12 Months of Podcast Drama by Queer, Albertan Writers in 2020

Cardiac Theatre, in partnership with What It Is Productions, presents The Alberta Queer Calendar Project: a full year of podcast drama from queer, Albertan writers in 2020. 

Episodes are released monthly in 2020 and are free to access for one full year from this site, or wherever you get your podcasts.

As of February 26th, 2021 we’ve started to take down episodes that have been live for one year. Make sure to catch the remaining productions before they’re gone!


January

Local Diva
by Liam Salmon

presented with the generous support of Glass Bookshop

This episode streamed from January 31, 2020 to February 26, 2021 and is no longer available.
© 2020 Liam Salmon

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Local queer, Tragi-dean, victim/hero/example/metaphor/villain has something to say. Something about growing up gay in a catholic school, working the drag circuit, and living through the 2019 Alberta election. Something about taking it and something about… not.

Located in Edmonton City Centre, Glass Bookshop is Edmonton’s newest independent bookshop. Founded by Jason Purcell and Matthew Stepanic, the bookshop focuses on Canadian writing with special attention paid to LGBTQ2SIA and IBPOC writers, as well as the independent publishers who help to produce their work.

Writer: Liam Salmon

Director: Owen Emblau

Production Coordinator: Kiidra Duhault

Sound Designer: Thomas Geddes

Featuring: Jacob Holloway

Dramaturge: Darrin Hagen


février

À vendre
d’Émanuel Dubbeldam

présenté avec l’appui généreux de L’UniThéâtre

presented with the generous support of L’UniThéâtre

This episode streamed from February 26, 2020 to February 26, 2021 and is no longer available.
© 2020 Émanuel Dubbeldam

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La famille Gilbert sait très bien choisir ses mots. Mais après plus de 30 ans de tout dire sans rien dire du tout, ils font face à une question qu’ils évitent depuis longtemps: comment faire le deuil d’une personne toujours vivante?

The Gilbert family knows how to choose their words carefully. But after 30 years of saying everything without saying anything, they are faced with one question that they have been avoiding for a long time: how do you mourn someone who is still alive?

L’UniThéâtre est la seule compagnie de théâtre professionnel francophone d’Edmonton et a pour mandat de contribuer au développement de la communauté francophone et à la promotion des expressions langagières et culturelles en français à Edmonton, en Alberta et à travers le Canada.

L’UniThéâtre is the only professional francophone theatre company in Edmonton and as such we are dedicated to the development of the francophone community and to the promotion of the French language and French-language cultural expressions in Edmonton, Alberta and throughout Canada.

Écrivain/Writer: Émanuel Dubbeldam

Mise en lecture/Director: Paula Laroche Humby

Coordinatrice de production/Production Coordinator: Beth Grieve

Concept sonore/Sound Designer: Kiidra Duhault

Julie: Katrine Deniset

Rémi: Vincent Forcier

Benoît: Patrick Dunn

La Nurse: Sophie Gareau-Brennan

Lucille: Eve-Marie Forcier


March

Suspension
by Hayley Moorhouse

presented with the generous support of SkirtsAfire Festival and funded in part by the Edmonton Arts Council

This episode streamed from March 8, 2020 to March 8, 2021 and is no longer available.
© 2020 Hayley Moorhouse

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Two strangers meet in a lush suburban backyard. Overhead, a plane has exploded. Gravity has stopped. The wreckage hangs suspended in the air. A dark absurdist comedy about what it means to bear witness.

Founded in 2012, SkirtsAfire Festival is Edmonton’s only theatre and multidisciplinary arts festival featuring women. In conjunction with International Women’s Day, our 10 day festival runs each March at various venues in the heart of Old Strathcona, Downtown, and Alberta Avenue. We present powerful and insightful stories to a diverse audience that is hungry to be moved by passionate performances and exhibitions. Programming reflects the true diversity of the thriving arts community in Alberta and Canada, and is adaptive in its approach in order to remain responsive to the needs of artists and audiences.

Writer: Hayley Moorhouse

Director: Suzie Martin

Featuring: Meegan Sweet & Holly Wandler

Sound Designer & Production Coordinator: Kiidra Duhault

SkirtsAfire Gallery Curator: Stephanie Florence

In partnership with SkirtsAfire Festival 2020, Suspension was available to listen to at the Nina Haggerty Gallery a in conjunction with a collaborative visual art show, curated by artist Stephanie Florence. Drawing inspiration from the themes in Moorhouse’s drama, Stephanie and a team of artists built a visual world to accompany March’s edition of the Alberta Queer Calendar Project.


April

Pretty Ugly
by Brett Dahl

presented with the generous support of Theatre Outré

This episode streamed from July 16, 2020 to July 16, 2021 and is no longer available.
© 2020 Brett Dahl

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Being Gay makes you a liar. A fraud. Actually. Because we are taught to hide our identity from a young age and we grow up using these lies to protect our true selves from the world and the world from our true self. Some people would say being Gay is a parasite …

Meet ‘Guy’ – He’s just been diagnosed with a rare enteric parasite that is eating away at his gut – eating him from the inside out. He got it because he is Gay – whatever that means. He also neglected to tell his partner. 

Meet ‘Ken’ – He’s the perfect boyfriend. He’s got the best body. The best dick. But that’s not good enough because he doesn’t know how to use it. He’s caught between the pursuit for a perfect persona and holding onto a deteriorating relationship.

You could say being Gay forces you into deception. Or you could say society has taught Gay people to be experts at lying. Or perhaps ‘our existence is an act of resilience.’ -Alexander Leon

Theatre Outré is a professional theatre company based in Lethbridge, Alberta. Founded in 2012 by artistic director Jay Whitehead, Theatre Outré is a leading outlet for alternative queer theatre in Alberta and the producer of the hugely successful Pretty Witty & Gay Cabaret & Festival. It also operates its own venue in Lethbridge, Didi’s Playhouse (formerly Club Didi and Bordello). 

Writer/Director: Brett Dahl

Guy: Silverius Materi

Ken: Austin Halarewich

Doc: Jay Whitehead

Nurse: Mia van Leeuwen

Sound Designer/Composer: Allison Lynch

Production Coordinator: Deonie Hudson


May

Real Job
by Arielle Rombough

presented with the generous support of Downstage


This episode streamed from June 29, 2020 to July 8, 2021 and is no longer available.
© 2020 Arielle Rombough

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Most of us face big questions about what to do with our lives and how to create the perfect work/life balance. Devon seemingly has this figured out, until her most important relationships are tested when it’s revealed what her real job is. 

Downstage, based in Calgary, produces theatre that creates conversation around current social issues.

Writer: Arielle Rombough

Featuring: Arielle Rombough & Chris Austman

Director: Clare Preuss

Sound Designer: Chris Austman


June

Home Again
by Calla Wright

presented with the generous support of The Nextfest Arts Co.


This episode streamed from June 30, 2020 to July 8, 2021 and is no longer available.
© 2020 Calla Wright

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Judith and Adam are old friends who haven’t seen each other in years. As teenagers, they spent a lot of time getting drunk or high and baring their souls to each other. Judith, who has moved away, runs away from her new city when her wife gives birth to a stillborn child. She goes to find Adam, only to discover that he has just attempted suicide. Judith saves his life, and drives him out into the desert, where they embark on a journey of inebriation, life, death, and everything in between.

A celebration of the creative voice of the next generation, Nextfest is a multidisciplinary art festival that promotes the development of emerging artists. Stage, screen, page, and everywhere imaginable in between converge as we gather to celebrate with over 600 of Alberta’s emerging artists.

Writer/Director: Calla Wright

Featuring: Philip Hackborn, Chiara Tate-Penna, and Josh Travnik

Sound Design/Composition: Daniel Belland

Production Coordinator: Robin Wolff von Selzam


July

These Four Walls
by Jay Northcott

presented with the generous support of Downstage


Available until: This Episode streamed from August 31, 2020 to September 7, 2021 and is no longer available.
© 2020 Jay Northcott

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You know when you put all your clothes in the dryer and then you are folding them and some how you are missing a sock? Like some magical vortex took your sock and it’s never coming back. These Four Walls is kind of about that. And trust, and love, and maybe some other stuff. A play full of Queer whimsy and anxiety – what more could you ask for?

Downstage, based in Calgary, produces theatre that creates conversation around current social issues.

Writer: Jay Northcott

Director: K. P. Smith

Sound Designer: Kyle Hinton

Production Coordinator: Jenny Yeung

Taylor: Keshia Cheesman

Ada: Orin Dore

Three: Tenaj Williams

Nat: Jesselle Laurén

Seam: Marshall Vielle


August

Ai Yah! Face the Facts
by Dale Lee Kwong

presented with the generous support of Lunchbox Theatre

This episode streamed from August 28, 2020 to August 28, 2021 and is no longer available.
© 2020 Dale Lee Kwong

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Jade Wong needs a vacation, so it’s perfect timing when she accepts a cheap, all-inclusive cruise to Alaska. She flies to Vancouver, only to discover it’s a lesbian cruise, and her cabin-mate is a lesbian. Find out what else Jade discovers on board, and about herself in Ai Yah! Face the Facts.

Lunchbox Theatre is the only dedicated lunchtime theatre in North America. The company delivers unique performances in an intimate and comfortable atmosphere, while mindfully crafting a rich and complex experience that addresses socially relevant issues in an hour-long format.

Lunchbox Theatre also focuses on the development and production of original one-act plays; many of which are written by local Calgarians. Stay up-to-date with Lunchbox by visiting lunchboxtheatre.com.

Writer: Dale Lee Kwong

Director/Dramaturge: Trevor Rueger

Sound Designer: K. P. Smith

Production Coordinator: Michael Luong

Jade: Selina Wong

Jennifer/Jenny: Lara Schmitz

Charlie/Chuck: Mike Tan

Lillian/Sue: Pat Chan

Robby/Bellhop: Ben Wong

Captain’s VO: Dale Lee Kwong

Featuring musical performances by: Seb’s Sibs


September

My Boyfriend’s Boyfriend
by Jamie Price

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Closed captioned video also available on YouTube


Available until: October 19, 2021
© 2020 Jamie Price

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My Boyfriend’s Boyfriend is about three likeable nerds who begin a polyamorous relationship. Sam isn’t sure about his boyfriend. Decker isn’t sure about monogamy. Tricia isn’t sure about their gender. One thing they are all sure of is each other. A musical comedy about video games, polyamory, transition, and friendship.

Book by: Jamie Price & Anne Price

Music & Lyrics/Musical Director: Jamie Price

Featuring: Émanuel Dubbeldam, Andi Molloy, and Matthew Oliver van Diepen

Musicians: Daniel Belland & Brian Bergum

Sound Designer: Mirabel Sirois

Production Coordinator: Candice Stollery

Dramaturge: Darrin Hagen

Director: Harley Morison


October

Mx.
by Tyler J Sloane

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Available until: October 31, 2021
© 2020 Tyler J Sloane

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Mx. follows the intersecting relationships of six queer non-binary & male folks navigating a theme of: ‘what’s prescribed but hard to swallow’ over the 2016 year in downtown Toronto. Heath wants to thrive in the freedom Canada alludes to, Samphel discovering the possibilities of sexuality and the magic of the community’s nightlife, Dameer wanting to hold onto the rollercoaster ride of being in love, and Nathan flirting with all levels of performance, resilience, and lust. With the character of Mattea at the forefront wanting to juggle; community safety, a new burgeoning relationship, freedom, and emerging as the burlesque performer; Colin Eyes’d. Yet represented as the two spirits; Toby & Mickey, trying to find a way to find peace and thrivance within their Two-Spirit femme identity. With influences of Indigenous Missing & Murdered Youth, the McArthur Victims, BLMTO, and lateral violence in the Queer community, the story culminates in the mysterious disappearance of one of their own. 

Writer: Tyler J. Sloane

Co-Directors: Colin Wolf & Tyler J. Sloane

Featuring: Xavier Lopez, Jay Northcott, Kwaku Okyere, Zachary Running Coyote, Gehan Udayanga, and Marshall Vielle.

Sound Designer: Olivia Shortt

Production Coordinator: Sara German

Dramaturge: Jake Tkaczyk


November

Legislating Love: The Everett Klippert Story
by Natalie Meisner

presented with the generous support of Sage Theatre

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Available until: December 28, 2021
© 2020 Natalie Meisner

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Aspiring historian Maxine is researching Canadian social policy when she discovers the story of Everett Klippert—the last Canadian man jailed simply for being gay. Maxine becomes fascinated with Everett’s case and with discovering the man beyond the headlines, a beloved Calgary bus driver on the downtown route who took care to brighten the day of his passengers, who played on the family baseball team and was everyone’s favourite uncle, and who, when he was confronted by police about his sexuality, refused to lie.Inspired and captivated, Maxine interviews people who knew Everett Klippert. She connects with a senior at a local assisted living facility she knows only as Handsome, one of Klippert’s lovers and perhaps the only person who can truly illuminate the past. At the same time, Maxine is navigating her own new relationship with Métis comedian Tonya. This absorbing, heartwarming play weaves together past and present in a multi-generational exploration of queer love. It tells the near-forgotten story of one of Canada’s quiet heroes and reminds us all that the past must be remembered as we work together for a better future.

Sage Theatre takes you on a bold, intimate, thoughtful journey exploring the human condition. We showcase talented Albertan artists and provide a platform for artistic growth and achievement.

In 2005, Sage Theatre founded the Ignite! Festival for Emerging Artists. The festival provides an opportunity for young artists to showcase and develop their skills, while giving audiences an entertaining and engaging sneak peak of the artists who will populate Canada’s performing arts scene for years to come.

Writer: Natalie Meisner

Featuring: Jenn Forgie, Matt McKinney, Kevin Rothery, and Kathy Zaborsky.

Director/Production Coordinator: Jason Mehmel

Sound Designer: K.P. Smith


December

Without You
by Elena Eli Belyea

This episode is funded in part by the Edmonton Arts Council

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Available until: March 22, 2022
© 2020 Elena Eli Belyea

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After months of grieving, Andrea’s finally found peace now that her deceased best friend Cassady’s soul has returned to her. Jill, Andrea’s mother, wants Andrea to seek help. Cassady wants to stay forever. Andrea wants to be left alone. A metaphysical audio play that blurs the lines of reality and memory, grief and love. What role does the past play in defining our future?

Writer: Elena Belyea

Featuring: Caleigh Crow, Nadien Chu, Kiana Wu

Director: Christine Brubaker

Sound Designer/Production Coordinator: Tori Morrison


Bonus Month Workshop

The Hooves Belonged to the Deer
by Makram Ayache

This episode is funded in part by the Edmonton Arts Council

This bonus, workshop episode streamed from March 1 to March 31, 2021 and is no longer available.
© 2021 Makram Ayache

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Adam and Howaa, the first Muslims in creation…or are they the first Christians?… are excepting.  But when Steve, a beautiful, blonde traveller from the Northern Kingdom arrives, Adam changes.  In another world, or maybe not, when Izzy’s family immigrates to small town Alberta, the young queer Muslim boy forges a relationship with a Christian Pastor, Isaac, who endeavours to save his soul from eternal damnation.

Writer: Makram Ayache

Featuring: Makram Ayache, Helen Belay, Nathan Carroll, Mathew Hulshof, Evan Medd, and Matt Nethersole.

Director: Peter Hinton

Sound Designer: Chris Periera

Production Coordinator: Tori Morrison

Dramaturge: Evan Medd


Project Mentor: Darrin Hagen
AQCP Logo Design: Skye Oleson-Cormack
Monthly Image Design: Michael Vetsch

The Alberta Queer Calendar Project is Produced by:
Jessica Glover
Harley Morison
Liam Salmon
with audio by Brian Bergum of What It Is Productions

You can reach the AQCP producing team at producers@cardiactheatre.ca.

Tune in for the podcast event of 2020.