Workshop West Playwright's Theatre

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Workshop West Playwright's Theatre is a professional, Edmonton-based theatre dedicated to the development production, promotion, and presentation of new Canadian playwrights and their plays


The production and presentation for the public of Canadian plays and the education of the public in playwrighting skills.


  • Workshop West Playwrights' Theatre was founded in 1978 by Gerry Potter, who remained the Artistic Director for 17 years. The initial inspiration for the company was to work with Alberta playwrights on new plays, testing and workshopping the material and presenting the best of these works as full productions. While these works were being developed, the company also presented some of the best new plays from across Canada.
  • In 1994, David Mann became the Artistic Director of the company and remained steadfast in his dedication to the production and presentation of Canadian work and new plays. David continued with play development through programs such as Springboards, the Mentor Program, the Playwrights Unit and the establishment of a Playwright in Residence.
  • In 2000, Ron Jenkins became the Artistic Director of Workshop West. Ron’s mandate for the company has been to develop and produce works by Alberta playwrights and present a showcase of Canadian theatre performance through KaBoom!and the Springboards Festival, which presents brand new plays by established Canadian playwrights in a staged reading presentation.
  • In 2006, Michael Clark became the fourth Artistic Director rebranding Workshop West as a Playwrights’ Theatre, putting much energy into the premiering of new plays by younger writers and advancing the work of emerging and independent theatres with new plays.
  • In 2014, Vern Thiessen became the Artistic Director

Artistic Staff

  • Vern Thiessen - Artistic Director
  • Marian Brant - General Manager
  • Brooke Leifso - Patrons Relations Manager


Currently produce the annual Canoe Theatre Festival which turns the word-based world upside down with a festival of innovative live theatre

External Links