Alberta Theatre Projects

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Alberta Theatre Projects
Not for profit
Industry Theatre
Founded 1972 (1972)
Founders Lucille Wagner and Douglas Riske
Headquarters Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Key people
Vicki Stroich (Executive Director)
Vanessa Porteous (Artistic Director)
Number of employees

Alberta Theatre Projects ("ATP") is a Canadian theatre production company, founded in 1972 by Lucille Wagner and Douglas Riske, based out of the Martha Cohen Theatre in Calgary, Alberta.

Its stated mission is, "To enrich the lives of our audience and grow that audience by producing a season of celebrated contemporary theatre and by taking a national leadership role in the development of new Canadian plays."[1]

They believe that Canada’s cultural richness is worth celebrating through the arts, and that their creative endeavors are worth sharing with one another and the world; that investment in the arts by government, the private sector and individuals is in the public good; that all forms of artistic expression including work that is challenging and risk-taking; and in creating a workforce and environment that exemplifies integrity, teamwork, performance excellence, exploration and innovation, and had lifelong learning aspirations.[2]

Founded by Lucille Wagner and Douglas Riske, ATP started as a children's company in 1972 specializing in historical plays and has grown into one of the largest producers of new plays in Canada. Originally located in the 198 seat Canmore Opera House at Calgary's Heritage Park, they have since moved to the 400-seat Martha Cohen Theatre designed by Theatre Projects Consultants from London. As of 2008/2009, ATP has produced 333 plays, 234 of them Canadian. (70% Canadian content during their 36 years). The company has received 62 Betty Mitchell Awards (Calgary's theatre awards) since the program was introduced in 1998. Between 1985 and 2000, Allan Rae was composer-in-residence at ATP and many of ATP's productions have featured his original music.

Artistic/producing directors have included Douglas Riske (1972–83), D. Michael Dobbin (1983-2000), Bob White (1999-2009). Vanessa Porteous was appointed in 2009 to the position of artistic director at ATP, becoming the first female artistic director in the company's history. She was named The Most Compelling Calgarian and Calgary's Arts Person of the Year in 2009 by the Calgary Herald.

Enbridge playRites Festival of New Canadian Plays[edit]

Founded by Producing Director D. Michael Dobbin, the Enbridge playRites Festival of New Canadian Plays was piloted in 1987, and was a leading performing arts event of the 1988 Olympic Arts Festival in Calgary. As of 2008/2009, the Enbridge playRites Festival has produced 99 world premiere plays. 271 subsequent productions of 64 of these plays have appeared across Canada soon after the festival. There have been over 235 productions of plays premiered at the Enbridge playRites Festival throughout Canada and around the world.

As part of the Enbridge playRites Festival, ATP has produced work by over 70 Canadian playwrights, including Linda Griffiths, Colleen Murphy, Mieko Ouchi, Conni Massing, Eugene Stickland, Stephen Massicotte, Joan MacLeod, Sally Clark, Wendy Lill, Brad Fraser, Guillermo Verdecchia, Janet Munsil, Sean Dixon, Michael O'Brien, Amiel Gladstone, Donna-Michelle St. Bernard and Sky Gilbert.


Outside the Enbridge playRites Festival, ATP produces five contemporary plays each season. Recent productions include Shakespeare's Dog (Leon Rooke, adapted by Rick Chafe), I, Claudia (Kristen Thomson), Toad of Toad Hall (Kenneth Grahame, adapted by Philip Goulding). ATP has also presented work by Canadian companies such as: Theatre Newfoundland Labrador, Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes, Mammalian Diving Reflex, The Old Trout Puppet Workshop, and Crow's Theatre.

Joan MacLeod, playwright for Another Home Invasion which premiered at the 2009 Enbridge playRites Festival of New Canadian Plays, was nominated for a 2009 Governor General's Literary Award. Hannah Moscovitch, playwright for East of Berlin which was one of the ATP cornerstone plays in the 2008/2009 season, was also nominated.


Henighan, Tom (2000). The Maclean's Companion to Canadian Arts and Culture. Raincoast Books. ISBN 1-55192-298-3. 

External links[edit]