Working together to inspire youth
OUR MANDATE AND VALUES
Quest Theatre nurtures young people through exceptional adventures in theatre. We are a theatre for young audience company based in Calgary that has been performing all over Alberta since 1984. Historically a school touring company, Quest Theatre has expanded over the years to include Summer Camps, Artist in School Residencies and an International Touring repertoire. Since its inception the company has reached over 1.3 million young people, teachers and families. We have toured 100 productions for over 1.3 million young people. At Quest Theatre we believe that all children should experience the extraordinary benefits of theatre. Doing theatre FOR children and WITH children for nearly 30 years, we know we invigorate vital components of a child’s development. Inspiring children to play, to create, to question, to explore, to discover, to understand and to dream are just a few of the high level outcomes achieved through the whimsy and magic of theatre.
Our Creative Staff
Cimmeron has dedicated many years to practicing, cultivating, and nurturing theatre in Calgary. She comes to us as a well-respected member of the theatre community and a graduate of the National Theatre School in Canada. From her awards in lighting design and roles as General Manager of The Old Trout Puppet Workshop, Technical Director at Vertigo Theatre, and Production Manager for One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre, Cimmeron is interested in furthering the possibility of creative collaborations and new partnerships with Quest Theatre and like-minded organizations.
Nikki has been the Artistic Director of Quest Theatre since 2008. Some of her favorite directing projects for Quest Theatre include Penelope vs The Aliens, Shoes of Sand and Snow Angel. Nikki’s formative years were spent primarily directing with Theatre Junction, Theatre Calgary and Quest Theatre. Nikki was an Intern Director for the Shaw Festival in summer of 1998, directing Debt of Honour for the 1988 Directors’ Project, and was invited back to the Shaw Festival to direct Village Wooing in 1999.
Jennica is a Calgary based actor, writer and director. She has studied acting at both the University of Winnipeg, where she graduated with Honours in performance and the Studio 58 Acting conservatory in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Since graduating in 2012, Jennica has toured extensively as a company member with GreenThumb Theatre (Vancouver) and as a solo performer in her pieces This Time I Get What I Want and An Inheritance, which was published in 2013 and featured in the Sarasvati Transformative 2014 Winnipeg FemFest. A recent career highlight includes performing alongside Bruce McCulloch in the staged production of his show Young Drunk Punk.
Having spent the majority of her career in Theatre for Young Audiences- Jennica is passionate about unlocking creativity in kids and creating adventures through theatre!
Joanna Flemming is a Calgary based actor and performer. She is a graduate of the Mount Royal Theatre Performance program and when she is not performing in projects she enjoys writing and brainstorming with other artists in the arts community.
Aside from her experience in the arts, Joanna has worked in an administrative environment for many years and is extremely excited to have the opportunity to use her skills in both theatre and administraton to help Quest Theatre continue to grow.
Our Dedicated Board of Directors
Governance Committee Chair
Our Fantastic Partners
Artist Zone Information
Quest Theatre wants to encourage all artists to explore theatre for young audiences as part of their ongoing practice. Diversity is central to making art. Quest Theatre is open to inspiration from any artist who is passionate about sharing their love of theatre with young people. We welcome artists of various races, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, and ability, as these represent the audience we serve.
A Brief History of Quest Theatre
Quest Theatre was co-founded by Duval Lang and Rick McNair in the summer of 1984. These two extraordinary imaginative friends emerged from the touring branch of Theatre Calgary’s Stage Coach Players. Duve and Rick were commissioned to produce a children’s play at Calaway Park (Calgary’s local theme park) and Quest Theatre was born. Rick wrote a play called Doll Wars (inspired by the then popular Cabbage Patch Dolls and the newly released Star Wars franchise), Duval directed the play and Rick’s daughter, 17-year-old Susan (McNair-Reid) stage managed.
Quest Theatre’s first logo was a ship, reminiscent of early exploration of new worlds and indeed, theatre for young audience in Alberta at that time was a pioneering venture. Quest immediately began touring to Alberta schools. Early in the company’s history Rick wrote the plays and Duve directed. Early work included Sinbad, The Fantabulous Zoo, Goalie Pads Magic Music and Mom, and Merlin and Arthur all by Rick McNair. Quest quickly gained a reputation for original works and developed and produced work from many Canadian writers, mostly local. Zina Barnieh, Dennis Foon, JoAnne James, Sharon Pollock and even Canadian school children wrote for Quest Theatre during it’s first five years.
The Logo changed to a set of building blocks with stars quickly after gaining a reputation in the schools. This marked a conscious shift towards alignment with the education system and it’s goals. Plays reflected topics that were of importance to young people. Quest continued to produce work from Canadian playwrights including Clem Martini, Vern Theissen, Jan Derbyshire, Dan Libman, Linda A. Carson, Robert Morgan and many more.
In 1992, Alberta schools removed many arts specialists in schools. Quest Theatre took advantage of a new initiative from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and Quest’s Artists in Schools Residency Program was born.
Touring all over Alberta with productions and residencies, Quest Theatre was accessing young people, particularly in rural communities, in a unique way. Our audiences didn’t have to come to a building to experience theatre. Our logo changed to a touring van with magic stars to reflect our mobility and easy access for schools. Productions at this time included plays by Bruce Horak, Elyne Quan and Jared Matsunaga-Turnbull, Chris Bullough, James Durham, Glenda Stirling, Jason Long.
In 2008, after 25 years as Artistic Director, Duval Lang decided to step down and pursue other adventures in theatre. An award, The Duval Lang Theatre for Young Audience Award, administered by Quest Theatre was created in honor of him. And no, he’s not dead yet.
The current team at Quest Theatre is Artistic Director Nikki Loach, Managing Director Cimmeron Meyer and Tour and Education Coordinator Jennica Grienke.
Since we began in 1984, the company has reached over 1.3 million young people, teachers and families. We have toured 100 productions, produced over 475 residencies and hold an annual summer camp.