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News: Red Deer’s Ignition Theatre to disband

News: Red Deer’s Ignition Theatre to disband


RED DEER – Ignition Theatre has produced more than 40 critically acclaimed productions in Central Alberta throughout the past seven seasons. On June 16th, 2012 following the final performance of Ignition’s final play in its 2011/2012 season, Corpus Christi, Ignition will be saying its final goodbye.

Ignition Theatre is widely known for producing provocative and sometimes controversial productions including: Oleanna, The Shape of a Girl, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Red Light Winter, My Name is Rachel Corrie, Dog Sees God, Speech & Debate, Bug, Big Shot and reasons to be pretty. Additionally, Ignition has produced 3 world premieres: Fertile Choices, Year After Year and Divide in addition to two summer theatre festivals which featured more than 10 original plays.

Ignition Theatre will be moving its production of Corpus Christi from the Nickel Studio at The Red Deer Memorial Centre to the main stage at City Centre Stage downtown. The production will now run June 7th, 8th, 9th, 14th, 15th and 16th. Curtain will remain at 7:30PM nightly. Tickets for Corpus Christi will be exclusively on sale at Ticket Central, Charge by Phone: 403.347.0800 and online:

Ignition Theatre would like to especially acknowledge the support of its patrons, the hundreds of artists we have had the pleasure of working with, the local media (especially Lana Michelin at the Red Deer Advocate and Mark Weber with the Red Deer Express), the local theatre community (Central Alberta Theatre, Red Deer College) and above all else, Stephen and Cindy Ridge who gave our company and our community an opportunity to produce an eclectic brand of live theatre and trusting us to produce theatre with integrity, passion and risk.

Obviously this has been a tremendously difficult decision. Following the closure of The Matchbox, we convinced ourselves that we could re-brand and continue to produce high caliber theatre in a small studio space upstairs at The Memorial Centre. While we have been incredibly proud of the work we have both created and invited into that space, we have been unable to maintain the caliber of theatre both our artists and audiences are used to.

In a way, I feel as though we’ve served our role as trailblazers and we’ve left our mark. There will be many more crops of artists graduating from the new Theatre Performance and Creation program at Red Deer College and I hope they will make the decision to stay and create in Red Deer and can look to what we have accomplished and have the confidence to set up shop in Central Alberta.

We genuinely hope that our audiences and the community will make the effort to purchase tickets to our final production as a celebration of the work we’ve done for the past seven seasons to demonstrate to emerging artists that Red Deer is indeed a supportive and nurturing cultural community. Personally, for Ignition, we wanted to move the production downtown so that we could produce a technically exciting show and allow Corpus Christi the literal and figurative space to truly become what we think will ultimately be our signature production. We are extremely thankful for the support from Central Alberta Theatre in accommodating us this entire season and for facilitating this move for our final production.

I’m not sure I will ever have another opportunity like the one I had with Ignition Theatre for the rest of my professional career. I am beyond grateful and have no words to properly express my gratitude to this community for all they have given both myself and Ignition Theatre. Both Stephanie Ridge (Production Manager, Co-Founder) and I feel a tremendous debt that we hope to repay by continuing to contribute to both the Red Deer cultural community and the artistic community in general. We hope our work has inspired the artists we have worked with to either continue to call Red Deer home or to visit often and remind themselves of how much the theatrical community has grown, and can continue to grow, in this city.

– Matt Grue, Artistic Director, Ignition Theatre

Tickets for Ignition Theatre’s final production go on sale April 2nd, 2012.

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