In 1968, an amateur Calgary company named MAC 14 became Theatre Calgary, the city’s first fully professional theatre company. Now, 49 years later, Theatre Calgary is proud to announce our 50th season lineup.
"Milestone anniversaries are always a time to reflect, and this special season is no different for us. Throughout our 50th Anniversary Season we will celebrate the people, the artists and the city that have made Theatre Calgary Southern Alberta’s largest and longest- running theatre company. The wonderful opportunities we have had to tell stories on our stage for the past 50 years, and to present the finest artists in our city and in Canada has been incredible. This season is our way to celebrate our city, our country, and the next 50 years of great theatre in Calgary." - Interim Artistic Director, Shari Wattling
“It's rainin'. And the Elbow's risin'.”
A raging flood threatens three generations of Calgarians as they struggle to come together to keep from going under. With a surging river and an aged patriarch trapped in time, the family attempts to create a legacy worth inheriting by future generations. A profound, playful and magical new Canadian play.
What better way to celebrate our 50th anniversary than to debut a new play, with Calgary at its center, by one of Canada’s greatest playwrights – Sharon Pollock. This play was commissioned and developed through FUSE: The Enbridge New Play Development Program at Theatre Calgary. A thrilling start to our season. - Shari
“Highly entertaining...deliciously funny.” - Montreal Gazette
In 1960s Montreal, Germaine Lauzon, a working-class housewife, has just won the jackpot – one million trading stamps. But who can she trust when her jealous family and neighbours come over for a stamp-sticking party? This joyous windfall of humour, heart and music is sure to pay off!
Michel Tremblay’s original play is perhaps the most iconic work of French Canadian theatre ever written. We’re proud to bring this new, English-language musical adaptation out West. You will revel in these wonderful Montreal women and their jealousies and fantasies. - Shari
"Twelfth Night is laugh-out-loud funny.” – Globe and Mail
Twins Viola and Sebastian are separated in a shipwreck and forced to find their way in a strange new land on their own. Fortunately, Illyria holds much misadventure, love and laughter for them both. This refreshing take on Shakespeare’s classic comedy will leave you rolling in the aisles, begging for a thirteenth night.
Calgary’s Old Trout Puppet Workshop is world-renowned for their wildly fantastical and brilliantly inventive designs. Combine their imaginations with Shakespeare’s wit, and Jillian Keiley’s direction, and the results are truly original and hilarious. You’ve never seen the Bard like this. - Shari
"Truly remarkable and exceptionally moving." - Chicago Tribune
Peer inside a duplex tenement apartment in New York City’s Chinatown, as the Blake family gathers for Thanksgiving. It isn’t long until old tensions boil over and personal secrets are laid on the table. One of the most critically-acclaimed plays from Broadway in recent years, The Humans is definitely something to be thankful for.
Every once in a while a play comes along that so perfectly and honestly captures the fears, the hopes and the humanity of our times. Winner of the 2015 Tony Award for Best Play and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, this play is both achingly real and piercingly funny. - Shari
"All that garden needs is us to come wake it up"
This beloved classic children’s book comes beautifully to life in this stunning Broadway musical.
A young orphan girl is sent to live with her reclusive uncle on his dark and depressing estate. When she discovers the key to a neglected garden, she reawakens the magic locked inside the garden walls and her family’s heart.
The original book has enchanted readers of all ages around the world for over a century. This musical adaptation is a glorious way to celebrate the transformative power of the imagination and the magic of theatre. A perfect way to close our 50th anniversary season! - Shari
"All the world's a stage."
This summer, follow our brave heroine Rosalind, and her cousin Celia, as they escape the rigid rules of court life for the wilds and freedom of the Forest of Arden. Here, they will fall in and out of love, encounter one of Shakespeare’s greatest fools, and discover the value of true friendship.
Our Shakespeare by the Bow program has become one of the highlights of Calgary’s summer season. We’re proud to showcase a company of emerging Alberta actors in our annual outdoor production. Bring a blanket, pack a picnic and join us for a gorgeous evening in Prince’s Island Park. - Shari
SPECIAL PRESENTATION (on St. Patrick's Island): Following the success of 2016's Shakespeare After Dark, we once again partner with Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) and return to St. Patrick’s Island with VICTORS, VILLAINS AND VIXENS for a week of evening performances from July 25 - 30. More information on the show and performance times will be available in the spring. This show will also be presented with noon-hour dates at Prince’s Island in August.
Theatre Calgary is also proud to collaborate with the National Theatre School of Canada in creating an expanded learning experience for the participant artists in the Shakespeare by the Bow program. This is a wonderful opportunity to enhance the development and education of our Shakespeare by the Bow artists.
" A fierce, funny, original work of new musical theatre." - Calgary Herald
Equal parts hilarious and heartwarming, this modern musical revue impresses with its soaring vocals and refreshingly true depictions of our most private technological transgressions. Winner of three Calgary Critics’ Awards, Touch Me is bound to get you thinking about the connections in your life. #Like
Forte Musical Theatre has become a vibrant force in the Calgary musical theatre scene. This original musical so brilliantly presents the ironies, complexities, and downright absurdities of how we interact in the age of smartphones and social media. It’s one you’ll definitely want to Tweet about. – Shari
"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."
Theatre Calgary’s annual production of Dickens’ classic tale has become a favourite holiday tradition in Calgary. The incomparable Stephen Hair returns for his 24th year as Ebenezer Scrooge! Let Tiny Tim, and the three Spirits, melt your heart with kindness and rejoice in the music of the season.
There are so few stories that can rival the power and timelessness of A Christmas Carol. As Theatre Calgary celebrates our golden anniversary, I can think of no better celebration of our history, our artists and the support of our community than our annual production. To quote Mr. Dickens: “May it haunt your houses pleasantly.”- Shari
"You're lucky you're alive right now...because you get to see Onegin." - Georgia Straight
This passionate retelling of a Russian classic will blow your mind. Innovative and in-your-face, this is musical theatre at its best. A runaway hit in Vancouver last season, Onegin is not to be missed. Undeniably charming and unreservedly sexy, don’t let this lover get away.
In case you’re wondering – it’s pronounced oh-NYAY-gin. But it really doesn’t matter how you say it, you’ll raise a glass and toast to this utterly fresh and contemporary telling of an old Russian tale. It’s a great way to heat up a Calgary winter night. – Shari
As part of our 50th season, and to celebrate our ongoing commitment to grow and expand our accessibility and education initiatives, we are excited to provide more opportunities for Calgarians to access our theatre. "Theatre Calgary is very proud of the increased focus on community engagement and accessibility initiatives we have either strengthened or developed recently," says Executive Director Colleen A. Smith. "We believe that exceptional theatre experiences should be made available to all Canadians, and that the art of theatre has the power to heal, to inspire and to illuminate issues facing citizens everywhere. We are delighted to expand our accessible community offerings for our 2017-2018 season."
One of these significant new initiatives will see Theatre Calgary partner with Inside Out Theatre’s Good Host Program in presenting an ASL interpreted performance and a Relaxed performance of A Christmas Carol. "With our Good Host program we get to partner with great theatre makers to invite in audiences that usually encounter accessibility barriers to attending live performances. Just as important as addressing practical accessibility concerns though is how we do it. We’re committed to upholding the equity and dignity of these new audience members so that they can enjoy the full play-going experience. We’re proud to have Theatre Calgary invite us to work with them to make sure theatre in Calgary really is for everybody," says Col Cseke, Artistic Director of Inside Out Theatre.
Another new program for Theatre Calgary is the New Canadians Initiative which is a partnership with the Institute for Canadian Citizenship through their Cultural Access Pass program. This program will provide access to 1000 tickets to new Canadian citizens in Calgary over the course of the season. “A gift of this size demonstrates Theatre Calgary’s commitment to inclusion,” says ICC CEO Charlie Foran. “We value the opportunity to add a performing arts dimension to CAP members’ cultural experiences during their first year of citizenship through partnerships like this one.”
We will also create the first ever High School in Residence at Theatre Calgary with Western Canada's High School Theatre Arts Program. This initiative will create a year-long exchange between students and our theatre company including 10 free tickets for Western Canada students at every opening night in the 17-18 season, access for students to attend rehearsals at various stages, workshops and artist talks in the classroom, and mentorship and support in various theatre disciplines from Theatre Calgary artists and staff toward a Western Canada Theatre Program production. We will also provide assistance in promoting fundraising efforts to refurbish the Betty Mitchell Studio at Western Canada High School. "Being the first ever high school in residence at Theatre Calgary is such an honour for Western Canada High School. Because we are the school where the amazing Betty Mitchell launched her professional theatre practice, and created what would become the beginnings of professional theatre in Calgary, we feel a special connection with Theatre Calgary's decision to acknowledge her in their 50th Anniversary Season. We are delighted for the support and opportunities offered by Theatre Calgary to our own radical young theatre artists in the 2017-2018 season. No doubt there will be a great creative exchange, for all involved," says Caitlin Gallichan-Lowe, Drama Specialist and Drama Program Co-ordinator Western Canada High School.
In addition to these exciting new offerings, Theatre Calgary will also continue to offer Rush Ticket Tuesdays and Pay-What-You-Can performances to make theatre accessible for a greater number of Calgarians. We will also be expanding our Education Series (Student Matinee) performances next season so that up to 15,000 students can experience Theatre Calgary.