Workshop Theatre was established in 1969
A message form our current president, Jacquie Brennan, daughter of past president Jack Goth.
I'm so proud that a company my father helped pioneer 50 years ago is still producing quality Theatre in our community. Workshop Theatre continues to have dedicated volunteers keeping us moving us into, what we hope, is another 50 years in the future.
Our 50th Anniversary is special for so many reasons. Knowing that all the hard work and talent that so many have given over the last 50 years is still giving those that the love the art an avenue to present their talents and entertaining so many would make my father very proud. Also the fact that the company still has his blood running through it with his third generation -his granddaughters still working diligently behind the scenes gives hope for it to remain Calgary's Longest Running Community Theatre Company.
Our 50th Anniversary!
This season we raise our glasses and puff out our chests in honour of Workshop Theatre's 50 Year Anniversary! Staying in business for 50 years in Calgary is no small feat. A family run Theatre society, Workshop has been an heirloom passed down from one generation to the next and that proud tradition continues as we approach our 50TH season of community theatre. Being as it's such an amazing milestone, we have put together a committee to help us make this season our biggest and best so far.
That's where you come in, of course we couldn't make this happen without a family of dedicated actors, producers, directors, crew, board of directors and loyal patrons that come time after time and year after year to see our line-up of shows. So here you will find a little bit about what the board and 50TH committee has planned for this upcoming season, insole ways we plan to stick with tradition, and in many others we are growing and branching out into new territory and we can't wait!
There are six main areas the committee needs your help, please take a moment to read through them by clicking HERE and see when and where you might want to lend your expertise and skills to help us send this season into our community's Theatre Hall of Fame! Remember, above all we simply count do this without you, it's because of you that we have continued to look back and remember 50 amazing years as a community and as a family, and it's because of you that we can look forward and imagine another 50 years sharing the stage with you.
Thank you for 50!
History of Workshop
In the early 1940's 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 decidedly avant grade. Her pupils were so inspired to continue in theatre after leaving high school that Miss Mitchell constituted for them an amateur theatre company. This was the birth of "Workshop 14", the forerunner of Workshop Theatre. Workshop 14 was inclined to the classics and "meaty" dramas, and year after year won coveted awards at the Dominion Drama Festival.
From 1950 through 1965, Workshop 14 thrived. It mounted the inaugural drama production ("Teahouse of the August Moon") in the brand new Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. 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 become "Mac 14". Those were wonderful years with an excellent theatre upstairs and an exciting night club downstairs, and it became clear that Mac 14 was evolving rapidly into a professional theatre group in Calgary. It was at the end of this era that we pick up the threads of Workshop Theatre.
When Theatre Calgary emerged from Mac 14, it was felt that an amateur arm should continue in the footsteps of what had been a noble constituent of Calgary's community theatre scene. The predominance of membership in this newly-consitiuted continuation of Workshop 14 happened to be British in origin, so it was not surprising that the new Workshop Theatre embarked on a long and successful run of English plays mainly in farces with their typical sexual overtones and those famous British "Who-Dun-Its". I was privileged to direct and act in several of them. In recent years, however, the choices have seen
some modification from that pattern to a more eclectic fare.
May Workshop Theatre continue to thrive in these relatively more difficult times of presenting first rate amateur productions to Calgary audiences.
(Jack was a pioneer in the Calgary arts scene as well as a Past President of Workshop Theatre. Jack passed away in February 2006.)