Quest Theatre Society
Our Story Why We Exist
Our dream is for all children to have the opportunity to be inspired and uplifted through imagination, creativity and play, regardless of their circumstances. To that end we are always looking for new ways to nurture young people through exceptional adventures in theatre. So when we found out that 53% of residents at the emergency shelter with Inn from the Cold were children, we were eager to get involved.
We reached out to their team and together determined that providing a free performance of our Christmas Stories show to these children and their families would make the biggest impact.
Although space in the shelters is limited, the Inn from the Cold team was incredible and determined to find us a place to perform. Meanwhile our team dreamed up imaginative ways to adapt the show to meet the needs of this special performance.
As word began to spread to the shelter community, excitement was quickly growing.
The night of the performance was very cold and snowy. We were thrilled as we watched excited children pouring in with their families. The kids were ecstatic to be there and jumped around with glee as the show began. Their enthusiasm was infectious as they sang along and shared their thoughts aloud throughout the performance. The little ones were so eager to be apart of the adventure that they would storm the stage whenever we asked for an audience member to help. We could see the joy the children felt reflected on many of their parents’ faces as they smiled, able to forget for a moment where they were.
From my seat, I overheard one little one say to his mom:
“This is the best Christmas ever!”
I could hardly hold back my tears.
This little guy was living in a shelter.
But it was true. We were warm inside, singing Christmas carols, drinking hot chocolate and sucking on candy canes. After the show, the performers were flooded with kids looking for hugs, and a chance to further explore the set and puppets. The space was full to bursting with Christmas cheer and happy faces.
Moments like these are what Quest Theater is all about.
"How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment. We can start now, start slowly, changing the world." - Anne Frank (1929 – 1945)
Our Impact What We Do
Quest Theatre’s vision is to nurture young people through exceptional adventures in theatre, globally. Our mandate is to serve as a catalyst for creative communication, co-operation, and change. Quest Theatre develops and produces theatrical experiences that are relevant and important to young people. The Quest experience enhances ones sense of self, engages individuals with issues in their communities, and fosters ongoing connections to the performing arts.
Quest’s legacy goes beyond our performances and programs. Our commitment to quality, intelligence and innovation are linked to our core values and guiding principles.
- Working Together: We celebrate and share the Art of Theatre by providing artistic opportunities and resources for young people, families, educators and artists. Quest blends elements of theatrical performance with current instructional methods in approaches that activate and support learning.
- Relevance and Importance: Our work involves young people in exploring important ideas that matter to them. The Quest experience has strong curriculum links that provide uniquely teachable moments. Consultation is central in identifying the needs of educators and parents and in providing meaningful and thought-provoking works of art for the young individuals that we serve.
- Personal Growth: The Quest experience provides young people with opportunities to develop new ideas, understanding and experiences within a professional theatre environment. Experiences allow individuals to explore complex ideas through the arts in a manner that complements school curricula and supports intellect and confidence. Reflection, self-awareness, recognition of alternatives and the creative expression of opinions and new insight are all hallmarks of the Quest experience.
- Contribution to Community: The Quest experience is accessible to all; it encourages acceptance of the diverse makeup of our communities and the value of respecting each other’s differences to find ways to work collaboratively. Our focus encourages young people to be self-aware, open and receptive and to make personal and community contributions in a creative, confident and conscientious manner.
- Valued Links Between Life and the Performing Arts: Quest exemplifies excellence in acting, directing, developing and delivering artistic works within our schools and communities. Young people gain insight on the performing arts as a means to describe, interpret, evaluate, judge, connect and understand ideas and issues in life. Awareness of the emotional impact of artistic experiences is also revealed through the Quest experience. The value of the arts is underscored by meeting and working with professional artists, and is affirmed by curiosity about, and intent to explore, the performing arts and similar experiences further.
- Growth and Financial Integrity: Quest Theatre works continuously to ensure that we are fiscally responsible, and deliver on our Stakeholder agreements. Our commitment to the communities we serve is evident in our artistic, social, ethical and financial integrity.
Total Participation during the 2013-2014 Season:
- Total Attendance for the Touring Shows: 30,729 students, teachers & parents
- Participants for Artist In Schools Residencies – 8,315 students, teachers & volunteers
- Attendance for Artist in Schools Residencies Final Performances – 20,788 students & parents
- Total Season Attendance – 51,517
2013-2014 contributions assisted in the overall delivery of:
- 41 performances of the Fall Tour of Beneath The Ice by Eva Colmers
- 40 performances of Quest Theatre’s Story Telling Program
- 61 performances of the Winter Tour of 500 Words by Jamie Norris
- 28 week long interactive Artists In School Residencies with themes including: Anti-Bullying, Virtues, Poetry, Classic Shakespeare, Cultural Stories and Mathematics.
Communities Visited by Quest Theatre During the 2013-14 Season
- Airdrie, Bassano, Bow Island, Brooks, Calgary, Carstairs, Chestermere, Cochrane, Condor
- Edmonton, Edson, Fort Saskatchewan, Gleichen, Grande Prairie
- Heart Lake, High River, Lac la Biche, Lethbridge, Lloydminster, Magrath, Medicine Hat,
- Okotoks, Olds, Plamondonm Peace River, Red Deer, Strathmore, Thorsby
Our Programs How We Do It
The Artists in School Residency program provides schools with a theatrical experience that brings parents, teachers and students together as a community to create their own tailor-made production. We provide youth with the opportunity to work with professional artists in character development, voice, improvisation and movement in a safe and nurturing environment.
Summer Drama Camps are held annually in the months of July and early August. It follows a similar format as the Artist in Residency program. Participants spend a week creating a performance to share with their community. We currently operate out of two locations in the North and South of Calgary. Over 400 young people participate annually.
Quest Theatre is thrilled to report the success of our free performance of our interactive play Story Telling: Christmas Stories and Songs for the families at Inn From the Cold on Thursday, November 27th, 2014. This performance will launched a 30th Anniversary “Little Acts of Kindness” campaign. With funds raised through InvestYYC Quest was able to add more free community performances. Watch out for other little acts of kindness from Quest Theatre over the holiday season and throughout Winter 2015!
Quest Theatre has been touring professional theatre to schools all over Alberta since 1984. Our plays feature award winning set and costume designs and star professional performers. We strive to provide shows that are engaging, artistic, and meaningful. Past performance themes include: Exploring Canada, Personal Safety, Acceptance of Others, Literacy, Citizenship, Kindness, and Community. Innovating and bringing the newest work for young people to schools is our goal.
We delight in bringing children exceptional adventures in theatre wherever they live, but to have the artistic excellence to be in demand beyond Alberta is something we are very proud of. Sharing our creations with cities across Canada as well as in the United States is an incredible honour. We begin our tour with our first international dates at the Chicago Children’s Theatre. This opportunity represents a substantial landmark for Quest.Hot on the heels of our shows in Chicago we will be heading back to Canada where Snow Angel will continue to gain exposure in new markets. We are thrilled to be presenting in Winnipeg at the Manitoba Young People's Theatre, as well as a part of the National Art Centre’s Family Series.
Our Requests What You Can Do
Adopt a School!
Quest is committed to bringing our programs to communities in need. More than 28 % of our performances and programs are in schools and communities that could not afford the program on their own. There is always a waiting list of schools who want to provide creative opportunities to their students but are limited financially. Your support will be directed to bringing Quest programs to these communities.
Send a Kid to Camp!
Play a transformative role in the life of a child by donating to our Access for All fund. We pool donations together so that we can offer bursaries to youth at risk. Help provide an opportunity for all children to participate in our summer camp program.
Visit our website to make a difference in a child's life today!