Original Canadian work. Only. Nothing but.
Azimuth Theatre is a fundamentally different theatre company now than it was in its first ten years, but what has been absolutely consistent is that throughout our history Azimuth Theatre has been creating and producing only original plays by Edmonton artists.
In the late 1980s, Azimuth was forged under the Artistic Direction of Deb Hurford as a group of high school students presenting social action theatre to high school audiences. A decade later after the company’s founders had moved on, the new faces running the company were emerging theatre professionals recently graduated from post-secondary. The company continued to be primarily a touring company to rural secondary schools, but our stated mandate was:
“Azimuth Theatre Association is a non-profit organization committed to developing research-based theatre, which examines critical issues and empowers individual, institutions and communities to initiate positive social change.”
We weren’t mandated to be a Theatre For Young Audiences (TYA) touring company, yet for all intents and purposes, that was what we were.
And then a collision of events (e.g. the building that housed our offices caught fire, we had to find a new home, changes instituted by public granting organizations, major staff changes) indicated that at the beginning of the millennium we needed to pause and ask fundamental questions about our mission & mandate.
We hired Andy Laskiwsky as our General Manager, and Chris Craddock as our Artistic Director.
We changed our mandate:
“Azimuth Theatre creates and presents original Canadian performance that examines society and the human condition with a critical gaze. It reaches audiences not traditionally served by professional theatre for reasons of age, education or geography with work that evokes discussion of social issues promoting a compassionate perspective towards those affected by those issues.”
We built the Living Room Playhouse.
We initiated The Expanse Festival and The Emerging Company Showcase.
We engaged ourselves with the independent, ad hoc, producing entities that, like ourselves, were motivated & excited by the creation of new work.
That is who Azimuth Theatre is in the 21st Century. We are small, agile, flexible, efficient, generous, productive, and independent in spirit.
And we are proud Edmontonians: Edmonton’s Theatre Company.