History of Theatre Junction
Founded by artistic director Mark Lawes, Theatre Junction began by staging plays from the national and international contemporary canon. Mark developed and produced new Canadian plays by John Murrell, Sharon Pollock, Morwyn Brebner, and Daniel Brooks, among others. After taking a sabbatical and traveling to Europe in 2003, where he worked at the Paris Opera, Théâtre L’Athenée, the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, la Scène Nationale d’Orléans, and the Steirischerbst in Graz, Mark returned to Calgary with a new vision for the company and reinvented his artistic practice orientating his creations towards a contemporary multidisciplinary aesthetic. Along with this new vision, he was inspired to save Calgary’s oldest theatre from demolition, and raised $12M to transform the Grand theatre into an international hub for contemporary live art and a new home for Theatre Junction’s creations. Mark established a context for a new contemporary aesthetic in Calgary by curating a season program of national and international artists at the Grand including Marie Brassard, Frédéric Gravel, Mélanie Demers, Crystal Pite, Wen Wei Wang, Young Jean Lee, Richard Maxwell, Meg Stuart, Peter Brook, Hiroki Umeda, Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol, Motus, among others.
From 2006 to 2016, with the arrival of actor and dramaturge Raphaele Thiriet, Theatre Junction created several multidisciplinary works in French and English that toured in Canada and internationally. The arrival of artist Raphaele Thiriet represented a turning point in the history of the company, as her artistic and political engagement underlined questions surrounding the diversity of forms of expression in a predominantly conservative and English speaking city.
In 2018, after presenting work on the national and international stage for 10 years, Theatre Junction reached another significant point in its history. Following the creation and international tour of the Supernova Trilogy, a major bilingual work supported by the Canada Council for the Arts celebrating the 150th anniversary of confederation, it became impossible for Theatre Junction to continue to expand and flourish as an artistic innovator within the walls of the Grand theatre in the city of Calgary due to unfavorable cultural conditions.
The company made the decision to move its operations to Montreal in April 2019, and appointed Raphaële Thiriet as co-artistic director. Montreal has always been aligned with Theatre Junction’s cultural and artistic values, and has generously contributed to its development by hosting the company several times over the last decade, in its theatres, in residencies, and on tour.