Land Acknowledgement

RCA respectfully acknowledges that the land on which we currently stand, create and perform, and gather is the ancestral homelands of the Beothuk, whose culture has now been erased forever. The island we call Newfoundland is the unceded, traditional territory of the Beothuk and the Mi’kmaq. Labrador is the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Innu of Nitassinan, the Inuit of Nunatsiavut, and the Inuit of NunatuKavut. We ask that you take a moment to reflect on whose land you are standing on, whose land you were born on, and whose land you currently live on. We ask that you reflect on how that land was taken care of, and how it is taken care of now, and finally who currently walks freely on it. If this reflection makes you uncomfortable we ask that you sit in that feeling and question it. Let it help you work towards reconciliation, something we can only achieve together.

About this digital archive

As part of the 50th anniversary of Resource Centre for the Arts, and as a special project for Come Home Year 2022, RCA undertook the creation of a digital archive. This online curation features a database of all past productions by RCA Theatre, as well as a collection of oral histories about the LSPU Hall.

We see this archive as an ongoing dialogue with the public. If you know of a past RCA show that is not currently included in this archive, or if you have additional information or content you’d like to share with us for any of the shows that you do see included here, we want to hear from you! We invite you to contact us at archives@lspuhall.ca and let us know more.

For the best experience browsing the database of shows on this site, we suggest viewing it on a desktop rather than a mobile device. We hope you enjoy browsing the archives!

RCArchives Team

Project Director: Ian Campbell
Archival Assistants: Patrick Curtis, Renée Follett
Web Development and Graphic Design: Perfect Day
Videographer: Jared Davidson

Special Thanks: Colleen Quigley and the team at Memorial University Library & Archives, Stella’s Circle

Thank you to our funders:
RCA is grateful for the support provided to this project by the Come Home Year 2022, Canada Summer Jobs Program, and Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW) through the NL Department of Immigration, Population Growth and Skills.

The LSPU Hall, pictured in 1998, has been the home of RCA Theatre since 1975. The Hall was constructed in 1922. Image courtesy of Heritage NL.

About Resource Centre for the Arts (RCA)

Resource Centre for the Arts (RCA) operates from the historic LSPU Hall (formerly the Longshoremen’s Protective Union), affectionately referred to as The Hall – which houses a 175-198 seat theatre. Downstairs houses the Cox & Palmer Second Space where a bar and smaller event space can be found. The Hall is located in the heart of downtown St. John’s, Newfoundland.

RCA is governed by an elected board of twelve (12) directors made up of arts practitioners, artists, and other professionals.

You can learn more about the ongoing work of RCA Theatre and the LSPU Hall at our main website.

The cast of East Side Story
The Mummers Troupe performed East End Story, its first show at the LSPU Hall, in 1975. LSPU Hall file photo.

Key Events in RCA’s History

1972: Chris Brookes, co-founder of the Mummers Troupe, incorporates Resource Foundation for the Arts (RFA), with the goal of creating an umbrella organization for multiple cultural organizations.

Summer 1975: The Mummers Troupe is commissioned to create East End Story, a show about the east end of downtown St. John’s. Looking for a place to rehearse, Brookes discovers the Longshoremen’s Protective Union. They agree to rent him the space for rehearsal and performance.

Fall 1975: The Mummers Troupe stages its second show at the LSPU Hall, I.W.A.: The Newfoundland Loggers’ Strike of 1959. The shows catches on and draws the attention of the City of St. John’s. The City inspects the building and says it must have a sprinkler system. The union, which had already been looking to sell the Hall, does not want to incur this expense. They agree to sell the building to RFA, which installs the sprinkler system and converts the building into a theatre.

1979: Resource Foundation for the Arts rebrands as Resource Centre for the Arts (RCA).

2008: After an extensive capital campaign seeking public and private funding, the Hall closes for nearly two years to undergo an extensive renovation. RCA Theatre continues to perform shows at venues such as The Reid, The Majestic, and the St John’s Arts & Culture Centre during the closure.

2010: RCA returns to the Hall in October with its production of Easy Down Easy in partnership with Grand Bank Regional Theatre Festival.