Liz and Harry Boardmore came to Sydney in 1966. They did not waste any time setting bold and imaginative goals for drama here. In their first year they sought out talent within both the college and community to produce Arthur Miller’s THE CRUCIBLE which was stage for two nights at Sydney’s Vogue Theatre before capacity audiences. Cape Bretoners came to the Vogue as if starved for live theatre. This began the tradition of both college and community cooperation in drama, a relationship that has reaped cultural benefits for all of us.
The Playhouse opened in 1979 and in 1990 it was renamed the Boardmore Playhouse in honour of Elizabeth and Harry Boardmore who, for more than twenty five years, dedicated themselves to the teaching and development of community theatre in Cape Breton.
The Playhouse is a 337 seat venue which is the centre for the performing arts at Cape Breton University. The Playhouse is home to Boardmore Theatre, which presents an annual season of plays, including plays for young audiences, four to five full length plays, a bi-annual Shakespeare production and a bi-annual Broadway Musical, and a one week one act play festival with an emphasis on new play development.
Throughout the school year and summer months the CBU Boardmore Playhouse is also involved with a number of community projects. The Playhouse provides practical expertise to community theatre groups in the form of workshops for young people as well as advise and leadership in summer theatre programs.
The Playhouse is also home to many of the academic courses offered as part of CBU’s Theatre Arts programs: Degree in Applied Theatre, Minor in Drama; Theatre Arts Certificate; Major in Dramatic Literature.