Abbedam is an extra-curricular production company made up of BA, BA Honors, BEd and MA drama students at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta.
Abbedam was founded in 1995 by Alex and Joan Heys Hawkins in the wake of the opening of the Timms Centre for the Arts, which included an experimental black-box theatre called the Second Playing Space (SPS). SPS was new to the department and provided an opportunity for alternative productions consistent with the aesthetics and the mandate of the BA program.
Alex and Joan proposed a production for the SPS to take place in November 1995 and to involve as many BA, BEd, and MA students as possible. That first Abbedam production was On the Rim of the Curve by Newfoundland playwright Michael Cook, and featured 34 students in the cast, with another 25 in the design and production groups. Alex Hawkins directed, while Joan Heys Hawkins facilitated the design and production groups to develop those aspects of the production.
After 1996, Abbedam Productions became an entirely student-run organization under the auspices of the Department of Drama. Jon Price is now Abbedam’s faculty liaison.
The goal of the company is to build community among students, provide learning and performance opportunities, and give students exposure in the Department and greater theatre community.
Held in November each year, productions are typically large-cast ensemble plays, enabling as many students as possible to be involved in the cast and production crew. They are directed by a BA, BEd, or MA student or alumni. Students organize fundraising events and cabarets throughout the year to support Abbedam Productions.
- 1995: On the Rim of the Curve by Michael Cook. Directed by Alex Hawkins, faculty member.
- 1996: Orestes by Euripides. Directed by Alex Hawkins, faculty member.
- 1997: Hill-land by Herman Voaden. Directed by David Owen, MA student.
- 1998: Fuente Ovejuna by Lope de Vega. Directed by Kyna Hamill, MA student.
- 1999: Marat/Sade by Peter Weiss. Directed by Ottillie Parfitt, BA alumna.
- 2000: The Love of the Nightingale by Timberlake Wertenbaker. Directed by James McKinnon, MA student.
- 2001: Reclaimed by Judy GeBauer. Directed by Charles Netto, BA student.
- 2002: Ubu Roi by Alfred Jarry. Directed by Rebecca Lake, BA Honors student.
- 2002: Road by Jim Cartwright. Directed by Brian Batchelor, BA student.
- 2003: The Visit by Friedrich Durrenmatt. Directed by Jonathan Seinen, BA Honors student.
- 2004: The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder. Directed by Rebecca Low, BA Honors student.
- 2005: Balm in Gilead by Lanford Wilson. Directed by Nicky Renault, BA Honors student.
- 2006: Mother Courage and Her Children by Bertolt Brecht. Directed by Amanda Bergen, BA alumna.
- 2007: The Love of the Nightingale by Timberlake Wertenbaker. Directed by Amber Muller, BA Honors student.
- 2008: The Madwoman of Chaillot by Jean Giraudoux. Co-directed by Stephanie Leaf, BA alumna, and Dhana Cartmell, BA student.
- 2009: Summertime by Charles Mee. Directed by Elizabeth Hobbs, BA student.
- 2010: Crazyface by Clive Barker. Directed by Andrew Ritchie, BA student.
- 2011: Howl by Allen Ginsberg. Adapted and directed by Elena Belyea, BA Honors alumnus.
- 2012: Mad Forest by Caryl Churchill. Directed by Elana Bizovie, BA alumnus.
- 2013: Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches by Tony Kushner, directed by Nick Eaton, BA Honors alumnus.
- 2014: Orestes 2.0 by Charles Mee, directed by Harley Morrison, BA Honors alumnus