Ringwood, Gwendolyn

Ringwood, Gwendolyn, née Pharis, playwright (b at Anatone, Wash 13 Aug 1910; d near Williams Lake, BC 24 May 1984). Ringwood was western Canada's regional dramatist par excellence. Her prairie tragedy, Still Stands the House (first performed June 1938, publ 1939), is one of the most frequently anthologized and performed Canadian plays. A pioneer of western community theatre, she began her career as secretary to the U of A extension director of drama, and wrote and produced her first stage play, The Dragons of Kent, in 1935 when she was registrar of the new Banff School of Fine Arts [ BANFF CENTRE ]. She polished her playwriting skills at U of N Carolina drama department, where she wrote numerous folk plays, culminating in Dark Harvest. She received the Gov Gen's Award for outstanding service to Canadian drama (1941), and published the first volume of collected plays in 1982 by a Canadian dramatist. The Gwen Pharis Ringwood Civic Theatre (1971), Williams Lake, BC, is named for her.