Gas & Light Productions was formed in the spring of 1998 and mounted their first production that fall. The company took a gamble and opened with a play based on a book by the very popular comedy/fantasy writer, Terry Pratchett. The play, Wyrd Sisters was based extremely loosely on Shakespeare's Macbeth. The first season concluded with the well-known farce See How They Run, by Philip King. The 1999/2000 season opened with another farce, John Chapman's Holiday Snap, coupled with a spring production of Any Number Can Die, a comedy thriller by Fred Carmichael.
Deciding that comedies were definitely the way to go, the 2000/2001 season season saw a return to the silly world of the Terry Pratchett canon with Mort, a story of a boy who became Deaths apprentice until he let a pretty face distract him from his duties, unleashing a series of potential disasters. Not satisfied, the company then mounted their most ambitious production to date with Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, complicated somewhat by using the less well known four act version of the play. The gamble paid off with the best box office results that the company had experienced to date.
The spring 2002 production saw a move from the Burns theatre in Fort Calgary, to the Joyce Doolittle Theatre at the Pumphouse. G&L's first offering in their new home was Neil Simon's Fools, using for the first time a guest director. This too was a financial success and fully justified the move to the better known theatre space. The next season saw another Philip King farce, Pools Paradise followed by Paul Runick's hit Broadway comedy I Hate Hamlet, with the ghost of John Barrymore haunting a young actor. Their successful run at the Pumphouse continued with the Restoration comedy She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith. G&S then decided to dip into the darker comedies with The Dresser and Smash. While both successful, the company decided to change their focus to lighter comedies, offer the gentle classic tale of Little Women in 2005, another smash hit with audiences.
In 2007, the company capitalized on their success with the re-mounting of The Importance of Being Earnest, but the three act version. Sticking with costume comedies, in the spring they presented Pride and Prejudice adapted for the stage from the Jane Austen novel. The company stretched to the French farce An Absolute Turkey by Georges Feydeau in October of 2008. The company decided to mount two plays in 2009, but with a twist. In August, they presented their first show at the Calgary Fringe Festival, their own Crystal Ball. The fringe productions were not only profitable financially but also artistically. Realizing that it was possible to present artistic and popular plays, Gas & Light’s decided on in April of 2010 on two one act comedies by Oscar and Tony-award winning playwright Tom Stoppard- The Real Inspector Hound and After Magritte. In 2011, Gas & Light decided to re-visit the world of Hamlet with the comedy Hamlet II- Better Than the Original.
While these two surreal and absurdist plays were successful, the Gas & Light team will be returning to costume plays with the world premiere of Emma, adapted from the book by Jane Austen, in April of 2012.