Theatre; Just Because announces their upcoming season

Fort McMurray, Alberta:  Independent local theatre company Theatre; Just Because announces their 2019-20 season! At the opening night of their latest production, the Shakespeare classic Macbeth, the company introduced their upcoming diverse programming and productions. This will be their biggest season yet, filled to the brim with plays, workshops, zombies, and more!  

Theatre; Just Because kicks off the season with Justin Shaw’s one-man piece The Wrestling Play, playing one night only at the YMM Food Festival Midnight Madness event on July 20. “This show is very important in the history of Theatre; Just Because, because it signifies the transition of the Artistic Director role in 2017 - from Michelle Thorne to myself,” says Shaw. “The remounting of this project is intended to give audience a glimpse of the intensity and effort Theatre; Just Because brings to its work, and setting an example for artists to take creative risks with their artistic practice.”

The Youth Play Production, a six-month long theatre program for local youth presented in partnership with the Suncor Energy Centre for the Performing Arts, is back! This season the youth will work towards presenting An Evening of Commedia. Justin Shaw and Bailey Yarkie are the facilitators for this year’s program. “Bailey Yarkie was a major asset to the Youth Play Production last year, and I’m excited for her to be involved in a bigger capacity” says Shaw. “She will be leading educational components of the production this year, while I look after rehearsal.”

The ever-popular Waypoints fundraising dinner theatre returns for a fifth year! “We’re thrilled to work with Waypoints on this must-attend event again,” says play director Justin Shaw. “We love working with this fantastic local non-profit providing a valuable service to the Wood Buffalo community. This year, artists and audiences can expect more improvisation, and more audience involvement than ever before. How is the audience involved? Stay tuned!”

Theatre; Just Because is bringing the fun this holiday season - get ready for the hilarious horror musical Evil Dead the Musical directed by Hanna Fridhed – featuring musical performances, an epic love story, guts, gore, and a splash zone! Coming December 2019: “this is an extremely entertaining show, with everything from dancing zombies to a live band” says Fridhed. “It’s definitely for mature audiences, it’s bringing all the best parts of the cult splatter movie genre to the stage. Prepare for a wild ride!

Building on their mission of encouraging local artists to develop their craft and take ownership of their work, the 2019-20 season adds a diverse lineup of theatre-based workshops throughout the year, in addition to the existing New Play Development program which will continue to nurture local playwrights who are looking for feedback on their work, writing resources, and best practices. “Artistic development and encouragement are pillars of what we do”, says Hanna Fridhed, Communications and Resource Manager. “We want to ensure that our local theatre artists, no matter their experience level, have an opportunity to grow and learn. Our workshops will be led by professional and community theatre artists, and include topics like auditioning, directing, designing for the stage, and more.”

For the full details of the 2018/19 season, see below:

The Wrestling Play

July 20, 2019, as part of YMM Food Festival Midnight Madness

Written by Justin Shaw

The Wrestling Play tells the story of Charles - a mild mannered gentleman who quits his as a teacher to become a professional wrestler in the heart of Mexico City. Faced with numerous challenges, Charles discovers that taking life into his own hands is not as easy as it seems.

Alberta Culture Days

September 26-27 & 29, 2019

All ABCD programming is offered for free to the public.

  • Thursday, September 26: Theatre 101 – a workshop guiding participants through the basics of theatre.

  • Friday, September 27: An Evening of Entertainment returns! A musical variety show featuring local Wood Buffalo performers.

  • Sunday, September 30: Youth Theatre Workshop – Youth aged 12-16 are invited to participate in an afternoon of theatre activities designed to enhance their performance skills.

Youth Play Production presents An Evening of Commedia

October 2019 - April 2020

Facilitated by Bailey Yarkie and  Justin Shaw

Commedia is a classic theatre tradition, steeped in a lot of contemporary elements such as improv and audience interaction. We think this is something that will resonate with the youth, and provide them the opportunity to practice new skills and try something different.

Evil Dead the Musical

December 2019

Directed by Hanna Fridhed

Evil Dead The Musical takes all the elements of the cult classic films, The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness and combines them for one of the craziest, funniest, and bloodiest theatrical experiences of all time! Five college students go to an abandoned cabin in the woods, and accidentally unleash an evil force that turns them all into demons. It’s all up to Ash (a housewares employee turned demon-killing hero), and his trusty chainsaw to save the day. Blood flies. Limbs are dismembered. Demons tell bad jokes… and all to music.

Waypoints Dinner Theatre

March 2020

Written and directed by Justin Shaw

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For the fifth year, Theatre; Just Because is working with Waypoints on their annual fundraising dinner theatre. It promises to be a fantastic event for a great cause! More details to come.

ADFA One Act Theatre Festival - Community Director

April 2019

TJB once again produces a show for the ADFA One Act Theatre Festival, continuing to encourage local artists to take ownership of their work. A call for a director will go out late 2019.

Workshops and New Play Development


This series will work to develop the skills of local theatre artists, including workshops and the New Play Development Program.

About Theatre; Just Because:  Formed in 2014, Theatre; Just Because is a community driven, locally grown and operated independent theatre company in Fort McMurray, Alberta. We work to develop unique opportunities for local artists to create meaningful and impactful theatre experiences and foster ongoing artist growth in our local context.