Theatre Encounter’s mandate is to create expressive alternative productions of theatre’s classic works with a focus on physical explorations and textual interpretations. Theatre Encounter enhances community development by artistic and social means through the essence of quintessential theatre.
By reinventing classic texts through a modern Canadian perspective, with a strong emphasis on provocative language and embodying movement, Theatre Encounter offers Calgarians an alternative to the mainstream view of classic dramatic literature.
Theatre Encounter’s vision is to create a world-class experimental theatre company and artistic & social research environment by reinventing the traditional into the contemporary, in order to push the cutting edge of artistic and social boundaries.
Grotowski tells us that at the core of theatre is an encounter.
Theatre may tell stories, it may not. It may speak to the real, to the banal, to the world as we know it. Or, it may reach into the surreal, the strange, the unexpected.
We practice a theatre of experimentation and collaboration. We seek out the essential truths of classic texts, and illuminate them in unexpected ways. It is demanding work; it challenges norms. It makes us question ourselves, our societies and cultures by taking these messages and placing them in new contexts.
Together with our audiences, we create a dynamic connection that only happens when bodies relate intellectually, emotionally and energetically. This is visceral; it is a happening that can only exist when we encounter each other. To use the words of Antonin Artaud, “we are not appealing to the audience’s minds or senses, but to their whole existence. To theirs and ours.”
Michael Fenton, Artistic Director, is a director and performer based out of Calgary, Alberta; he attained a B.F.A. in drama from the University of Lethbridge and a M.F.A. in directing from the University of Calgary. Michael has worked at various theatres across Canada and New Zealand, whilst performing touring productions and directing plays. A four-year stint in Asia allowed him to observe and participate in an expansive array of performing arts from India to Japan. While willing to experiment with any theatrical genre and style, he holds an affinity for Expressionism, Melodrama and verse. Some directing highlights include Durang’s The Marriage of Bette and Boo (Christchurch Drama Centre, New Zealand), Brecht’s Baal (The University of Calgary), Barrie’s Peter Pan (Assistant Director, Alberta Theatre Projects) and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Theatre Encounter).
Lauren Mazuryk, Managing Director, is currently working in Human Resource Management within the manufacturing sector. She has spent the last 7 years working in administration and human resources in the automotive industry in Ontario and has recently moved back to her home town of Calgary. Lauren received her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from the University of Lethbridge where she was actively involved in the Theatre Arts Society and the creation of Twoonie Theatre. She is currently completing her Certified Human Resources Professional designation through the HRIA.
Val Duncan, Artistic Producer, is a graduate of the University of Calgary where she studied English Literature with an emphasis on early Renaissance dramatic texts. She has performed in numerous productions with Theatre Encounter, including Caligula, The Glass Menagerie and Medea, and also co-directed the company’s 2014 production of The Dumb Waiter. Apart from her work with Theatre Encounter, Val has also performed with The Shakespeare Company, Mob Hit Productions, and is a co-creator of Valour & Tea Productions.
Mike Unrau, Company Co-Founder and Artistic Associate, is currently is doing his PhD studies in creativity and social innovation with a focus on embodiment. He offers trainings in physical theatre, embodied leadership and creativity, and has presented/led in Canada, India and Europe. Please contact munrau [at] alumni.ubc.ca for further info.
THEATRE ENCOUNTER BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President – Fran Jamison
Secretary – Lauren Mazuryk
Treasurer – Gregg Kocourek
Directors – Simon Sia, Jodie Schmalzbauer, Maureen Jamison, Greg McMeekin, Robert Lam
THEATRE ENCOUNTER STAFF
Artistic Director – Michael Fenton
Managing Director – Lauren Mazuryk
Artistic Producer – Val Duncan
Honorary Artistic Associate & Co-Founder – Mike Unrau
Company Intern – Cassandra Watson