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News (Alberta): AFA releases Arts Impact 2014: Ripple Effects from the Arts Sector

Arts-Impact-Alberta-2014The Alberta Founation for the Arts proudly releases Arts Impact 2014: Ripple Effects from the Arts Sector, following up the first Arts Impact Alberta with 2 more years of info.

In 2012, the AFA was proud to announce the release of the first Arts Impact Alberta: Ripple Effects from the Arts Sector, a five-year summary of the impacts and activities of the organizations that receive operational funding from the AFA. The publication demonstrated the positive and powerful contributions arts organizations make to Albertans’ quality of life. These contributions are reflected in a variety of important ways: simply put, the arts matter to Albertans; the arts matter to volunteers; and, the arts matter to the economy.

The AFA has now updated Arts Impact Alberta with two more years of data. See how the arts sector impacted Alberta through a seven-year lens and AFA operational funding is contributing to the health of the sector.

Highlights from the Executive Summary include:

  • Albertans are extremely engaged with the arts. Attendance at arts events and participation in the arts is the norm for Albertans.
  • A strong nonprofit arts sector is essential in providing opportunities for public engagement with the arts.
  • Nonprofit arts organizations in Alberta present an average of 24,000 events per year throughout the province.
  • Albertans express their commitment to the arts by volunteering. Each year, about 50,000 Albertans, the equivalent of an entire medium sized city such as Medicine Hat or St. Albert, volunteer for arts organizations that receive operational funding from the AFA.
  • The direct GDP contribution of the sector to Alberta’s economy is estimated at $110 million, resulting from approximately $203 million in total economic activity generated by nonprofit arts organizations.

Click here to download the full Arts Impact 2014: Ripple Effects from the Arts Sector PDF.

Workshops by Request – October 2014

Lighting workshopWorkshops by Request are coordinated by Theatre Alberta at your request and targeted to the specific needs of your theatre organization. Workshops in both technical and non-technical aspects of theatre bring highly trained professionals to your community for one, one and a half, or two-day workshops.

Click here to apply for a Workshop by Request.

Workshops by Request scheduled for October 2014 include:

Tech Theatre Bootcamp in Edmonton
On October 17th, technical director and designer Bobby Smale will be leading a ‘Tech Theatre Bootcamp’ covering lights, sound, and projection, with Edmonton Catholic School District teachers.

Dialects in Calmar
Doug Mertz will be heading down from Edmonton to Calmar on October 25th, and bringing with him his dialect expertise. He’ll be helping the Calmar Prairie Players with British and New York dialects for their upcoming production of A Little Dickens on the Radio.

Upcoming workshops:
More October sessions are still in the works with The Pine Tree Players of Canmore to host a makeup workshop and our 2014 Follow-up Survey Contest winners, Peak Theatre Players of Sundre, to host an acting workshop.

Workshops by Request applications are accepted throughout the year. We are now accepting applications for Workshops by Request for the 2014/2015 season! Any theatre organization in Alberta that is a group member of Theatre Alberta may apply for a workshop through the Workshops by Request program, on any topic of their choice. For more information, please email Frazer Andrews, Programmer, at frazer@theatrealberta.com.


Call for Submissions (Calgary): Nominations – Calgary’s 2015 Cultural Leaders Legacy Artist Awards

Mayor's LunchCalgary Arts Development is pleased to present the third annual Cultural Leaders Legacy Artist Awards as part of the 2015 Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions.

The seven $5,000 awards that will be presented are as follows, and nominations are open as of Wednesday, September 24th.

ATB Financial Healing Through the Arts Award
CCIS New Canadian Artist Award
Colin Jackson and Arlene Strom Creative Placemaking Award
Doug and Lois Mitchell Outstanding Calgary Artist Award
Enbridge Emerging Artist Award
MacLachlan Community Beacon Award
SANDSTONE City Builder Award

To review the award guidelines and submit nominations, please visit MayorsLunch.com. The deadline to submit nominations is 4:30pm on Friday, November 21st, 2014.

News (National): Edmonton Playwright Nicole Moeller featured in National Play Reading Series.

Nicole Moeller

Nicole Moeller

Nicole Moeller and her new work The Mothers was one of 6 plays selected across Canada to take part in the Nightwood Theatre’s New Groundswell Festival: A National Festival of Contemporary Women’s Theatre. Nightwood Theatre is a Toronto based company which forges creative alliances among women artists from diverse backgrounds in order to develop and produce innovative Canadian Theatre.

The submission call went out to female artists in Canada in February 2014. The play was read on Friday, September 12 in the Dancemakers Studio in Toronto’s Distillery District, directed by Leah Cherniak, and performed by Patricia Fagan.

An incredible and beneficial opportunity, Nicole reports the reading went extrememly well and was invaluable to the development process of the play, and herself as an artist.

The Mothers will have its world premiere as part of SkirtsAfire 2015, February 26 – March 5, 2015.

Call for Submissions (Edmonton): Peep Show new scripts – SkirtsAFire herArts Festival

SkirtsAfire2015SUBMISSION CALL for Peep Show!

Deadline: November 1, 2014

Alberta Playwrights’ Network and SkirtsAfire are now accepting submissions for the third annual Peep Show a tease of new plays that will be presented at the 2015 edition of SkirtsAfire herArts Festival taking place March 5-8, 2015 in Edmonton.

  • Submissions must be non-produced pieces written by Edmonton and area women.
  • Four plays will be chosen to have segments read by a cast of professional actors. 

Submission guidelines are as follows:

  • Your play must be received via e-mail by Saturday November 1, 2014
  • Please include a cover letter with contact information, playwright biography
    and a synopsis of the play
  • Plays must not have been previously produced or published
  • No musicals are accepted 

Please send submissions to:

Tracy Carroll
Alberta Playwrights’ Network

For more information visit our websites:



Event (Calgary): Creative Calgary Congress – Calgary Arts Development

CADACreative Calgary Congress

November 6, 2014
University of Calgary – Downtown Campus (906 8th Ave. SW)
$25 (includes breakfast and lunch)

Come connect around opportunities that place the arts at the centre of building our city.

The Creative Calgary Congress will facilitate the conversations necessary to nurture a collaborative, resilient and innovative arts ecosystem in Calgary. The full-day event will begin with a keynote address from Erik Takeshita of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN), a leader in arts-based community development and creative placemaking. Nine breakout sessions will include panels, presentations and workshops on topics including creative placemaking, citywide engagement, fund development and more. A networking lunch will provide opportunities to explore common interests as well as possibilities for collaboration and partnership.

Register now and be a part of building a vital, prosperous and connected city through the arts.

Library: New reference books catalogued and available for lending!

EverydayVoiceCare  StagingInteractiveMysteryPlay  PageToStage

Theatre Alberta’s librarians have catalogued 15 new reference books over the weekend and added them to the stacks of Canada’s largest fully circulating, independent theatre library. These new acquisitions are now available for lending – remember, we mail titles free-of-charge to our members outside of Edmonton. Click here to view the new reference titles (PDF), or visit the New Items page in our Online Catalogue to check out more than 200 titles that have been added to our collection over the last three months!

Visit theatrealberta.com/library or call us at 780-422-8162 (or toll-free at 1-888-422-8160 if you live outside of Edmonton) to reserve a title today!

All Stages Online: Fall 2014 – Raising [the] Capital, Part III – Tracy Carroll

*Ed. Note: As part of our online component to All Stages Magazine Fall 2014 edition on Audience Engagement, we have published a three part interview series by Tracy Carroll, exploring how some Edmonton Artistic Directors are programming to expand their company audience bases. Click for Part one and Part two. Part three (below) features L’Unithéâtre Artistic Director Brian Dooley.

Raising [the] Capital: Expanding the Edmonton Audience (Part III)
by Tracy Carroll 

Our provincial capital boasts a healthy and diverse theatre community, but with so many established theatre companies in the city, what are they doing to attract new patrons?

I spoke with some prominent people in Edmonton’s theatre community to see if indeed theatres are thinking this way. It turns out that there is more than just creative programming going on to fill seats…


If you travel East down Whyte Avenue to the heart of Bonnie Doon, you will find L’Unithéâtre, housed in the bustling facility of La Cité Francophone. L’UniThéâtre is the only professional French language theatre company in Alberta and has been producing plays for decades. The ongoing challenge for this company is the specific task of programming plays for a Franco-Albertan audience.

Artistic Director Brian Dooley doesn’t want L’UniThéâtre to be a ghettoized theatre so his hope is that its appeal will widen to include Anglophones and Francophiles—those who appreciate the French language but are not necessarily French speakers.

Dooley has been finding new audiences with the addition of English surtitles a few years back, and with productions like Mercy of a Storm/ De Plein fouet dans la tempête, an English play by Jeffery Hatcher that was translated into French—a co-production with Northern Light Theatre. He calls this a co-lingual production, as alternating evenings were presented in French and English. Some patrons came to see both versions of the show.


L’Unithéâtre’s 2014/2015 Season

With about 235,000 French–speaking people in Alberta, Dooley points out that a large portion is immersion or Francophile. So making efforts to reach out to these different communities is very important for audience development.

Another approach that Dooley is taking is in nurturing the Franco-Albertan voice on the stage. He says, “My goal at L’Unithéâtre is to create a pool of Franco-Albertan writers—three plays next year presented as readings and one of them programmed in the following season.”

He doesn’t know yet if this idea will bring in new audiences, “But I think it’s important—you have to develop your local stories to reflect your community. Otherwise, you become a roadhouse, bringing in shows from elsewhere.”

Introducing these elements can be seen as a disruption of sorts. Dooley feels that it will take time for the community to adjust, but he believes that “people will always glom to quality.”

Penny Ritco

Penny Ritco

Brian Dooley

Brian Dooley

Murray Utas

Murray Utas

So it seems that not only are Edmonton theatre managers and artistic directors creative, but they are also smart and resourceful. Programming plays and events that will draw in new audiences is an important factor in the health of theatre companies in Edmonton. But an overlaying factor that will deepen the longevity is the philosophy behind each. Companies need to cater to new and changing times, as Brian Dooley says, “Our children will expect something different from the theatre than what we did.”

Penny Ritco talks about a new attitude towards patrons as making the difference, “We approach our theatre goers as specific people instead of a mass of audience.”

And perhaps a shared approach by the entire community is the way to go. At Fringe Theatre Adventures, Murray Utas believes that “we all need to come together and go forward as a community. Start a conversation… develop a deeper integration with companies to build a new foundation in Edmonton.”

Tracy CarrollTracy_Carroll-sm lives and works in Edmonton as a director and dramaturg with a particular focus on new works and Theatre for Young Audiences. She is the Artistic Associate-North for Alberta Playwrights’ Network, and recently directed/dramaturged Conni Massing’s new play The Invention of Romance for Workshop West Theatre and a staged reading of The Book of Ashes by Emil Sher at the St. Albert Children’s Festival. She was also director of the Sprouts New Play Festival for Concrete Theatre in June 2014.

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 A special thank you to our advertisers for their support of All Stages – Fall 2014
University of Lethbridge | University of Alberta | Keyano Theatre
Alberta Drama Festival Association (ADFA) | The Citadel Theatre / Robbins Academy 
School of Creative and Performing Arts

Audition (Edmonton) : Cheerleader! at The Roxy – Human Loser Productions

CheerleaderHuman Loser Productions is holding auditions for its upcoming production of Cheerleader! by Morgan Smith, directed by Clinton Carew, as part of Theatre Network’s Roxy Performance Series.

So you think being a cheerleader is easy? Try keeping your boyfriend the star quarterback sober and out of jail. Try keeping your best friend from holding your hand in the locker room. Try keeping the jealous wide receiver from ruining EVERYTHING. Human Loser’s fast-paced, darkly comic Fringe hit is back. RAH!

We have one final role to cast and are looking for a male who looks 20-25

Auditions will be held Saturday October 4 at FAVA, 9722 102 St NW

Please submit a headshot and resume to morgan.norwich@gmail.com. If selected for an audition, you’ll be asked to prepare a monologue of your choice (dramatic or comedic, contemporary or classical, whatever you like best!) You may also be sent some short sides to prepare.

Cheerleader! runs January 13 – 25, 2014

Rehearsals will begin after Christmas, with some reading and workshop dates in November and December.

Cheerleader! is being produced as a Co-op with the Canadian Actors Equity Association. Both Equity and non-Equity actors may audition, but preference must be given to Equity actors when scheduling auditions.

News (National): Colleen Murphy’s Pig Girl nominated for Carol Bolt Award

Colleen Murphy

The current University of Alberta Department of Drama Lee Playwright in Residence, Colleen Murphy, has had her play Pig Girl nominated for the 2014 Carol Bold Award (full PGC news release below). Pig Girl received its World Premiere at Theatre Network in Edmonton in 2013. Congratulations!


The short list for PGC’s Carol Bolt Award, as well as the Stage West Pechet Family Comedy & Musical Awards were released today by their respective juries:


This award is given annually for the best work by a PGC-member that has premiered in the past year. JURY: Yvette Nolan (Chair), Jacob Zimmer, Glenda MacFarlane, and Brian Dooley.

  • Sean Dixon (ON) for A God In Need Of Help,
  • Matthew Heiti (ON) for Mucking In The Drift
  • Colleen Murphy (ON) for Pig Girl


This award is given annually for a new musical work by a PGC-member, which has not yet had a premiere production. JURY: Jonathan Monro (Chair), Katrina Dunn, Joseph Trefler, and Bruce Ruddell.

  • Sara Farb (ON) for Bremen Rock City (composer/ lyrics Colleen Dauncey & Akiva Romer-Segal),
  • Amiel Gladstone & Veda Hille (BC) for Evgeni Onegin Project; and
  • Lezlie Wade & Daniel Green (ON) for The Remarkable Journey Of Prince Jen


This award is given annually for a new comedy by a PGC-member, which has not yet had a premiere production. JURY: Elvira Kurt (Chair), Lib Spry, Caleb Marshall, and Camyar Chai.

  • Jordan Hall (BC) for How To Survive An Apocalypse,
  • Marcia Kash & Douglas E. Hughes (ON) for Something Fishy
  • Lea Daniel & Gary Kirkham (ON) for Pocket Rocket

The winners for each award’s category will be announced at PGC’s Tom Hendry Awards Event on October 27th at 401 Richmond St. W, 6pm to 9pm. rsvp@playwrightsguild.ca or 416-703-0201

View the synopses of the shortlisted plays and bios of the jurors.

Classes (Calgary): Fall Physical Theatre/Acting classes for Adults – Theatre A Go-Go

IMG_6757WHO: Adults (with performance experience)

WHAT: CHARACTER MASKS – Join us in discovering the world of character masks! Masks guide us back to the roots of our physical presence. Players will explore various Character Masks and choose one to develop. Through exploratory mask work, movement, ensemble and Improvisation games, players will utilize issues of relevance or importance to create a modern day Chorus. The ensemble will play and share their creation at the end of the program.

WHEN: Sundays Oct. 19 – Dec. 7 @ 1:00-3:00pm
OR Mondays Oct. 20 – Dec. 8 @ 7:30-9:00pm (8 classes)

INVESTMENT: Discount = $134/player, for registration by Oct. 6 or members of: University/college, Parkdale Community, Morpheus Theatre, or Calgary Acts
Regular = $184/player

WHERE: All classes take place at the Morpheus Rehearsal Centre in the Parkdale Community Centre (3512 5 Ave. N.W.)

Register now and give yourself the gift to imagine and express through the Physical Theatre Arts!
For more information or to register,
contact Tanya @ theatreagogo@telus.net or
T.A.G.G.–You’re it!

What’s On (Calgary): Richard Scarry’s BUSYTOWN the musical – StoryBook Theatre

Busytown-Logo-no-Background-01RICHARD SCARRY’S
BUSYTOWN the musical
October 3 to 25 2014
Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm
Saturdays and Sundays at 11am, 2pm & 4pm

RUNNING TIME: One Act Musical – 55 minutes

Busytown is always buzzing with activity. But what do people do all day? That’s where Huckle Cat comes in—he’ll take us on a tour of his great neighborhood. And there is so much to see and do, so many wonderful friends to visit. Huckle shows us how Farmer Pig and Grocer Cat work together to bring food to the town. Construction Worker and his crew build new houses, and Firechief and the gang keep them safe. Isn’t it wonderful how everyone works together to keep Busytown busy?

Call 403-216-0808 for tickets or visit www.storybooktheatre.org.

What’s On (Calgary): Farewell, My Lovely – Vertigo Theatre (co-produced with The Arts Club Theatre Company)

Farewell, My Lovely

Farewell, My Lovely

Farewell, My Lovely

Sept 20 to Oct 19, 2014

A Hard-Boiled Detective Tale
Detective Phillip Marlowe is about to give up on a completely routine case when he finds himself in the wrong place at the right time to get caught up in murder, a fortune-teller, a couple more murders, and more corruption than your average graveyard. All in a day’s work for America’s most famous private eye. Vertigo is proud to partner with Vancouver’s Arts Club Theatre Company on the world premiere of this outstanding adaptation by Canadian playwright Aaron Bushkowsky. Call 403-221-3708 for tickets or visit www.vertigotheatre.com.

What’s On (Alberta School Tour): Pigs in a Canoe and Other Watery Stories – WP Puppet Theatre

Audiences will meet the Greedy Frog, who swallowed all the water in the world; Water Droplet’s funny adventures as he moves through water phases; shadowy creatures of The Deep; and of course adorable MacTavish the piglet and six additional pigs as they travel down Manitoba’s Red River.
Dramatic lighting, music and sound effects bring to life the repertoire of historical anecdotes, facts, fictions, riddles and song.
“Pigs in a Canoe” is a performance with multiple core curricula links such art, drama, music, social studies, language arts and science. It’s also a fun family show for children ages 4 and up. The Study Guide is a great on-line companion that can be reviewed by educators and their students both before and after the production as well as parents.
This one person production is available for school and special event bookings throughout Alberta. Call 403-228-3373 or visit www.wppuppet.com for more information and to book.

What’s On (Calgary): Season 15: Clean Cut – Dirty Laundry

Dirty_LaundryCalgary’s completely live, completely improvised comedy soap opera

Dirty Laundry



Monday Nights @ 7:30 pm
Lunchbox Theatre (base of the Calgary Tower)

September 29 – December 22, 2014
February 2 – May 18, 2015
**No shows some Mondays.

Check website for complete schedule. Tickets $16 at the door or online

Improv comedy troupe Dirty Laundry presents weekly episodes of an improvised soap opera that runs all season long. Everything that happens on stage is made up on the spot!

In Season 15: Clean Cut, Dirty Laundry takes a little off the top. The setting this season is 1980s New York. In a world where sunglasses are worn at night, where girls just wanna have fun, and where love is tainted, you’ll find two warring hair salons. In Dirty Laundry: Clean Cut “Big Hair is Big Business”. It’s salon sass, New York style.