Downstage is a Calgary-based company dedicated to producing Canadian theatre that creates meaningful conversation around social issues. Our work provokes vibrant dialogue between Calgarians both informally and through our nightly post-show discussions. With a focus on new work created by local artists, we offer artistic experiences that are entertaining, inventive, thought-provoking and highly relevant to your everyday life.
Our plays have tackled topics as diverse as queer identity & bullying, homelessness, and anxiety among youth, while the work of the resident Downstage Creation Ensemble has explored questions of ocean health (In the Wake), personal debt (Bust) and the relationship between oil & gas and agriculture in Alberta (Good Fences). Our plays have received critical acclaim and awards, including five Betty Mitchell Awards and two Calgary Critics’ Awards in recent years. We are also a Resident Company of Arts Commons, curating the Motel Theatre as an affordable venue for a range of smaller companies and emerging artists.
We’re working hard to make our shows accessible to a wide range of Calgarians - whether that’s by touring our creation work to community halls around the city and province (like the Downstage Creation Ensemble’s Good Fences), doing a free run of a play that’s livestreamed online (rihannaboi95 by Jordan Tannahill) or offering tickets at no cost through our Pay-It-Forward program.
Join us for a show and add your voice to the conversation!
What People Are Saying
"Downstage has taken what is a complex and serious issue and presented it in a way that is both thought provoking and entertaining."
— Avenue Magazine, IN THE WAKE, 2011
" This is one of those magical plays that is just as enjoyable for adults as it is for kids.... Splendid adaptation and wonderful acting aside, this is a phenomenal production... Top to bottom, this is a must."
— CBC Radio, MY FAMILY AND OTHER ENDANGERED SPECIES, 2014
"First time I ever cried during a show... and that includes movies."
— Audience Comment, BASHIR LAZHAR, 2013
"I appreciate that I do not have to give my reason for barriers to access the show. This makes me feel better about seeking an affordable ticket."
— Audience Comment, Pay it Forward Program