Open Pit Theatre explores new approaches to play development by creating and producing professional theatre.  






Open Pit Theatre is focused on providing the Yukon with the following:

  • PLAY DEVELOPMENT:  The creation of new works in the Yukon that combine physicality with text. 
  • PUBLIC WORKSHOPS: Providing professional training for Yukon artists by bringing in guest artists annually. 
  • CO-PRODUCTIONS: Encouraging collaboration amongst local and guest creators.  




  • President:  Caili Steel
  • Vice-President: Selene Vakharia
  • Treasurer: Gurbeer Gill
  • Directors: Rebecca Whitcher, Meagan Deuling, Doug Mayr, Hannah McDonald




  • Open Pit Theatre offered Projection Design Workshops in Whitehorse, YT with guest instructor Jamie Nesbitt. 
  • The Magnetic North Theatre Festival came to Whitehorse, and Open Pit Theatre was invited to present at the Yukon Night pitch session.  
  • Open Pit Theatre was commissioned by Ramshackle Theatre to perform a new work at Theatre in the Bush for the Magnetic North Theatre Festival. 
  • Our new verbatim play Busted Up: A Yukon Story was awarded funding from the Canada 150 Fund, Canada Council for the Arts, and Arts Fund to premiere as part the Yukon Art Centre season in 2017. 


  • Open Pit Theatre launched the year by bringing up guest artist Joel Bernbaum to offer public verbatim workshops, and assist (as dramaturge) on The Yukon Verbatim Project.   Three public workshops were offered, and Joel worked for one week with Genviève Doyon and hired actors on the development of the play. 


  • In January, Open Pit Theatre was commissioned to participate in Nakai Theatre's 2014 Pivot Theatre Festival with a workshop production of Leave a Message (Après le Bip).  
  • In May, Open Pit Theatre received funding from Canada Council for the Arts and Arts Fund (Department of Tourism and Culture, Mike Nixon, Minister) to begin the development of a new verbatim play, currently entitled The Yukon Verbatim Project.  The funding subsidized a territory-wide tour to collect interviews, verbatim workshops with a guest artist, and a public reading of the work in progress.  
  • Participation in Nakai Theatre's PlayLab with D.D. Kugler to continue the development of Leave a Message (Après le Bip)
  • Open Pit Theatre, with the help of the NGO Training Fund held it's first Strategic Planning Session with mediator Marjolène Gauthier.  A new mission, vision, and mandate was implemented and a 3-year company plan was created.  
  • In November, Open Pit Theatre hosted it's first sold out fundraiser entitled 1920's Silent Film Night.  


  • In October, with the support of the Cultural Industries Training Fund, Open Pit hosted a variety of Vocal Workshops in Whitehorse with guest artist Cindy Block from Toronto. 

  • Participation in Nakai Theatre's PlayLab with D.D. Kugler to expand Leave a Message (Après le Bip) from a 10 minute piece into a one act play.

  • Participation in Homegrown Theatre Festival with two new works; One Act; One Hour and Leave a Message (Après le Bip). 



  • Participation in Nakai Theatre's PlayLab with D.D. Kugler to continue working on the Nowhere Near script from the Devised Yukon Project. 

  • Producing, in cooperation with Lighthead Productions, a one-week physical play development workshop in Victoria, BC to gather professional film footage. Please see our VIDEO page to view the documented material.

  • In May, Open Pit became a registered not-for-profit society and a board-of-directors was formed.  

  • The design, and implementation of a new company logo and website.  


  • Six artists from across Canada were hired by Open Pit to participate in the Devised Yukon Project  where they collaborated for eight weeks on the development of a new physical piece.  The artists were required to blog once a week about their experience.  Please see our NEWS page to read more. 

  • Nowhere Near  was presented at the Yukon Arts Centre as a workshop production. Please see our IN DEVELOPMENT page to read more. 

  • Open Pit and Nakai Theatre co-produced Physical Theatre Workshops in Whitehorse with guest artist Ker Wells.   


  • Open Pit was created, as an ad-hoc collective, by Jessica Hickman and Sam Bergmann-Good. 

  • Funding was secured for The Devised Yukon Project via Canada Council for the Arts, ArtsFund, and Culture Quest.  

  • Funding was secured for Physical Theatre Workshops with Ker Wells via the Cultural Industries Training Fund.