Workshop Theatre: Our History
Workshop Theatre is Calgary’s longest running community theatre organization. This volunteer-operated organization performs four main stage productions during the year, all at Pumphouse Theatre. Workshop Theatre produces some of the best community theatre in Calgary with past and present hits from New York, London and Canadian stages, as well as new works by local playwrights using non-equity performers and backstage crews from the Calgary area.
Workshop Theatre is committed to providing local theatre enthusiasts an opportunity to develop and master their performance and stagecraft skills.
In the early 1940s a very talented and highly dedicated teacher taught drama in Room 14 at Western Canada High School. Her name was Betty Mitchell and her methods were avant-garde at the time. Her pupils were so inspired to continue in theatre after leaving high school that Miss Mitchell constituted an amateur theatre company. This was the birth of Workshop 14. From 1959 through 1965 Workshop 14 thrived. It later amalgamated with the Musicians and Actors Club, housed in the old Isis Movie House, across the railway tracks on First Street S.W., and became Mac 14.
By the end of the 1960’s Theatre Calgary emerged from Mac 14 and it was felt that a community theatre arm should continue in the footsteps of what had been a noble element in Calgary’s theatre scene. Workshop Theatre was formed and mounted its first season in 1969-1970.