Author: Muriel Gold
Publisher: iUniverse
ISBN: 978-1-4502-6070-1

In the 1930‘s, two entrepreneurial, dynamic and visionary women from Europe (who shared a mutual love of theatre and love for children), met and a unique friendship developed.  Over time, the friendship relationship between Dorothy Davis and Violet Walters evolved into a business relationship when they co-founded the Children’s Theatre school in Montreal, Canada.

Following the British tradition of children’s theatre, these two actress-turned-businesswomen, trained students in acting skills, line memorization, playing to an audience, clear enunciation, correct pronunciation, proper body alignment, always teaching a professional attitude of punctuality, commitment, reliability, consideration, respect for others, and co-operation.  How do I know?  I was one of their students.  Miss Davis and Miss Walters’ primary goals were ‘good speech, self-esteem and confidence’ rather than the creation of young actors and actresses, though it’s not surprising that many of their students went on to have professional careers in movies, radio, television and theatre as drama teachers/administrators/coaches, film directors/producers, writers, on-air personalities, actors and actresses.

Combining personal experience (as both student and teacher at the Montreal Children’s Theatre school), academics (Master’s thesis in Developmental Drama), and a grant from the Conseil des Arts et Lettres du Quebec (to research the history of three children’s theatre schools), author Muriel Gold wrote and published the “Dramatic Legacy of Dorothy Davis and Violet Walters.”

Gold provides a wonderful ‘trip-down-memory-lane’ through the inclusion of monologues, voice/breathing exercises, poems, and listing of theatrical productions.  Conjuring images of little girls, curtseying and little boys, bowing. at the beginning of each class with smiles on their faces, distinctly pronouncing each consonant and syllable, projecting their voices, and clearly enunciating as they greeted their teachers with “Good afternoon, Miss Davis.  Good afternoon, Miss Walters,” the author writes of a time when ‘children were children’ and were enamoured with the magical world of make-believe.

The gift of Muriel Gold’s book is both in its unique window into cultural influences in Montreal over the school’s seventy year history. and in its glimpse into the lives of two exceptional women, Dorothy Davis and Violet Walters.  Gold writes with loving respect of the two women who dedicated their lives to the children they taught, wrapping their high expectations of their students in an embrace of unconditional love, while teaching them lessons of respect, punctuality and self-discipline.  As Albert Einstein wrote, Miss David and Miss Walters taught their students “joy in creative expression and knowledge” and, thanks to Muriel Gold, the legacy they leave behind will not be forgotten.

Follow Here To Purchase The Dramatic Legacy of Dorothy Davis and Violet Walters: The Montreal Children's Theatre, 1933-2009