Alberta Theatre Festivals

We Are All Treaty People – Making Treaty 7 & Quest Theatre
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IMPORTANT NOTIFICATION: As of March 12, 2020 many of the events listed in our Playbill guide have been cancelled or postponed due to the provincial response to COVID-19. Due to the rapidly changing situation it is difficult to update all listings. Please check with individual theatre organizations for production information.

Provincial Drama Festivals

Alberta Drama Festival Association (ADFA)
Visit www.adfa.ca for more information.ADFA Regional Festivals dates and locations are tentatively scheduled for:

  • Calgary Region: March 18-21
  • Heartland Region: TBD
  • North Region: April 4
  • Cypress Region: TBD
  • Big Valley Region: TBD
  • Edmonton Region: March 20-21
  • Foothills Region: TBD
  • Peace Country Region: TBD
  • Yellowhead Region: TBD

*Scroll down for descriptions of regional festivals. Additional regional festival information will be added as it is announced.

Alberta High School Drama Festival Association (AHSDFA)
Provincial High School One-Act Festival at the Red Deer College Performing Arts Centre in Red Deer. Visit www.albertadrama.com for information. 

Theatre Festivals

Scroll down for a list of descriptions of theatre festivals produced by our member organizations across Alberta. (Festivals listed below can also be found in our online Playbill.)

Albertaicon indicates festivals that program exclusively Albertan productions 
Canada icon indicates festivals that program exclusively Canadian productions 


September 2019

Sept 9 – 21 ・ Calgary Clown Festival
Pumphouse Theatre, Calgary

This event is a rare opportunity to introduce Calgary to the not-so-serious art of clowning and showcase the rich and talented community of physical theatre artists including world renowned Canadian clown duo, Mump & Smoot. They will be returning to the Calgary along with seven other incredible acts, a family day on Saturday for the kids, and late night cabarets for the adults! Performances will be held from September 18th-21st . From September 9th-15th, there will be introductory and advanced workshops available for the curious public and professional performers wanting to hone their craft. Workshops will be held from September 9th-15th.Join us in celebrating physical theatre and all the magical possibilities that can come from a clown on stage.

Sept 26 – 29 ・ Play the Fool Festival
Hit That Jive Productions Ltd., Edmonton

Play the Fool is Edmonton’s festival of clown-theatre and physical comedy, held in historic Old Strathcona at the ATB Financial Arts Barns, the home of The Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival.
 
Now entering our fourth year, it brings together seasoned and emerging local, national, and international clown and physical theatre artists for four days of performances that embrace risk, exploration, and play.

November 2019

Nov 30 – Dec 2 ・ Winter Fine Arts Festival
Theatre at Concordia University of Edmonton

The Winter Fine Arts Festival at Concordia features performance work developed by our students. The festival program may include new or existing one-act plays, cabaret, dance and musical performances.


January 2020

Jan 3 – Feb 2 ・ Winter Shakespeare Festival
Malachite Theatre, Edmonton

The Malachites’ WINTER SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL is dedicated to bringing accessible, high-quality productions of Shakespearean classics to the city of Edmonton during the winter months.

Jan 8 – 26 ・ One Yellow Rabbit’s High Performance Rodeo Alberta
One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre, Calgary

For three wild weeks in January, One Yellow Rabbit’s High Performance Rodeo, Calgary’s International Festival of the Arts, is where the action is. It’s a chance to watch touring performances from across Canada, acclaimed international shows, and new and experimental work from artists here in Calgary. The programming is bold, cutting-edge, funny, frank, and full of heart. There’s theatre, dance, music, film, free lunchtime concerts, late-night cabarets, and so much more. 
 
The programming is multi-faceted in its diversity; renowned for being rich with progressive, wild and powerfully inventive performances.  Mesmerizing contemporary dance to thought-provoking performances designed to challenge the worldviews held by the audience, international theatre hits, emerging artists and productions, immersive sensory journies, modern Indigenous art and theatre, music and more, transform the cultural landscape of Calgary and leave lasting impressions that extend beyond the city borders.

February 2020

Feb 4 – 23 ・ Wildfire Improv Festival Canada
Rapid Fire Theatre, Edmonton

Wildfire is Rapid Fire Theatre’s annual teen improv festival, made up of three different events: The Nosebowl High School Theatresports Tournament, The Alberta Regionals of the Canadian Improv Games, and The Wildfire Junior. Participant teams come from schools all across the province of Alberta. The 2020 festival will take place February 4-23. Nosebowl runs Tues, Feb 4 – Sat, Feb 8 (7 pm) with the finals on Sun, Feb 9 (2 pm). CIG runs Tues, Feb 11 – Sat, Feb 15 (7 pm) with the finals on Sun, Feb 18 (2 pm). Wildfire Jr. runs Tues, Feb 18 – Sat, Feb 22 (7 pm) with the finals on Sun, Feb 23 (2 pm). Tickets $8 in advance, $10 at the door.

Feb 6 – 16 ・ CHINOOK SERIES
Workshop West Playwright’s Theatre, Edmonton

Feb 6 – 16 ・ Expanse Festival as part of the Chinook Series
Azimuth Theatre, Edmonton

The Expanse Festival is a movement arts festival that celebrates the body in all its expressions through body-based work from a cross-section of international, national, and local artists.
The Expanse Festival is one of the streams in the Chinook Series. Chinook Series is a collaboratively curated performance experience, bringing artists and communities together to share and celebrate through live art. Over 11 days Chinook Series presents you with amazing performances, engaging workshops and thought-provoking salons – all in one place. Sharing contemporary theatre, dance and performance art from local, national and international artists. Inclusive, integrated, and accessible – Chinook Series is committed to practicing social change through the intersections of live art. A true reflection of the community around us, where everyone belongs.
 

Feb 27 – Mar 8 ・ SkirtsAfire Festival Alberta
SkirtsAfire, Edmonton

SkirtsAfire is a multi-disciplinary arts festival that features the work of women. For 2019, we are expanding from a 4 day to a 10 day festival. We have a mainstage production plus ancillary events like The Key of She (singer songwriters), the A-Line Variety Show (a cabaret show featuring all any and all artistic disciplines), visual art, Words Unzipped (Interdisciplinary spoken word event), Yoga in the Art, Women’s Choir Festival, A Place for Prose (literary readings), Peep Show (new play readings), Belly Dance workshops, film and music concerts. The Festival takes place in multiple venues in the Alberta Avenue neighborhood and we are branching into downtown Edmonton for 2019 as well. Most events are by donation at the door.


April 2020

Apr 3 – 5 ・ Spring Fine Arts Carnival
Theatre at Concordia University of Edmonton

Concordia’s Spring Fine Arts Carnival features performance events created and produced by students. The work may include theatre, dance, music, poetry, cabaret and site specific work. Watch for details of the line up on Facebook.

Apr 9 – 18 ・ BONFIRE
Rapid Fire Theatre, Edmonton

Bonfire is Rapid Fire Theatre’s annual romp of wild new improv ideas. Starring the members of the Rapid Fire Theatre ensemble, each show at Bonfire has been created by one of RFT’s own. Every show at Bonfire is a new idea that we’ve never tried before; it might work, it might not, but either way it’ll be a joy to witness. Many of the shows featured in this festival go on to become the next big thing at Rapid Fire Theatre. This is your opportunity to experience them for the first time ever. Come witness the insanity of our improv laboratory! See the full festival line-up at rapidfiretheatre.com

Apr 16 – 19 ・ Festival théâtre jeunesse de l’Alberta
L’UniThéâtre, Edmonton

This four-day festival provides Alberta’s junior high and high school students in francophone and French-Immersion programs the opportunity to write and perform their own one-act productions, work with professional artists and attend their peers’ productions in a friendly competition environment.

Apr 17 – 25 ・ Calgary Common Ground Festival
Search Tower Productions, Calgary

The Common Ground Festival is turning FIVE! Come and see Calgary’s brightest emerging artists show you the work that they are passionate about! Every festival we present brand-spankin’-new works of performing art that are conceived, created and performed by local artists! Dance, Poetry, Drama, Comedy, Stand-Up, WHATEVER FLOATS THEIR BOAT. If it needs a stage, you could see it at the Common Ground Festival!

Apr 29 – May 1 ・ CHSDFA Finals
Calgary High School Drama Festival Association, Calgary

Please join us for the exciting, 2020 Calgary High School Drama Festival. Six hundred Calgary students will be part of this yearly event that showcases 9 One-Act plays presented over three nights, April 29th -May 1st, at the University Theatre on the U of C campus. Tickets are $15 for the public and can be purchased at the door. Please contact the coordinator, James Jack. at [email protected] for more information.

Apr 30 – May 9 ・ 2020 Cannonball Festival of Youth Theatre!
Calgary Young People’s Theatre, Calgary


May 2020

May 5 – 10  ・ Grindstone Comedy Festival
Grindstone Theatre, Edmonton

May 16 – 17 ・ Sprouts New Play Festival for Kids Alberta
Concrete Theatre, Edmonton

Worried that your child is too young to enjoy a play? Fear no more!
 
Introduce your children to live theatre through this engaging and gentle first theatre experience. The plays can be enjoyed by children 12 months to 12 years old. 
 
Sprouts returns with a fresh crop of three brand new short plays for kids and their families! Local playwrights from diverse cultural backgrounds will share their newest works in these stage readings. Join us in the Westbury Theatre lobby before the shows for creative activities just for kids! 
 
Lobby activities start at 1pm both days with the same line-up of new plays at 2pm each day.

 

May 23 – Jun 28  ・ NUOVA Opera & Music Theatre Festival
NUOVA Opera, Edmonton


June 2020

Jun 3 – 6 ・ IGNITE! Festival
Sage Theatre, Calgary

The IGNITE! Festival presents exciting work from new voices. Take in the bleeding edge of theatre, music, and dance at a festival dedicated to supporting, mentoring, and presenting emerging artists of all disciplines.

Jun 17 – 27 ・ IMPROVAGANZA Canada
Rapid Fire Theatre, Edmonton

Improvaganza is Edmonton’s international improv and sketch comedy festival! For 10 days in the of end June, Rapid Fire Theatre hosts best comedy acts we can find, in showcase performances, a Theatresports tournament, an international festival ensemble, plus workshops with amazing artists, and tons of social events too. The 20th edition of the festival will take place from June 17-27, 2020.

Jun 17 – Jul 12 ・Freewill Shakespeare Festival
Freewill Shakespeare Festival, Edmonton

Jun 26 – 28 ・ Alberta Circus Arts Festival
Firefly Theatre & Circus, Edmonton

2020 will see the first annual Alberta Circus Arts Festival, from June 26-28th. Performances will include circus artists from all over Alberta, as well as Canadian and International artists. In addition to performances, there will be workshops, panels, and meet and greets. Come and see what is happening in the air!


August 2020

Aug 1 – 9 ・ Calgary Fringe Festival
Calgary Fringe Festival

Aug 13 – 23 ・ The 39th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival
Edmonton Fringe Theatre

With more than 1,600 performances, 42 venues, three outdoor stages, four patios, and 65 vendors, the Fringe Festival is the ultimate DIY Festival!

Fringing comes in all shapes and sizes so don’t be afraid to jump in and make it your own.

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