Odyssey Theatre was founded in 1986 by Artistic Director Laurie Steven. 
The core of Odyssey’s work is international stories that address universal themes—told in ways relevant to contemporary audiences. Performers invoke comic and mythic archetypes, typically through use of masks. The stories speak about individualism, romantic love, empowerment, the creative spirit and social conflicts.
The ancient arts of the fairground, re-invented for the 21st century, are the language we use to tell our stories. Mask, clown, Commedia dell’Arte, bouffon, puppetry and dance-theatre reach out to people in celebration, unlock the imagination, and create alternate realities enticing us to look at our world anew.
We seek collaborations with dance-theatre artists from different cultures and experiment to find the most expressive theatrical approaches and extend the frontiers of our medium.
Odyssey’s innovative productions address universal issues that are emotionally and intellectually relevant to our contemporary audience. We develop and produce original Canadian plays and significant adaptations of classical works drawn from the international repertoire. We nurture and promote artists in our field and actively pursue the inclusion of culturally diverse artists and art styles in our work.
Production history includes: 
- The Financier (Turcaret) by Alain Renee Lesage, an original translation by Joanne Miller and Laurie Steven, directed by Laurie Steven (2014)
- Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw, directed by Andy Massingham (2013)
- The Game of Love and Chance by Marivaux, directed by Andy Massingham (2012)
- The Fan by Carlo Goldini, directed by David S. Craig (2011)
- They All Do It by Janet Irwin, directed by Paul Griffin (2010)
- A Guy Named Joe by Laurie Steven, directed by Laurie Steven (2009)
- A Curious Mishap by Carlo Goldini, directed by Paul Griffin (2007)
- Bungsu and the Big Snake by Lib Spry, in collaboration with Odyssey Artists, directed by Diana Fajrajsl (2006)
- Scapin by Moliere, translated by Joanne Miller and Laurie Steven, directed by Laurie Steven (2005)
- The Wedding translated by James R. Brandon, Pandam Gurtino Siswoharsojo, and Stephen R. Alkire, adapted by Laurie Steven, directed by Laurie Steven (2004)
- The Illusion by Tony Kushner, directed by Diana Fajrajsl (2003)
- The Barber of Seville by Beaumarchais, translated by David Edney (2002)
- The Little Square by Carlo Goldini, directed by Christina Iovita (2001)
- The Raven by Carlo Goldini, adapted by Laurie Steven and Lib Spry, directed by Laurie Steven (2000)
- False Confessions by Marivaux, translated by Laurie Steven and Joanne Miller, directed by Laurie Steven (1999)
- Kamalay based on a scenario by Laurie Steven, developed collaboratively with members of the cast, directed by Laurie Steven (1998)
- The Miser by Moliere, translated by Lib Spry and Laurie Steven, directed by Laurie Steven (1997)
- Odine by Jean Giraudoux, translated by Joanne Miller and Laurie Steven, directed by Laurie Steven (1996)
- Turnadot based on a scenario by Laurie Steven, developed by members of the cast, directed by Laurie Steven (1995)
- The Mandrake by Jean-Pierre Ronfard, translated by Joel Miller, directed by Robert Bellefeuille (1994)
- Don Juan by Moliere, adapted by Joanne Miller and Laurie Steven from a translation by W. Ozell, directed by Laurie Steven (1993)
- The Czar's Daughter-in-Law Was A Frog a collective creation, directed by Laurie Steven (1992)
- The Green Bird by Carlo Gozzi, traslated by Albert Bermel and Ted Emery, directed by Laurie Steven (1991)
- The Diplomat created by members of the cast based on a scenario by Kim Selody, directed by Laurie Steven (1990)
- Moonlight Mischief created by members of the cast based on a scenario by Laurie Steven, directed by Laurie Steven (1989)
- Isabella's Fortune created by members of the cast, directed by Laurie Steven (1988)
- The King Stag by Carlo Gozzi, directed by Laurie Steven (1987)
- The Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldini, directed by Laurie Steven (1986)
Capital Critics Circle Awards
- Best Design to Art Penson for The Raven
- Best Director to Laurie Steven for The Wedding
- Best Actor to Andy Massingham for The Fan
- Outstanding Adaptation to David S. Craig for The Fan
Odyssey Theatre is a major forum in Canada for the professional training and the development of new plays in the realm of masked physical theatre. We cultivate artistic talent with our New Play Creation Program. Playwrights are given artistic and financial support to create original shows and contemporary translations and adaptations in our theatrical style. Our Performance Labs give artists the resources to pioneer new directions in masked theatre, to keep it vibrant for today’s audience.
Odyssey also offers training for performers, writers, and directors through our Explorations Workshops, which focus on specialized areas of the art form with leading professionals as instructors.
Odyssey Theatre is dedicated to cultivating new generations of theatre enthusiasts through our Youth Apprenticeship Program and Youth Matinee Series.
Youth Apprenticeship Program
Odyssey offers a summer apprenticeship program that combines learning, fun and a little income for teens with an interest in the arts. Youths receive training in mask and Commedia, placements and mentorship in a professional environment. The program offers up to 15 young people between the ages of 14–21 apprenticeships with a professional theatre company that allows them to explore and expand their artistic interests, develop their skills and prepare for a possible career in the arts. Successful candidates are placed in one of three areas of specialization: Performance, Technical/Production, or Marketing/Arts Administration.
Odyssey has developed a playwright residency program with Canterbury, Ottawa’s high school for the arts. A playwright has the opportunity to take a script in development into the classroom and work with students in the senior theatre class to read the play and workshop scenes from the script. As well, the residency includes discussions between the writer and the students about the play’s primary themes and ideas.
The intent of this program is to put writers in touch with the next generation of theatre artists and audiences and give them an opportunity to explore what young people respond to in their work. It also provides young aspiring artists with the opportunity to experience Odyssey’s new play development process and to meet with professional playwrights. Playwrights who have participated in the program in the past have found it to be a stimulating experience, beneficial to their work. Artists have included Jan Irwin, Bill Bhaneja, Laurie Steven and Kathy MacLellan.