The Belfry Theatre began producing plays in 1976.
As a professional adult theatre company, the Belfry is dedicated to producing contemporary plays, with an emphasis on Canadian work, and to promoting artistic, cultural, and educational events in the Greater Victoria Region.
In the past 30 years the Belfry has produced 230 plays, including 158 Canadian plays, and more than 33 premieres. Many of those premiere productions have gone on to acclaim across Canada, in the U.S., Australia, Europe and London’s West End. Belfry productions regularly tour to other cities and have won awards in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary.
The Belfry produces up to 12 plays per year: one or two summer productions, a four play Mainstage series, and SPARK, a mid-winter festival of innovative and alternative work from across Canada.
The Belfry’s mission is to produce theatre that generates ideas and dialogue, and that makes the audience see the world a little differently.
From Artistic Director, Michael Shamata
To paraphrase E. M. Forster:
The only plays that influence us are those for which we are ready and which have gone a little further down our particular path than we have yet gone ourselves.
For the past 35 years, the Belfry Theatre and its audiences have been on a journey through the best of contemporary theatre. At this particular time, we are focused on Canadian work, including premiere productions, recently premiered plays, and scripts from the canon of Canadian classics. Once per season we produce a non-Canadian play.
We have a reputation for exceptional productions of musicals, both Canadian (Anything That Moves) and non-Canadian (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee). Through tours and collaborations with theatres that share our aesthetic, audiences across the country are able to experience our work.Central to our artistic practice is the development of new work, from commissions and dramaturgy, to workshops, readings and productions. We recognize our responsibility as an artistic leader within our region, and have a commitment to artists and companies from the Victoria area, as well as from the rest of British Columbia. We support cultural diversity, and the development of aboriginal artists and stories.
- The Bombitty of Errors (Aug 2014)
- The Rez Sisters (Sept/Oct 2014)
- Spring Awakening (Oct 2014)
- Venus in Fur (Nov/Dec 2014)
- The Best Brothers (Jan/Feb 2015- Double Bill)
- How to Disappear Completely (Jan/Feb 2015 - Double Bill)
- 2015 SPARK Festival
- The God That Comes (March 2015)
- Fisheyes Trilogy (March 2015)
- Through the Gaze of a Navel (March 2015)
- Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (April/May 2015)
New Play Development
New work is an integral part of the Belfry Theatre’s mandate and history. Some of the country’s most successful plays have first seen the light of day in the intimacy of this theatre, including all of the Wingfield Farm plays, Morris Panych’s international hit Vigil, and Michele Riml’s plays Sexy Laundry and on the edge.
Many of these premieres were developed with the aid and support of the Belfry, including Carol Shields’ Unless, Kevin Kerr’s Skydive and Bruce Ruddell and Bill Henderson’s musical Let Me Call You Sweetheart. The Belfry puts new work onstage alongside some of the best Canadian and International writing.
The Belfry currently assists in the development of new work from an array of talented and diverse writers, including:
- Carmen Aguirre
- Reza Jacobs
- Andrew Kushnir
- Joan Mcleod
- Jacob Richmond
- Emil Sher
- Deborah Williams