by Newfoundland and Canadian playwrights, to the annual Revue production, a popular satire about our province's more prominent stories and newsmakers.

The troupe is often on the road during the year, but in summer they gather in their new artistic centre in Trinity, where Ms. Butt produces a series of dramatized vignettes called New Founde Lande, an annual, historical pageant celebrating the province's colourful and diverse history. Also popular is the Summer in the Bight Theatre Festival, which attracts more than 20,000 visitors a year.

Pages >> Biography | Address to Convocation | Oration