Workshop West Theatre was founded in 1978 by Gerry Potter, M.F.A. (Alberta) with a three-fold mandate: to give Edmonton a chance to share in the "explosion" of Canadian theatre; to give Alberta playwrights more access to the stage; and to develop the playwriting talent in Alberta. By the mid-1980s, Workshop West was staging first productions of works. 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, Potter resigned as Artistic Director. His legacy includes four Sterling Awards for Outstanding New Play, two Governor General's Award Nominations and one Chalmer's 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 succeeded Potter as Artistic Director. Workshop West has operated out of several venues. In its early years, it suffered from a lack of a regular home. In 1983, it moved into the Kaasa Theatre in Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. Workshop West remained in the Kaasa until the 1996-1997 season when it produced plays in three different venues. In 1997-1998, Workshop West moved out of the Kaasa completely, and produced plays at the Roxy and 3rd Space venues.