A Brief History

1972 - 1980

Manitoba Theatre School is founded and run by the Manitoba Theatre Centre.

Manitoba Theatre School is closed and the Manitoba Theatre Workshop is founded by concerned students, teachers and community members, spearheaded by Co-Founders Colin Jackson and Charles Huband.

November 24, 1972 Manitoba Theatre Workshop is incorporated. 

Colin Jackson was appointed Director of Manitoba Theatre Workshop, a position he held until 1976.  Following Colin’s departure, Deborah Baer Quinn was appointed Artistic Director of MTW.  Charles Huband was the first President of the Board of Directors.      

Manitoba Theatre Workshop officially opens its doors in the old Grain Exchange Building, at 160 Princess Street, renovated with financial support from individuals, businesses and government including an Opportunities for Youth grant. This government grant enabled the employment of a number of young people assisted by many volunteers. The objectives of Manitoba Theatre Workshop expands on those of the Manitoba Theatre School to include people of all ages and levels of sophistication.
1973 - 1981
Manitoba Theatre Workshop supports and develops creative expression in the community though its school, its outreach program and its theatre. It helps and encourages local playwrights and performers, and moves continuously towards becoming a theatre resource centre.

Our Mandate, Vision & Values

Theatre is essential to the health and growth of communities, offering insight into the human spirit. Theatre informs, educates, entertains, challenges, shocks, questions, and illuminates. Prairie Theatre Exchange (PTE) was born with these ideals in 1972, and has become a centre of excellence for contemporary theatre and drama education.

While nationally recognized, PTE is deeply rooted in community and has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in Winnipeg and throughout Manitoba. Manitobans trust PTE to ensure that full voice is given to the finest artistic talent our region and our country have to offer.

Our Mandate
• To produce and present professional live and digital productions
• To be a centre for new play development and production in the Prairies
• To be a centre for artistic professional development
• To share our productions with a local, provincial, national and international audience
• To be a home and resource to artists, supporting experimentation, and opportunity
• To embrace and integrate principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, decolonization,
anti-racism, anti-oppression, accessibility, and social justice into operations
both artistic and administrative

Our Vision
The vision for Prairie Theatre Exchange is to be vital, relevant, and responsive. We strive to be a centre for innovation in theatre and performance practice: a home for interdisciplinary and diverse works. We are a home for artists from the Prairies (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta) and beyond. We prioritize professional development for artists in the Prairies. We are a contemporary professional theatre company which reflects the ever-evolving communities and audiences we serve with artistry, confidence and heart.

    Our Values

    The plays we produce and the work we do are expressions of our priorities. The way we create and present these plays exemplifies the ethics, philosophy and guiding principles of the company.

    It is essential that our theatre be:
    • Safe
    • Accountable
    • Equitable
    • Accessible
    • Respectful
    • Truthful
    • Inspired
    • Provocative
    • Artistically rich
    • Generous
    • Responsible
    • Inter-cultural
    • Inter-sectional
    • Inter-disciplinary