Dr. Schoenberg, a professor of theatre at University of Alberta, felt that the city needed another company as an alternative to the Citadel Theatre, "dedicated to presenting important plays of a non-commercial nature from the classic and modern repertoire, and, whenever possible, plays that reflect contemporary Canadian life."
The company first played in the 90-seat "Theatre Beside" in Victoria Composite High School, then in the 250-seat Centennial Library theatre. In 1976, Theatre 3 acquired its own house - a renovated welding shop. In 1978, Dr. Schoenberg was replaced by Keith Digby.
From its foundation, the company grew steadily each year. Though it always presented a healthy dose of Canadian works (including world premieres of Sharon Pollock's Blood Relations and Gaëtan Charlebois' Aléola),it also included works like Brendan Behan's The Hostage, Pinter's Homecoming, Racine's Phèdre and Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew.
In 1981, the company collapsed under a debt load of $800,000, and the theatre was given over to its creditors. However, from the ashes, Digby founded Phoenix Theatre in Edmonton.
Source: Moira Day. "Theatre 3," Oxford Companion to Canadian Theatre. Ed. Eugene Bentley and L.W.Conolly. Toronto: Oxford UP, 1989.
Last updated 2011-12-09