the “Bermudiana ;eatre Club was a bona ;de
club reserving the rights of membership, and
that membership was limited to persons of unmixed European blood only.” A small picture
of the picketers appeared on the back page of
;e Royal Gazette on February 24 although
a report that members of the House of Assembly E. T. Richards and Russell Pearman had
raised the issue did appear on the front page:
“Discrimination Issue Raised in Assembly.”
However, by the end the reported discussion
focussed on misrepresentation through false
advertising rather than on unethical racial
Parliament o;ered little hope of resolving
the issue but the Guild did not give up hope.
Georgine in her role as executive secretary of
the New ;eatre Guild wrote to the executive
secretary of Actors Equity in New York asking
for help in combatting discrimination in the
;eatre. On March 10 he duly wrote a letter
to ;e Royal Gazette explaining that Actors
Equity’s polices did not support discrimination. Equity Magazine publicised the issue and
suggested actors should not perform at the
Bermudiana until the policy was changed.
In reaction, the ;eatre Club o;ered
an unsatisfactory compromise which was
re;ected in new ads. ;ree nights would be
open to all—Monday, Wednesday and Friday
nights—and the ;ursday matinee would be
for club members. ;e opening night would
be reserved for the governor and specially
invited ticket holders only. Georgine promptly
wrote to a British Member of Parliament
pointing out that if the governor appeared on
a whites-only night he would be seen to be
supporting racism. As a result, the Secretary
of State for the Colonies advised the governor
“he should attend the Bermudiana ;eatre
Club only on nights when the general public
could also attend.”
How would the social elite feel if the gov-
ernor was not in attendance on the opening
night? ;e victory was won: ;e doors were
;nally opened to all for every performance.
And eventually the ads for the performances
dropped the word “Club” altogether.
Georgine Hill, right, and Eva Robinson
picketing the Bermudiana Theatre in 1951.
The success of the protest paved the way
for the bigger theatre boycott in 1959.