Theatre Alberta is a registered charity and provincial arts service organization dedicated to the growth and development of the Alberta theatre community. We proudly represent ~900 individual and group members from across the province, providing responsive programs, services, and advocacy that connect emerging, professional, amateur, and educational theatre artists.
Theatre Alberta’s core programs and services are designed to foster sustainability in Alberta’s theatre industry, and pride and curiosity in Alberta’s theatre artists. We connect artists from age 12 to senior citizens, at any and all stages of their theatrical journeys. This inclusive approach has resulted in many members of the theatre community who are able to say that Theatre Alberta has been involved in and inspired their practice at several important touchpoints.
We have operated Artstrek—a summer theatre school for Alberta teenagers—since 1995. Artstrek is a uniquely Albertan program that was founded in 1960 as the ‘Olds Drama Seminar.’ Prior to 1995, various arts and culture branches of the Government of Alberta operated the school. Its history in the province includes five years in Olds; 17 years as the Drumheller Summer Drama School (1965 to 1981); two years in Fairview, when the name Artstrek and the curriculum model used to this day was introduced (1982 to 1983); 13 years in Vermillion; and 23 years at Red Deer Polytechnic (formerly Red Deer College). Artstrek 2020 would have been the school’s 60th Anniversary and 24th year in Red Deer, but the program was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the summer of 2021, we offered Artstrek entirely online, and changed the format of the curriculum to shorter, free of charge individual workshops and community building activities, attending carefully to student capacity for online learning.
While Artstrek has evolved and changed locations over the decades, its focus on providing opportunities for teens from across the province—many of whom do not have access to formal theatre training—to learn performance and creativity skills in a safe and inclusive environment has resulted in more than 10,000 alumni who champion the program across the country.
Theatre Alberta is extremely proud of our work on Artstrek over the past 25 years, having doubled student registration in the 2000s, sold-out for eight consecutive summers from 2005 through 2012, and then expanded the program from two to three weeks of classes in 2013 in order to meet demand. In July of 2019 (our most recent in-person edition of the school), we saw the highest attendance in Artstrek’s history, hosting 355 teens from across Alberta. More than 95% of Artstrek students consistently rate the program as excellent or very good, and young people return to the school year after year. In 2016, Artstrek was honoured to receive the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for Outstanding Contribution to Theatre in Edmonton.
Artstrek is a vital part of Theatre Alberta’s operations and service to our members across the province. We are proud to have many members whose careers have evolved in concert with our programs and services: as teenagers they attended Artstrek, our summer theatre school for teens; as post-secondary graduates they auditioned for the professional theatre community at Emerge, our annual general audition showcase; and as adults they interact with us by using our Library, seeking out or sharing their own learning opportunities through our website, promoting their work through our Playbill service, and teaching for or attending our various professional development programs.
Scroll down to take a look through Artstrek’s history. Click on a title or image to see the play in our Library’s Online Catalogue (where available)!
Red Deer Polytechnic, Red Deer
Frankenstein by Jonathan Christenson
Lakeland College, Vermillion
The Visit by Friedrich Durrenmatt
Fairview College, Fairview
1965-1981 Drumheller Summer Drama School
If you have any photos from Drumheller Summer Drama School that you would like to share here, send us an email at [email protected]!
1960-1964 Olds Drama Seminar
We don’t have any photos or images from the Olds Drama Seminar! Do you? We’d love to see them and post them here for all to see! If you do then send us an email at [email protected]
- 2019 Les Miserables(school edition) by Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Shonberg, and Herbert Kretzmer
- 2018 Macbeth by William Shakespeare
- 2017 Vimy by Vern Thiessen Borrow Vimy from our Library
- 2016 In the Heights by Quiara Alegria Hudes and Lin-Manuel Miranda
- 2015 A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
- 2014 Unity (1918) by Kevin Kerr
- 2013 Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein
- 2012 Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
- (2007) Who has seen the Wind by Lee MacDougall
- Our Town by Thornton Wilder
- 2011 You Can’t Take it with You by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman
- The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
- Into the Woods by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim
- Frankenstein by Jonathan Christenson
- Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein
- Les Miserables(school edition) by Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Shonberg, and Herbert Kretzmer(
- The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht
- Antigone by Jean Anouilh
- Sticks and Stones by James Reaney
- The Madwoman of Chaillot by Jean Giraudoux
- The Visit by Friedrich Durrenmatt
- As You Like It by William Shakespeare
- Quiet in the Land by Anne Chislett
- Village of Idiots by John Lazarus
- Richard III by William Shakespeare
- The Good Woman of Setzuan by Bertolt Brecht
- The Grapes of Wrath by Frank Galati, adapted from the novel by John Steinbeck
- Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas
- The Aberhart Summer by Conni Massing
- Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare