Western Edge Theatre is a theatre company operating in Nanaimo, British Columbia. It was founded in 2003 by playwright Frank Moher with a mandate to expand the range of theatre on central Vancouver Island, produce contemporary, cutting-edge theatre including new plays, and “to reach out, through programming and other activities, to groups traditionally under-represented in live theatre, including youth and aboriginals.”
Since then, the company has presented dozens of new plays in both staged readings and full productions, with an emphasis on scripts by Vancouver Island and area playwrights. Mainstage premieres include Michael Armstong’s Night of Shooting Stars, Sara O’Leary’s The Kitchen Sink, Mary Fraughton’s Making Tracks, and Steve Hill’s When I’m 64.
It has also staged Neil LaBute’s The Mercy Seat and Reasons to be Pretty, Marie Clements’ Copper Thunderbird, Amiel Gladstone’s Hippies and Bolsheviks, Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive, a touring production of My Name is Rachel Corrie, the Canadian premiere of A.R. Gurney’ s Screen Play and the North American premiere of Alan Ayckbourn’s Sugar Daddies (featuring the late, iconic BC actor Antony Holland). As well, the company’s Off-the-Cuff series has hosted productions of Julia Mackey’s Jake’s Gift and Mark Leiren-Young’s Greener Than Thou.
The 2017/18 season featured a wide range of Canadian content: the premiere of Moher's Run in Fields, about a university professor who chooses to give his award winnings to an impoverished single mother with student debt; A Woman's Guide to Peeing Outside--a one-woman show by Holly Brinkman, which was a hit at the Victoria Fringe Festival; One Night Stand by Carol Bolt; Dead Metaphor by George F. Walker (with Frank Moher in the cast); and staged readings of Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Robert Chafe (from the novel by Wayne Johnston), and Cafe Daughter by Kenneth T. Williams.
In its early years, Western Edge performed in a series of makeshift spaces, including a dance studio and two former movie theatres. It is now based in Nanaimo’s 100-seat Harbour City Theatre.
The company engages a mix of Equity and non-Equity actors and directors, with the aim of providing production opportunities to, primarily, theatre artists in the central Vancouver Island area. The current Artistic Director is actor, director, and playwright Brian March, with Moher continuing as executive director and coordinating the company’s Scriptwriting Circle, which develops plays by area authors.
Profile by Frank Moher
Last updated 2019-10-22