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Walterdale Playhouse

10322 83 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 5C3, Canada

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A Theatre For Everyone

Shared by Kristen Finlay A Theatre For Everyone Photo

When I came to Edmonton in 2005, I needed a place to practice theatre. I was primarily an actor, but Walterdale Theatre gave me the opportunity to direct, design, and be a playwright. It's doors are open to everyone and all stories and it's philosophy of mentor-ship means that if you want to try something but don't know how, someone can and will teach you. Not only a place for creating art, it is also a family. My first show there was as an actor in a new work, Lunatic, by Jacqueline Lamb. I met artists that continue to be my friends to this day. The following season I joined the Board of Directors, acted in another play and that led to eventually directing there (Crimes of the Heart) and then I became Artistic Director. I've stayed a part of Walterdale since. I direct occasionally and act occasionally and design occasionally and am back on the Board of Directors as President.

For the future Walterdale is maintaining it's open door policy. It's a space that believes in all voices and welcomes everyone who comes. Unlike professional theatres, it's audition policy is that everyone who requests an audition is granted one, and there is no precasting - they must audition to be considered. For show selections, anyone can submit for consideration. For roles on the Board, all are welcome to put their name forward. We've also instituted a new membership policy which eliminates financial barriers. Membership is simply earned through volunteer hours, making it possible for anyone of any economic situation to become a member.

In thinking about Walterdale, it's hard to pick a favourite memory. So many shows have been wonderful experiences. Because the art was important and so were the people.

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