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 Drama 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 over 32 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
Peita Luti graduated Business School in Glasgow in 2000 and launched her career in theatre and television marketing/communications. Since then, she has represented major brands in the digital space as a project manager, worked with charities on event fundraising through technology and managed online educational content creation. Peita has been a passionate supporter of the arts for as long as she can remember, dedicating time as a patron, volunteer, board director, and committee member. On stage, she has performed in Scotland, the Czech Republic, Carnegie Hall in NYC and has been a soprano vocalist with Revv52 since 2010. Peita joined the Quest Theatre team as Director of Buisness Operations in January 2018.
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.
Joanna Iles 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.
Emily Sunderland is an emerging Calgary based artist whose work is rooted in advocating for change and equality for women. Sunderland completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama at the University of Calgary. The focus of her studies has been interdisciplinary work, acting, and directing. Most recently, Sunderland has mounted two pieces in NextFest 2018 in collaboration with dancer and choreographer Samantha Ketsa. #JustGirlyThings was produced as part of the Dance Series and Trilogy was given a workshop showing as part of the Theatre Series. Her most recent acting credits include the title role in Trafford Tanzi as part of the University’s Alchemy festival and various roles in Metamorphoses.
Learn more about our Artistic Director, Nikki Loach and her journey with Quest Theatre!
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.
Current Auditions / Opportunities:
Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@questcalgary) and Instagram (@questtheatrecalgary) and like us on Facebook for any future Auditions and Opportunity postings.
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, Director of Business Operations Peita Luti and Program Coordinator Joanna Iles.
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.