The Theatre Edmonton Project

There’s an amazing new project in town called the Theatre Edmonton Project (you can find them on twitter and facebook).

A couple weeks ago, I spent two hours with sixty or so leaders in Edmonton’s theatre community in the workshop room at Start Up Edmonton in the Mercer Building on 104 Avenue & 104 Street.

Bob Baker, Artistic Director for the Citadel Theatre shares a bit about the project in this video below . . .




The meeting started with everyone in a circle introducing themselves by name and company they’re with and then we broke into groups based on astrological symbols. Somehow, I was the only scorpio #truestory #lonelyscorpion.

But I got welcomed in with the Libras and we began to go around the circle sharing our struggles and offering ideas and support to each other.

So many interesting questions came up . . .

  • how do you get your work out there with confidence? How to ask ADs to get the read the play you just wrote? 
  • how to encourage actors, writers, and directors to see the internet as tool for performance? Sometimes clips from show put on internet don’t ‘read’ on the internet. How to put things online in a way that gets the piece across online. Instead of just taping the thing – maybe do the wide shot plus stop and start with close ups – you need to treat it like a movie. Recognize it’s a different medium – like the promo video for Dark Matters by Kidd Pivot. How to make ‘trailer’ things? When do you post these things leading up to shows?
  • How to get funding when you don’t fit into other categories? All the Indiegogo campaigns are burning out friends? Do we sometimes need to do it for free for a while?
  • Sponsorship Packages – how do you approach them? What’s the protocol to approach them? What can you do for sponsors beyond putting them in the program? Posters? Wearing their product on our stage? Tell them numbers of people coming to your shows?
  • When I’m an independent artist being hired – how much do I charge? How do I put a money value to what I do? Do I just make up a number and wait to hear them say ‘yes’ or ‘no’? Should I do equity rates? Union rates?
  • How to find people who have the skills I need?
  • Where to meet with corporate groups – how to get corporate sponsorship?
  • A need for accessible, hub type spaces so people who did want to rehearse things didn’t have to do it in their homes etc.
  • What are the apprenticeship opportunities for those who are already further along in their careers.
  • What happens when organizations or individuals get into ruts?
  • How to speak to the press?
  • How to get new bums in seats?
  • Why don’t people come out to the workshops? Could we do a co-op where workshops are free for people in the field? Could it be