Our Story Why We Exist
We love sharing stories--sometimes they are based on fact, sometimes on pure fiction. That's why we come to the theatre afterall, isn't it: to share in other people's stories. At Theatre Calgary, we believe in sharing a diverse range of stories that are relevant, meaningful, and inspiring. We believe in presenting world-class theatre on our stage, with a quality that rivals stages around the world and stories that inspire.
We tell stories that...
- move people to laughter, tears anger and empathy;
- stimulate creativity;
- make sense of the chaos;
- draw on our imagination;
- expose us to new cultures;
- ignite important conversations; and
- reflect on the changing perspectives of passing generations.
These stories are made richer by the superior craftsmanship of the team--set and costume designers, carpenters, costume and prop builders, technicians, composers, musicians, voice and movement coaches, actors, playwrights, directors and more. The passion for their craft is imbued into the details of the stories. And the stories come to life.
In the telling of these stories, we have a shared experience. We take a seat in front of the stage, surrounded by strangers. Each of us is open to being stimulated, surprised, provoked and filled with wonder and delight. And by experiencing the live performance, each of us is changed in some small way. We enter the theatre as a group of curious strangers and leave as members of a community who have just shared a meaningful experience.
Our Impact What We Do
For 49 years, Theatre Calgary has presented insightful programming for the enjoyment of our audiences. We are proud to be a vital component of Calgary's creative energy. Over the past ten years, Theatre Calgary has focused our efforts on enhancing the quality of our productions on stage. We have achieved this through programming unexpected, surprising and stunning classic and contemporary plays featuring the best talents in productions of the highest quality.
- presents world premieres
- puts compelling stories on our stage
- encourages new Canadian playwrights
- supports emerging artists
- connects and engages students and educators
- enriches the audience experience
- welcomes new theatre goers with engaging programs
- subsidizes tickets for seniors
- encourage lifelong learning
- relies on volunteers
- builds loyal and enthusiastic audiences.
Theatre Calgary strives to be an essential gathering place for the dramatic arts--to encourage and enhance theatre experiences and expand opportunities for audience participation beyond the excellence on stage. We have succeeded on many fronts. Audiences can choose to enrich their experience with educational and enlightening Talkback Tuesdays, Spotlight Saturdays, Talk Thursdays or Senior Saturdays.
Educators can add depth to school curriculum and students can enliven the learning experience through our interactive learning program. With student matinees, study guides, interactive discussions with artists, young artist club and teacher club, Theatre Calgary is making valuable community connections.
Our industry series invites theatre professionals to gather to discuss issues and ideas that affect the performing arts community. The strength of the program comes from collaborating with other theatre companies and opening up the discussion to artists and the wider community.
- The feedback to all of these programs has been positive, reinforcing our commitment to being an industry leader and an essential gathering place for the dramatic arts.
COMMUNITY IMPACT: 2015-2016
As we approach our 50th anniversary, our vision is to create an opportunity for all Calgarians to experience live theatre and deepen and expand the impact of our work, on and off the stage, throughout our city’s diverse communities. This season, our ongoing interACTive pre- and post-show engagement programs included learning, participation, and discussion opportunities for seniors, students, teachers and community members, as well as theatre artists and enthusiasts.
- 10,916 students attended 17 student matinees
- 7,451 patrons attended post-show Talkbacks
- +1,500 attended Senior Saturdays
- +230 attended 4 Industry Nights
- More than 24,000 people chose to make A Christmas Carol a part of their holiday season!
- This generated an astounding $82,391.90 for the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank.
Fort McMurray Wildfire Relief
- Patrons raised $11,598.35 for the relief & recovery efforts of the Canadian Red Cross.
- Donated by the audience (The Light in the Piazza) in collection boxes set up in our lobby.
Our Programs How We Do It
Theatre Calgary enjoys support from 10,000+ subscribers and more than 100,000 single ticket buyers. Ticket sales represent a significant show of support from the community as well as a vital revenue stream. But since revenue from ticket sales only covers 60% of the cost of the productions, the success of Theatre Calgary is dependent upon community investment--the generous donations of corporations, foundations and individuals.
With an emphasis on fiscal responsibility, we strive to strike the necessary balance between keeping costs low and maintaining the quality of our stage productions. The success we have built on stage is built upon the success of our community partnerships. Our vision is to become a national destination, one that connects with Canadians and sets the bar for excellent entertainment.
THEATRE CALGARY'S 2016-17 SEASON
For complete details on our season, visit our website: theatrecalgary.com
- 'da Kink in My Hair - A Joyous Celebration by Trey Anthony
- Boom - A Dazzling Theatrical Experience - by Rick Miller
- The Audience - A Riveting Drama featuring Seana McKenna - by Peter Morgan
- A Thousand Splendid Suns - A World Premiere Production with the American Conservatory Theatre - Based on the novel by Khaled Hosseini, adapted by Ursula Rani Sarma, music by David Coulter
- Crazy for You - A Romantic Musical - Music and Lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin, Book by Ken Ludwig
- Hamlet by William Shakespeare - A Shakespeare by the Bow Presentation (summer 2016)
- A Christmas Carol - 30 Years of Spirited Tradition - by Charles Dickens
- Skylight - A Special TC Up Close Presentation
- Songs of Resilience by the Queer Songbook Orchestra - A Presentation with One Yellow Rabbit's High Performance Rodeo.
Theatre Calgary is committed to mentoring young artists and providing a bridge between post-secondary education and professional theatre. We have developed an Emerging Artists Program of the highest caliber, designed to invest in the younger generation, develop their skills and increase the pool of talent that is at the core of artistic excellence.
With a commitment to emerging artists, Theatre Calgary began producing Shakespeare by the Bow in 2012. Shakespeare by the Bow is a bridge for theatre school graduates that helps transition them to a professional acting career. Using the great texts of William Shakespeare as the foundation, these artists train in a professional setting with some of Canada's leading professional artists. Throughout the summer they share their work with Calgarians by performing in the beautiful outdoor setting of Prince's Island Park.
Through this program, we have inspired and mentored 57 theatre school graduates with a comprehensive learning experience. In addition to the practicum experience they receive from performing the play, they also benefit from coaching and workshops during the rehearsal process.
- "Participating in Shakespeare by the Bow was one of the best experiences I have had in theatre. It is unlike anything available to emerging artists in Alberta. In one swoop it provided me with greater understanding of Shakespearean text, performing experience, great connections with other emerging artists and influential people in professional theatre and a summer full of fantastic memories. I can honestly say that Shakespeare by the Bow launched my professional acting career." - Julia Guy, Shakespeare by the Bow emerging artist
For Theatre Calgary, we see the development of new talent as vital to encouraging the health and well-being of the sector. We also benefit from extending our reach into the community and grow our audience. Shakespeare by the Bow is accessible and affordable and attracts people who may be experiencing theatre for the first time.
InterACTive Learning Program
Educating young people to enjoy and appreciate theatre has a positive and lasting impact. Our commitment to ensuring their experience is meaningful is firmly entrenched in our student matinee program, which provides subsidized tickets to students. The experience is further enhanced through our Young Artist Club and Teacher Club.
Our learning program also extends to adults through audience enrichment opportunities. Every time we invite audiences to pre- or post-show discussions, play readings or workshops, we have observed an overwhelming interest, curiousity and eagerness to participate in our work beyond the stage. Theatre Calgary offers a variety of extraordinary learning experiences open to all, designed to explore the creation and experience of live theatre.
FUSE: The Enbridge New Play Development Program
This program is dedicated to the development of new original scripts and theatrical adaptations that have potential for production on the Theatre Calgary stage. FUSE has become a vital part of our vision and success at Theatre Calgary. It has allowed us to expand our creative horizons and become an important and nationally-recognized source of new, Canadian, large-scale theatrical works. It has allowed us to truly embrace our role as a leader in our artistic community, by allowing us to explore the new--new voices, new stories, new directions and new perspectives. In doing so, Theatre Calgary is able to continue moving forward as a vibrant and relevant contributor to the culture of our city and beyond.
Through the FUSE program, Theatre Calgary has developed 23 new plays and 8 of these have premiered on the main stage as part of Theatre Calgary's season. Many of these newly developed plays have enjoyed subsequent productions across the country. Most recently, Theatre Calgary produced Liberation Days by Calgary playwright David van Belle. Through several years of development through FUSE, this production was an artistic and box office success--adding an important voice to the Canadian theatre landscape.
Our Requests What You Can Do
YOUR IMPACT - Since inception, Theatre Calgary has produced 330 plays, entertained thousands of people, encouraged Canadian playwrights, mentored emerging artists, hired hundreds of artists and craftsmen, educated and inspired thousands of students, encouraged lifelong learning and contributed greatly to Calgary's creative energy. Our supporters are at the forefront of every achievement. And our supporters will be the catalyst for our future success. Please consider supporting Theatre Calgary.
There are numerous ways you can support Theatre Calgary and ensure the theatre remains a vital and dynamic contributor to Calgary's arts and culture community:
- Attend the Night with the Stars Gala - this is Calgary's most glamorous red carpet event, celebrating artistic excellence and the magic of the motion pictures. This year's gala theme 'A Royal Affair' is inspired by our 2017 production of The Audience. For one glittering evening, 500 guests will be transported to a gilded world where they will enjoy a sumptuous feast, a live broadcast of the 2017 Academy Awards, and much more, all in support of Theatre Calgary. For more information visit Support Us - Night with the Stars.
- Attend a performance - Travel to extraordinary places and delight in exploring the world with your heart, mind and imagination. Theatre Calgary presents more than 180 performances each year. To see our upcoming performances visit Tickets.
- Become a subscriber - Experience the wonderous variety and scope of pays from Canada and around the world by enjoying Theatre Calgary's entire season. More than 10,000 people subscribe to Theatre Calgary. To subscribe visit Subscriptions.
- Bring a friend - One of the best ways you can have an impact on theatre is by introducing someone who has never experienced live theatre.
- Volunteer - Theatre Calgary relies on more than 500 volunteers to help with ushering, bingos, casinos and other events. To join this essential team visit About Us - Volunteer.
- Become a member - We have a range of memberships which provide you with unique and exclusive behind-the-scenes opportunities to enhance your theatre experience, while raising vital funds for the theatre. Memberships range from $400 to $25,000.
- Donate - With an emphasis on fiscal responsibility, Theatre Calgary strives to strike the balance between providing world-class theatre while minimizing expenses. The cost of a theatre ticket only covers 60% of the cost of producing that performance. We rely on donations to maintain our place in this community. For as little as $50, you can show your support and make a difference. To support our theatre company, visit Donate Now.
- Include a bequest in your will - Theatre Calgary's vision is to become a national destination, one that connects with Canadians and sets the bar high for excellent entertainment. By including a gift for Theatre Calgary in your will, you can help us to achieve this goal.
- Make a Legacy Gift - For visionary community leaders, there are many opportunities to invest in Theatre Calgary's future. Lifetime gifts of $100,000 will be acknowledged with a pillar in the theatre lobby and an exclusive customized benefits package. There is also the opportunity to make a contribution to the Theatre Calgary endowment. To invest in our future, visit our Legacy Gifts.