Mandate – Blue Bridge Theatre Society is a Victoria, BC, based professional, non-profit theatre society. It offers:
- Significant creative, production and management opportunities to emerging professional theatre artists wishing to pursue a career in the arts;
- Opportunities for young actors, directors, writers, producers and other career professionals in this field to train for, participate in and occupy major creative, production and administrative theatrical roles alongside established theatre artists;
- The opportunity for these artists to develop, exchange and experiment with new techniques and ideas in the theatre – particularly as these techniques and ideas relate to the production of those ‘classic’ works drawn from the European and North American theatre traditions;
- The audiences of Greater Victoria its own professional theatre company that focuses on these masterworks – the ‘classics’.
Mission – BBRT was founded on the belief that great cities deserve great theatre. Boasting its own opera, symphony, public art gallery, professional theatre training institutions and a host of medium to smaller professional theatres, Victoria, BC (population approx. 350,000) is remarkable for the range and diversity of the professional arts activity that it supports. However, although the theatre audiences of Victoria have been well served when it comes to seeing the best professional Canadian, cutting edge and youth theatre, since the demise of the New Bastion Theatre in the early 1990’s, they have lacked a professional company that dedicates itself to presenting fresh interpretations of the great works from the past – the ‘classics’. Based on the belief that vibrant cultures are those which view the present, past and future with equal energy and clarity, BBRT’s aim is to give (primarily Victoria based) artists, technicians and administrators the opportunity to build a world class theatre company that offers audiences timeless visions, and radical re-imaginings, into the world’s great plays.
History – Currently led by a dedicated Board of Directors and Advisory Board and administered by Founding Artistic Director Brian Richmond and General Manager Rebekah Johnson, BBRT was founded in 2008 by some of Canada’s most respected established and exciting early career theatre artists and educators. BBRT has completed 10 critically-lauded and well-attended seasons. In this time the company has presented over 40 multi award winning productions.
Enthusiastically received by the public, the media, and the community-at-large, these seasons have;
- drawn over 90,000 audience members to its several events and shows;
- offer more than 300 early career opportunities to young directors, designers, actors, stage managers, production personnel and administrators;
- seen the securing of cash support from more than 70 major corporate sponsors over 8 years and hundreds of private donors representing over $ 4.5 m in cash or in-kind community support;
- generated more than $ 5.5 m in employment opportunities for primarily Victoria based theatre artists;
- seen BBRT hailed by local media as being the “most important cultural event to take place in Victoria in decades” (Times Colonist);
- seen BBRT win 22 and receive 48 nominations in the Victoria Critics’ Annual Spotlight Awards including 5 Best Professional Production, 4 Best Director, 8 Best Actor or Best Acting Ensemble and 5 Best Design awards.