Regina’s Globe Theatre artistic director prepares to take final bow

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Regina’s Globe Theatre artistic director prepares to take final bow
WATCH: After more than two decades as artistic director at Regina's Globe Theatre, Ruth Smillie is preparing to take her final bow. – Jun 27, 2019

After more than two decades steering the ship as artistic director at Regina’s Globe Theatre, Ruth Smillie is preparing to take her final bow.

June 30 marks the official day Smillie retires, but she isn’t going far. She will assume the honourary position of artistic director emeritus, where she will focus the redevelopment of the Prince Edward Building, which has reached the end of its useful life.

In 1998, Smillie began her journey at the theatre, cast in a role she only dreamed of.

READ MORE: Regina’s Globe Theatre looking to secure $29M for renovations

“I’d never imagine I would become an artistic director,” Smillie said. “Globe Theatre was the only professional company in the province growing up, and we use to go to the productions. For me to have the opportunity to run a theatre that I had grown up admiring so much, [especially one] that really inspired me, it was a dream come true.”
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Since then, she’s worked on more than 30 productions, including Making Treaty 4, which for Smillie — is one that stands out.

“It was one of the most powerful experiences and perhaps one of the most challenging,” Smillie said. “It was critical that it was Indigenous-led and Indigenous-driven and that knowledge and experience and ways of knowing were present at all times in the rehearsal hall.”

WATCH: (Feb. 5, 2018) Regina Little Theatre

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Regina Little Theatre

Over the years, Smillie has had many achievements and her plays for young audiences have been produced by theatres across the country.

She also focused on creating training opportunities for emerging artists, starting the Globe Theatre School in 2006 and the Actor Conservatory Training Program in 2008. Additionally, Ruth initiated the Shumiatcher Sandbox Series which showcases Saskatchewan artists.

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“We have more than 50 actors that were graduated through the conservatory program who are now working on our stages here, but they’re also working across Canada, they have national careers,” Smillie said.

READ MORE: Local deaf acting collective selling out Globe Theatre

The theatre’s annual operating budget has grown from $1.1 million to almost $5 million and audience attendance has doubled from 30,000 to more than 60,000 tickets sold each year.

“This past year was the most subscribers we’ve ever had and the best year the globe has ever had and that’s because of Ruth,” executive director, Jaime Boldt said. “It’s hard to imagine Globe without Ruth Smillie.”

But Smillie isn’t taking all the credit, thanking the community for its support as she gets ready to step down.”

“The importance that they give to us is really to be honoured and respected and be so thankful and grateful for, because it is unique in Canada,” Smillie said.

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