Verb Theatre Society

Since 2008, Verb Theatre has served Calgary a variety of theatrical dishes designed to explore what’s important at that that moment for our community and beyond. The way we express this varies from year to year, show to show, but at the heart of our programming lies an interest in tapping into conversations and ideas that we think matter today and will matter even more to you tomorrow.


In the age of  our dearly beloved Netflix, it has become clear that theatre can still offer many things that no computer screen can. At Verb, we’re always exploring the modes of performance that serve today’s theatre goers… and maybe, more importantly, tomorrow’s. Over the years we’ve used our stage in amazing ways: non-linear structures to help an audience see the world through the eyes of an early-onset Alzheimer’s patient; sign-language-based song and dance to help bring Deaf and hearing audiences together; documentary theatre to bring a personal touch to the Physician Assisted Dying debate; participatory theatre; hyper minimalism; site-specific performance, and more. We believe that the live stage has much to offer in an age where so much is digital, and a key tenant of our mission is to find and share with you the theatre of the 21st century.


Ideas have a way of entering in and out of the collective societal conversation in waves, and at Verb, we surf at the front of these waves. For example, we created a documentary theatre project about Doctor Assisted Dying a year before the issue re-entered the supreme court, and were thrilled to continue contributing to that conversation as the topic made its way to the headlines. Each play we create or produce is specifically chosen for the way it contributes to or even incites a conversation that we think is important, interesting, and imminent.


We hire professional artists to help us connect with the community at large. Many of our shows have been created with the support of community organizations that help us reach new audiences and even introduce us to individuals whose voices become part of the shows we create. Our professional artists have been critically celebrated and our award-winning teams are regularly recognized through awards and nominations at the Calgary Theatre Critics’ Awards and the Betty Mitchell Professional Theatre Awards. Visit to learn about the ways our work has been celebrated.PREMIERES OF NEW (AND NEW-TO-US) PLAYS

Each year, we produce a play that is brand new to Calgary, to Alberta, to Canada, or even to the world! Some of these are important plays from across the globe that we just need to share with Calgary (like our 2015 production of Lungs by UK playwright Duncan MacMillan) and some are of our own creation, like our world premiere of Jim Forgetting by Verb’s own Col Cseke.

In the 2015/16 season, we are proud to present the world premiere of a work that’s been in development here at Verb for a few years, ever since a local actor/athlete approached us with an idea about creating a play that uses Mixed Martial Arts as a performance vocabulary.       THE FIGHT OR FLIGHT RESPONSE by Col Cseke will punch, kick, and bite its way to the stage in March 2016. Featuring Justin Michael Carriere and Nathan Pronyshyn, both trained MMA athletes who also happen to be professional actors, this show is sure to be one of the most physically rigorous and electric shows you’ll ever see. This show explores, jabs, and bobs around themes of masculinity, violence, and control.


Some of the work we want to see on Calgary stages just doesn’t exist yet, so we get to build it! In the past, we’ve developed new plays over the course of two or three years before it sees a public audience. For the future, we are building new structures of play development formally into our programming.

In 2015/16, we are thrilled to announce two new initiatives:

  • PROFESSIONAL COMMISSION – In September, 2015, we announced a call for proposals from professional playwrights who are interested in creating the kind of work we do at Verb. Over the coming years, this playwright and their work will receive financial and production support from Verb as we encourage Canadian playwrights to explore new forms and modes of performance. We hope to produce this playwright’s work in a coming season.


  • EXPERIMENT LAB – In September, 2015, we also announced our that 2015/16 will see Verb supporting artists in-studio with our experiment labs, designed to help artists working through creative questions and hypotheses for creating work for the 21st century. These labs will offer artists financial assistance, rehearsal space, and time to play with a creative concept before taking it to the stage. We hope that this lab will light up some diamonds in the rough that will shine in a future Verb season.

Join in the fun! 

If you’ve been reading a bit about us and are interested in supporting our work, what gets us most excited is to see you out at our shows.  Join the conversation, the party, the experience and enjoy the fruits of our labour.  We do it for you!   To learn more about our season see:

Donate Your Time or Your Cash!

We’re always looking for volunteers at Verb, so if you’ve got some time to spare, we’ll happily gobble it up! If you happen to have some cash to spare, we’d be happy to hear from you so that you can support an upcoming project that interests you. All cash donations are used to support Verb programming and operations, and you’d be amazed at how far even the smallest donation can go toward our programs.

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Verb Theatre Society

Jamie Dunsdon



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