A Brief History

2002 - 2011

2004 May
The inaugural Carol Shields Festival of New Works is launched, featuring staged readings of 21 new plays by 19 Canadian playwrights, most of whom are local.

2007 March
The Playwrights Unit is established with seven local playwrights, both experienced and emerging, who will use PTE as a base and resource while they work on current projects. As of the 2017-18 season, the current roster of new and established playwrights is comprised of Joseph AragonSharon BajerRick ChafeGinny CollinsTricia CooperJames DurhamDebbie PattersonEllen PetersonMarc Prescott and Ian Ross.  As of March, 2018, PTE has given professional productions to seven new plays that were developed within the Playwrights’ Unit (Sharon Bajer, Burnin’ Love – March, 2011; Rick Chafe, The Secret Mask – November, 2011; Ellen Peterson, The Brink, October 2012; Tricia Cooper, Social Studies, November 2013; Rick Chafe, Marriage: A Demolition in Two Acts, March 2016; Ginny Collins, The Flats, January 2017; Joseph Aragon, How the Heavens Go, March 2018). Other new scripts developed by the members of the Playwrights Unit during the past few years have been produced across the country, including a number of Short Shots – ten minute plays specially commissioned by PTE for the Carol Shields Festival.

2007 November
On November 8, 2007, PTE marks its 35th year by recognizing the extraordinary contributions of The Honourable Charles R. Huband with a special fundraising dinner, establishing the Charles R. Huband Legacy Fund in the Prairie Theatre Exchange Foundation Trust. Mr. Huband, a Life Member of the PTE Board of Directors, was one of the driving forces in the creation of PTE.

2008 January
Winnipeg playwright Bruce McManus premieres his sixth new play for PTE, All Restaurant Fires are Arson, which is the 132nd new play since PTE’s inception.

2011 January
On January 13, 2011 PTE launches its two-phase Capital Campaign with a goal of $2.2 million.   On November 8, 2012  PTE announces that it has reached its Capital Campaign goal of $2.5 million.  With the completion of Phase 1 of the capital project in the summer of 2011, PTE is able to renovate the lobby, construct  a new lounge and upgrade washrooms.  The main theatre also receives new carpeting, reupholstered seats and fresh paint. The second phase, over the summer of 2012, sees the completion of a new Board Room, updated offices, the completion of a new film studio in the “Annex” portion of the facility, complete with editing suite, and a new space for the Playwrights Unit that includes a library of Canadian plays, workstations and meeting area.

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