THEATrePUBLIC was born in 1984, in Edmonton Alberta, the brainchild of Kenneth Brown who, after training as an actor at the National Theatre School returned to live and work in his home town.  The theatre company was at first an ad-hoc invention, a   collective of theatre folk gathered to perform a single play.  Within a year, it was clear that the company’s work was going to be in greater demand, and it was incorporated as a non-profit society.  The implied pun in the name (“theatre about the public“) was entirely intentional.

This was as a direct result of Ken’s one-man show Life After Hockey, created in a hothouse of intense dramaturgy with the wise editorial guidance of its director, Michael Puttonen.  The show became a smash hit at the 1985 Edmonton Fringe Festival, and went on to be produced by many companies in three languages in five countries.  Ken himself performed the play some 1200 times between 1985 and 2004. It took him to “nearly every place in English Canada large enough to have a theatre,” and abroad to Sweden, Norway, and Finland.  It was broadcast nationallyas a radio play, and made into a film in 1989, subsequently sweeping the major AMPIA awards in 1990.

RinkRatIn the midst of this, Kenneth Brown’s teaching career, his commitments as a father, and other theatre work kept him busy, but not to busy to keep writing and creating.  Among the works he authored, directed, or performed in, THEATrePUBLIC produced a long list of independent work:


Alma’s Night Out(1986)

North of America(1989)


Cambodia, a Play for People Who Find Television Too Slow(1990)

-based on the book by Brian Fawcett

The Cambodia Pavilion(1991)

-based on the previous play

Sex-tete (1994) (collective creation, auteured by Kenneth Brown)

Letters in Wartime(1994) (co-authored by Ken and Stephen Scriver)

Sex-Too(1995) (collective creation, auteured by Kenneth Brown)

The Bridge (1995)

The Old Sweat’s Diary (1997)

Garneau Kid(1998)

Joseph Andrews(1998) (adapted from Charles Dickens)


My Father’s House(1999)

A Poor Man’s Lear(2000) (adapted from Shakespeare)

The Old Curiosity Shop(2002) (adapted from Charles Dickens)

Uncle Van (2002) (adapted from Anton Chekhov)

The Garneau Kid (2002) (expanded from the 1998 version)

Lewis Lapham Live (2003) (adapted from the writing of Lewis Lapham)

Cowboy Poetré(2005) (produced first in French by l’Unitheatre, Edmonton)

Kind Hearts and Coronets(2006) (Ken co-authored with John Huston)

The Snows(2007) (Ken’s adaptation of Michel Garneau’s Les Neiges)

Grimmer Than Grimm(collective creation, auteured by Kenneth Brown)

Grimmer Than Grimmer Than Grimm (collective creation, auteured by Kenneth Brown)

Anatolia Speaks(2009) (a co-production with Poiema Productions)

Wooster Sauce(co-adapted by Kenneth Brown and John Huston from Wodehouse)

George Orwell is Not My Real Name(2009) adapted with Kevin Williamson from Orwell

The Spiral Dive Trilogy:

Episode One (2008)

Episode Two (2009)

Episode Three (2010)

(the trilogy was presented as a single, day-long event in Jan 2011)

Water(2013) (collective creation auteured by Kenneth Brown)

The Gambling Show (2010)(collective creation, auteured by Kenneth Brown)

The Paladin (2016)

Love and Death(2015)

Balance 2.1 (2016)

Noir in Blue (2017)

The Mad Fantastic Maid of God (2018) (co-produced with Poiema Productions 

Roy Versus The Red Baron (2018)

2 Sherlock Holmes Adventures (2018) (co-adapted and performed with John Huston)

The Sign of Four (2019)  (co-adapted and performed with John Huston)

Look At The Town (2019)


THEATrePUBLIC reverted from its corporate status to that of a proprietorship in the early 2000s.  As this record shows,  that has not slowed the work.  Since retiring from MacEwan University in 2015, Kenneth Brown has traveled extensively, so while his summers are spent creating new work and touring it at Fringe festivals in Canada, his winter’s creative work is


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