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SPECIAL EDITION: World Theatre Day 2013

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World Theatre Day Messages
Artstrek 2013 Update
A Tribute to David van Belle
Theatre Memories
Shows Playing This Week
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To our Members:

Notes for World Theatre Day 2013

Message from the President of the Board

We asked Theatre Alberta Board President Michele Fleiger to write a few words in honour of World Theatre Day 2013.

Michele (BFA/MFA) currently practices THEATRE in classrooms, stairwells, lobbies, art galleries and other assorted spaces. She practices with students at the University of Alberta in the Departments of Drama, Music and Medicine, as well as at the International Student Centre and at Portage College in Lac La Biche.

Michelle Fleiger

People who practice THEATRE

meant to be read out loud

People who practice THEATRE don’t just work on plays.
They also work in libraries,
sell houses and cars and clothes and drinks,
They go to school.
They are 8 and 22 and 45 and 88.

People who practice THEATRE don’t just write, act, direct, design, manage, publicize and produce plays.
They also raise kids, teach, practice law, practice medicine, play music, play sports, run for office, run businesses, legislate and oppose, rally and occupy, protest and defend and celebrate.
Because people who practice THEATRE understand that the practice of THEATRE extends waaaayyyy beyond the walls of a theatre.

It happens in alleys and elevators and abandoned storefronts and bars and shipping containers.
It happens in classrooms and lobbies and hallways and stairwells and on the street.

People who practice THEATRE understand that theatre offers us a chance to connect.
to ourselves.
to each other.
to the world.

Because at a time when we increasingly engage with our communities as siloed solos, going to see a piece of theatre gives us an opportunity to enter into a silent communion with people.

with people we know but,
more importantly,
with people we don’t know.

When we make the choice to go to the theatre we are making ourselves available to the present and all of its vagaries
We make ourselves available to the possibility of a renewal of faith, of spirit, of grace.
for ourselves and each other.
buy a ticket,
go to a play,
make a donation to a theatre or
to a theatre organization whose mandate is to serve its community of theatre!!
but know too,
that the essential power of the theatre extends waaaay beyond the performance of a play.
People who practice THEATRE get this.
They get that those so called “soft skills” like
collaboration and creativity,
the importance of openness to diversity,
and cooperation
and peace making that are part of the practice of any creative process like making theatre are critical to the practice of EVERYTHING.
Every relationship. Every workplace. Every city and province and territory and state and country.
They are the strategies of an attendance to the present that make the future possible.
People who practice theatre also understand that when you trigger passion you also trigger the potential for conflict and that somehow you have to find a way to deal with this often inexorable fact.

Now, I’m not saying that people who practice THEATRE have all the answers but

We do know where to start.

We start by knowing…

that we are all made out of shipwrecks, every single board
washed and bound like crooked teeth on these rocky shores

so come on and let’s wash each other with tears of joy and tears of grief 
and fold our lives like crashing waves….

if we hold on tight we’ll hold each other together
and not just be some fools rushing to die in our sleep

all these machines will rust I promise, but we'll still be electric
 shocking each other back to life

(an excerpt from Wooden Heart by Dan Smith)

Now more than ever the world needs people who practice THEATRE.

Happy World Theatre Day to you all!

~ Michele Fleiger
Theatre Alberta Board President


2013 World Theatre Day Messages

“As far as I can remember, everything I have ever learned, and that has mattered to me, I have learned through storytelling. And I have learned much by being told and telling stories through theatre."

~ Micheline Chevrier
from her 2013 Canadian World Theatre Day Message


Micheline Chevrier has been commissioned by The Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT), Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC) and l'Association des théâtres francophones du Canada (ATFC) to create and deliver the Canadian World Theatre Day message for 2013.

Micheline was chosen as Canada's 2013 message author and is currently the Distinguished Visiting Artist at the University of Alberta and guest director of Saint Joan at U of A Studio Theatre.

All are invited to hear Ms. Chevrier deliver her World Theatre Day message publicly at 12 noon on March 27th in the Timms Centre for the Arts lobby.

Micheline has written both French and English versions of her message. Click here to watch Micheline's 2013 Canadian World Theatre Day message on YouTube.


Playwright, author and Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo has been commissioned by the International Theatre Institute (ITI) to author the World Theatre Day message for 2013. Click here to read Dario Fo's message.


Donate to Theatre Alberta on World Theatre Day

Theatre Alberta is a non-profit organization and registered Canadian charity. We rely on support from our members and the wider provincial theatre community to continue to offer our world class programs, services and resources.

Last year at this time, Theatre Alberta was overwhelmed by the generosity of the Albertan theatre community through the success of our 100 Angels of Theatre Alberta giving campaign. We hope that in celebration of World Theatre Day 2013, you will consider donating to Theatre Alberta. Donate in the name of a theatre artist, administrator or technician that has made a difference in your community! We will publish the names of all those who donate on World Theatre Day in Theatre Buzz.

Click here to donate online or call us at 1-888-422-8160 (or 780-422-8162 in Edmonton). And, thank you again for your support.


Artstrek 2013 Update

*** Remember: Artstrek registration begins on April 2nd at 10 a.m. The Artstrek 2013 website includes:


If you plan to attend Artstrek, why not join our Facebook event? Click here to join.

If you're on Twitter, tweet your favourite Artstrek memory using the hastag #Artstrek or #Artstrek2013 and Theatre Alberta will RT! (You can follow us at @TheatreAlberta.)



Every year, dozens of students receive financial assistance from individuals or local organizations from their own communities to attend Artstrek. Theatre Alberta encourages and facilates this community grassroots initiatve through our Community Sponsorship program.

Sponsoring a teen to attend Artstrek with either a full or partial sponsorship is an investment in the future of your community and Alberta’s young people. Educators’ and theatre organizations’ feedback consistently includes the benefit of the Artstrek program on students’ theatre and life skills, as well as to their local arts communities.

If you would like to sponsor a teen to attend Artstrek 2013 but don't know where to start, please contact Theatre Alberta toll-free at 1-888-422-8160 (or 780-422-8162 in Edmonton), or email us at theatreab@theatrealberta.com.


A Tribute to David van Belle

David van Belle


Theatre Alberta's long time All Stages Magazine Editor, David van Belle, has wrapped up his tenure with our organization in order to focus more on his Calgary theatre company Ghost River Theatre... and on being a new dad! After five years and 15 issues as editor, which included transitioning our member newsletter format into an actual magazine, we are very grateful for the time, verve and energy that David has committed to our publication.

And so, we thought we'd pick his brain a little bit. Click here to watch our exit interview with David. We hope you enjoy watching it as much as we did filming it!

And be sure to check out all the extra online content from the latest issue of All Stages: Spring 2013 - An Actor's Life for Me.

All Stages Spring 2012

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Favourite Theatre Memories

Theatre Alberta staff share their favourite theatre memories in honour of World Theatre Day 2013.


I was facilitating a talk back following a school matinee performance of Marty Chan's The Forbidden Phoenix in the fall of 2008 at the Citadel Theatre. I chose an excited young man in the first few rows to start our conversation about the production. His question:

"Is this for real?"

Not "Is this a true story?" But actually, was the experience that he just participated in "real"? And if so, "can I touch you [the actors]?"

Yes, little friend, it is for real and only because you were here to share it with all of us. He was invited onstage to hug an actor. (I happily marched back to my desk after the talk back to re-read Philip Auslander's Liveness.)


In 200-something. 2007 maybe? 2008? Trevor Schmidt and I took a trip to New York to do a show at the Frigid Festival. It was fun and exciting but not a windfall financial success by any means.

While on that trip Trevor and I walked around New York, swooned at the big lights of broadway and saw a LOT of amazing theatre. Among them the Moises Kaufman masterpiece 33 Variations starring Jane Fonda. Celebrity worship aside, this was one of the most startling pieces of work I had ever experienced. Ever.

All these years later I am still at a loss to describe how touched I was by both the story and the mastery involved in its creation. When the lights went down for the final moment and the applause were finished, Trevor and I sat there in our seats, unable to hide our tears from each other... We sat for a long time I think and afterwards we picked up all our shopping bags and stepped back out onto the busy Manhattan streets certain we had just witnessed something...magical.


If I think of the theatre experience as being engulfing - as an event that envelopes one's whole self not just because of the quality of the production but also because of "who I am right now" - then I would have to choose the 2000 University of Alberta Studio Theatre production of Pericles, Prince of Tyre, directed by Jean Stéphane Roy.

I loved that production because Shakespeare came alive for me in a way I had not conceived before. The abstract visual elements were striking and the play was raw and compelling in the way that Shakespeare should be (but most times fails to acheive). I credit the excellent ensemble work of the cast as much as I do the direction and design.

I was in my second year of the BFA acting program at the U of A, and my class's Studio year was scheduled for the following season: the experience of watching this production was accentuated by my own excitment of what was to come. The stage, the audience, the art-yet-to-be-made. The anticipation of maybe, just maybe, I could perform in something like that which affected me so deeply, accentuated that production so that the experience of watching it remains a highlight to this day.


October 2011. Citadel Theatre. The Rocky Horror Show.

My Dad and I had a date to see The Rocky Horror Show. I actually think it was the first time just my Dad and I had attended a show together. We arrived at the Citadel and, of course, being the RHS fanatic that I am, we immediately purchased the bag of props from the Theatre Garage folks just outside the doors to the theatre. It conTAINEDa number of props to be used during the show (as most Rocky Horror Show fans are all too familiar with) and I set about teaching my Dad - with a little help from the instructional card in the bag - what each item was to be used for.

As we neared the part in the show where the audience participates by throwing streams of toilet paper toward the stage, I sat forward in my chair, paper squares at the ready… wait for it… wait for it… and, RELEASE! I threw my five plies toward the stage, which immediately, albeit gracefully, landed on the heads of the people three rows in front of me. Out of the corner of my eye, I see my Dad's arm go back. In slow motion, I turn just in time to see the release… of the ENTIRE roll of toilet paper. It flew through the air, high above the heads in front of us, and pinged off downstage centre. I was mortified. Luckily, nobody had been hit by the flying roll of TP, and a number of people around us were in hysterics.

Best of all, my Dad had a wonderfully HUGE smile across his face, and he continued on with watching the show. BEST THEATRE MEMORY EVER.


When I was in high school, we had some very dedicated English teachers. In one particular year, all English students were to go and see Twelfth Night at the Citadel in Edmonton. Our English teachers took us through the play and in great detail they defined the old English language for us, gave us the background to the story, and pulled out every double meaning and inside joke.

My classmates and I found it really challenging but we felt we knew how funny it was. Then we went to see the play. Well, we laughed. We laughed more and more until we cried. At the end of our standing ovation, to our surprise, the cast gave US a standing ovation. Only then did I realize that the actors had responded to us and our laughter to make our performance unique. I realized that this communication is what defines the theatre experience.


A perfect spring day many years ago at the St. Albert Children’s Festival with my two daughters: eeing the look of sheer joy and pleasure that the audience of all ages exhibited while watching a performance of the Vietnamese water puppets.

I’m always so appreciative of the many volunteers that make this and so many other theatrical events possible for us.


Just one favourite theatre memory? Can't do just one but I can briefly write about three standouts. The first two are from London from the '80s... yes, the '80s. I lived in London for a couple of years and fell in love with the city and the theatre scene.

First memory: Sweeny Todd starring Angela Lansbury. I saw it in a beautiful West End theatre. It was a stellar production, the cast was great and Lansbury was riveting.

Second memory: Greek by Steven Berkoff, starring the playwright. It was performed in a gritty pub in London's east end. This was Berkoff's retelling of Oedipus Rex set in modern day London. I had never seen anything like it, inventive, visceral and provocative.

Third memory: Love of the Nightingale by Timberlake Wertenbaker in Edmonton. It was a Studio Theatre production featuring the graduating BFA class, directed by Alan MacInnis. I can't remember the year it was produced but it was before the Timms Centre had opened. The show was heartbreaking and powerful.

All three shows left me sitting in my seat speechless after the performance. The rest of the audience cleared and I still sat. Moved, inspired and challenged. Damn fine theatre.

The Ends of the Earth
William Shakespeare's Land of the Dead
Shear Madness
St. Joan
On Golden Pond

Playing in Alberta This Week (Mar 27 - Apr 3)

Go see a play this week in celebration of World Theatre Day!

Click here for the full 2012-2013 Playbill

The Playbill is now mobile! Use your smartphone or tablet to search for live theatre!

Albertan work indicates production was written/collectively created by an Albertan artist/group
Canadian work indicates production was written/collectively created by a Canadian artist/group



GAME SHOW Canadian work
Feb 7 - Apr 14, Stage West

Mar 6 - Apr 7, Alberta Theatre Projects

Mar 9 - Apr 7, Vertigo Theatre

Mar 12 - Apr 7, Theatre Calgary

POLYGRAPH Canadian work
Mar 20 - 30, Sage Theatre @ Pumphouse Theatre

Mar 22 - Apr 6, Ground Zero Theatre and Hit & Myth/The Shakespeare Company @ Vertigo Theatre

WAR Canadian work
Mar 27 - Apr 6, Theatre BSMT @ Motel

Mar 28 - Apr 6, Mount Royal University Theatre Department

April 1, Dirty Laundry

Apr 1, Green Fools Theatre

IF I WEREN'T WITH YOU Alberta work
Apr 1 - 20, Lunchbox Theatre

Apr 2 - 13, University of Calgary Department of Drama @ Reeve Theatre



Feb 12 - Apr 7, Mayfield Dinner Theatre

Mar 9 - 31, Citadel Theatre/Robbins Academy

DOUBLE DOUBLE Alberta work
Mar 21 - Apr 7, Workshop West @ La Cite Francophone

Mar 26 - 31, Mindhive Collective/Punctuate! Theatre @ The TACO Space

Mar 28 - Apr 6, U of A Studio Theatre

Mar 29, Rapid Fire Theatre @ Citadel Theatre Zeidler Hall

CHiMPROV Alberta work
Mar 30, Rapid Fire Theatre @ Citadel Theatre Zeidler Hall

THE PENELOPIAD Canadian work
Mar 30 - Apr 21, Citadel Theatre/Robbins Academy

April 1, Die-Nasty @ The Varscona Theatre




BENEATH THE ICE Alberta work
Feb 1 - Mar 31, Quest Theatre, Touring Alberta

THAT'S DANGER! Alberta work
Feb 25 - May 5, Alberta Workers' Health Centre, Touring Alberta

LES 7 PEURS D'ÉMILIE Alberta work
Mar 4 - 28, L'UniThéâtre, Touring Alberta

Mar 22 - May 11, Rosebud Theatre, Rosebud

Mar 29 - Apr 6, Central Alberta Theatre @ Red Deer Memorial Centre, Red Deer


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Theatre Alberta Gratefully Acknowledges the Support of the Following Funders

Thank you for your commitment to the growth of theatre in Alberta!

Alberta Foundation for the Arts
Edmonton Arts Council
City of Edmonton
Calgary Arts Development
City of Calgary
Government of Alberta

Theatre Alberta
3rd Floor Percy Page Centre
11759 Groat Road
Edmonton, AB  T5M 3K6

Phone: (780) 422-8162
Fax: (780) 422-2663
Toll Free: 1-888-422-8160