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Theatre Calgary announces plans for 50th anniversary season

Theatre Calgary’s 50th anniversary season with open with a production of Blow Wind High Water, by playwright Sharon Pollock (pictured).

Jeff McIntosh/GLOBE AND MAIL

Theatre Calgary will launch its 50th season with the world premiere of a play about floods, written by a former TC artistic director. It will also mark the season with a number of new initiatives, including a high school in residence program.

The anniversary season, under interim artistic director Shari Wattling, begins in September with Sharon Pollock's Blow Wind High Water, in which a raging flood threatens three generations of Calgarians. Commissioned through TC's new play-development program, the production will be directed by Calgary's Simon Mallett.

Other 2017-18 mainstage plays include Sisters: The Belles Soeurs Musical, based on Michel Tremblay's Les Belles-soeurs, a Copa de Oro Productions Ltd. and Segal Centre for the Performing Arts production; former TC artistic director Dennis Garnhum's adaptation of A Christmas Carol; Twelfth Night as imagined by Calgary's Old Trout Puppet Workshop and directed by Jillian Keiley, the National Arts Centre's artistic director for English theatre; the Tony Award-winning The Humans by Stephan Karam; and a musical adaptation of The Secret Garden.

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Shakespeare by the Bow will present As You Like It this summer. Theatre Calgary will team with One Yellow Rabbit to present Veda Hille and Amiel Gladstone's adaptation of Onegin at next year's High Performance Rodeo. And this fall the tc UP CLOSE program will present a production of Calgary's Forte Musical Theatre's Touch Me: Songs for a (dis)Connected Age.

Theatre Calgary's first High School in Residence Program will create an exchange with students at Western Canada High School. Ten free tickets will be offered to students in the theatre arts program for every opening night of the season, students will be able to attend workshops and rehearsals, and artists will give talks in class. Theatre Calgary will also help promote fundraising efforts to refurbish the school's Betty Mitchell Studio.

The company is also increasing its accessible theatre offerings and introducing a New Canadians Initiative, which will provide 1000 tickets over the season to new Canadian citizens in Calgary.

Theatre Calgary was formed in 1968 with the merger of two Calgary theatre groups, Workshop 14 and The Musician and Actors Club. It became the city's first fully professional theatre company.

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