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Fonds AM1560 - Ray Michal fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Ray Michal fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Photograph
  • Architectural drawing

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  • 1960, 1966-1991 (Creation)
    Michal, Ray
    Vancouver (B.C.)

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Physical description

2.33 m of textual records
722 photographs
6 architectural drawings

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Name of creator

([to 1991])

Biographical history

Ray (Raymond G.) Michal was a theatre director and the co-founder of the City Stage Theatre Centre in Vancouver, B.C.

Ray Michal studied math and physics at the University of Manitoba before becoming involved in amateur theatre in Winnipeg. In 1965-1967 he completed a post-graduate course in theatre at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

After directing student productions at UBC's Frederick Wood Theatre, Michal began his professional directing career in 1968 with the Holiday Theatre Repertory company (later Playhouse Holiday Theatre), an affiliate of the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company which toured works for youth audiences. He also directed works for other Vancouver-based companies, such as the Arts Club Theatre. Between 1969 and 1971, Michal was the Artistic Director and Director of the School of Drama at Playhouse Holiday Theatre.

In 1972, Ray Michal co-founded City Stage Theatre Centre with George Plawski. Michal was the managing director of the company, and directed most of the company’s productions. City Stage was his primary professional activity from 1972 until the company was wound up at the beginning of 1987, though during that time he had appeared as an actor in one episode of the Beachcombers television series and two films (The Journey of Natty Gann and The Grey Fox).

After the wind-up of City Stage, Ray Michal continued to produce and direct works for a number of Canadian theatre companies and toured "Tonight... Piaf", which had been a success for City Stage since its debut in 1978.

In 1991, Ray Michal passed away at the age of 54.

In his honor, the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards created the Ray Michal Prize for Outstanding Work and/or Body of Work by an Emerging Director, awarded annually.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds documents the professional career of Ray Michal, predominantly his role as managing director of the City Stage Theatre Centre.

The fonds contains records documenting the administration and operations of City Stage, including choosing and developing projects, managing the theatre's facilities, obtaining grant funding from public and private bodies, promoting productions, liaison with the press and other production companies, and production of plays. The fonds also includes records which document Michal's career before and after City Stage, some of which are inter-filed with City Stage records.

The fonds includes a wide variety of business records, such as leases, correspondence, and financial reports; production records such as annotated copies of scripts, prop lists, stage layout designs, and cast photographs; and promotional records, such as press releases and press clippings.

Where it is possible to clearly identify City Stage business and production records, these have been arranged into their own series, seperate from Michal's non-City Stage records.

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There is no series 2 (AM1560-S2) in this fonds.

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Access to some of the records in this fonds is restricted. Please refer to individual file descriptions for more information.

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Associated materials

Records relating to Ray Michal's career at Holiday Theatre Repertory / Playhouse Holiday Theatre may be found in the Playhouse Centre of British Columbia fonds (AM1032).

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