Fonds uofa-2672 - Workshop West Theatre fonds

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Workshop West Theatre fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the fonds.

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CA UOFA uofa-2672

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Physical description

13 m of textual records and other material

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Administrative history

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.

Custodial history

Accessions 95-141 and 98-78 were donated by Workshop West Theatre in 1995 and 1998. Accession 97-24 was donated by Dr. Robin McGrath in 1997. It is unclear how Dr. McGrath acquired the records.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of administrative, production and play development records. Workshop West organized and labeled the records into their own series and categories before donating their files to the University of Alberta Archives. The fonds consists of these series: I Administration (1978-1995). Series consists of board minutes, committee communications, financial information, correspondence, company histories and other materials related to the day-to-day operations of Workshop West. II Development (1979-1994) Consists of playwrights' correspondence, subscription information, press releases, playwriting circles, and other materials related to Workshop West's development as a theatre. III Financial Records (1978-1994) Series contains financial statements, correspondence, operating grants, cultural grants and other materials relating to the financial operations of Workshop West. IV Fundraising (1979-1995). Consists of correspondence, company files, donor lists, benefit information and other materials related to Workshop West corporate and private fundraising. V Production Records (1978-1995). Series consists of production files, programmes, scripts (produced), scripts (not produced) and other materials related to Workshop West productions. VI Publicity (1978-1994). Consists of publicity files for Workshop West productions, advertising budgets, correspondence and other materials related to the promotion of Workshop West productions. VII Subscription (1978-1990). Series consists of materials related to building Workshop West's subscription base. VIII Miscellaneous (1981-1994). Includes folders on Theatre Space Research, the Gerry Potter collection consisting of his notes and desk diaries from 1981-1994, and other materials. IX Contracts (1978-1994). Series consists of contracts related to Workshop West productions as well as workshops, playwriting circles, and play readings. Also includes administration contracts. X Posters (1979-1994) Consists of posters related to Workshop West productions. XI Set Design Layouts (1989-1995) Series consists of floor plans, theatre plans, lighting plots and other materials related to the Workshop West's stage design.

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Physical condition

Includes ca. 2000 photographs (colour, b & w, and slides), 202 posters, and 198 sketches of various aspects of set design.

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  • The material is in English.

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Restrictions on access

Open to all researchers. However, sensitive personal data included in the fonds may be restricted. Please contact the archives for details. Permission to duplicate photos must be obtained from Workshop West. Photographs of actors are also protected under Equity rules.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

A descriptive finding aid is available at the University of Alberta Archives.

Associated materials

The University of Alberta Archives holds 22 theatre-related, multi-media fonds totalling approximately 60 metres of material.

Related materials


Further accruals are expected.

General note

Record No. 95-141, 97-24, 98-78<br><br>

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