Fonds - Workshop West Theatre


Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Workshop West Theatre

General material designation

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1978 - 1995 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

10.45 m of multimedia material.

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator

Administrative history

Workshop West Theatre was founded in 1978 by Gerry Potter, MFA, University of Alberta, with a three-fold mandate: participate in the growing new Canadian Theatre; provide more stage access for Alberta playwrights; develop playwrighting talent in Alberta. As part of this program the Playwrighting Circle was actually in operation before the theatre staged its first production. In the early years, new plays were not necessarily developed for first production by Workshop West, but this practice changed by the mid-1980s, inspired in part by the success of Theatre Network in developing and staging new works. In 1985, Workshop West initiated a short-lived “Playwriting Ensemble,” of eight theatre artists. Over the next two years the ensemble worked collaboratively to produce new collective works (e.g. It’s Your Turn to Get Up) and to adapt stories from other media (e.g., Sweatlodge Tales and The Rich Man). In 1986, Workshop West unofficially changed its name to Workshop West Playwright’s Theatre, a name that appeared sporadically on programs and publicity for the next five years. In January 1995, while on leave, Potter resigned as Artistic Director. His legacy includes four Sterling Awards for Outstanding New Play, two Governor General’s Award nominations, and one Chalmers Award. Among the important playwrights to have worked at or been produced at Workshop West during Potter’s term were Frank Moher, Brad Fraser, Raymond Storey, Conni Massing and Stewart Lemoine. David Mann, who was already serving as an interim leave replacement, succeeded Potter as Articstic Director. Mann continued the Springboards New Play Festival that originated in March 1995 as part of the new work development process. Workshop West has operated out of several venues. In its early years, it suffered from lack of a regular home. It moved into the Kaasa Theatre in the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in the 1983-84 season, and operated from that space until the 1996-97 season. In 1996-97, one show was staged at the Kaasa; one at the Roxy, a co-production with Theatre Network (whose home is the Roxy); and two at the 3rd Space, at 11516-103 st. (the home of Northern Light Theatre). In the 1997-98 season, Workshop West moved out of the Kaasa completely, to produce out of the Roxy and the 3rd Space.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The records consist of administrative, production and play development records. There are eleven series in this fonds: Administration, Development, Finanical Records, Fundraising, Production Records, Publicity, Subscription, Miscellaneous, Contracts, Oversized Items, Photogrphs. While the bulk of the records are textual, the fonds also contains production photographs, set designs, promotional materials, and posters. The files in this accession are arranged in chronological order within the separate series beginning with the administrative files. The fonds also contains the University of Alberta’s Drama 681 course materials, resumes, diaries and weekly reports by artistic director Gerry Potter from 1981 to 1992.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Associated materials

Related materials


General note

PDF scanned paper finding aid.

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier


Institution identifier

Rules or conventions


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

DBRACEWELL 5.20.2009
Created by RFROGNER 4-12-2010.
Updated by MACS 4-30-2010.

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres