We’ve been haunting the dark corners of Edmonton’s past for 13 years now. From the city’s very first mortuary on the north side of the river to the only unaltered pre-World War I streetscape in Edmonton to all three floors of an operative hotel to an off-season midway, we’ve been conjuring our special brand of immersive thrills and chills for sold out audiences since our very first one-night-only pop-up performance back in 2007.
You know we love to creep it real. But circumstances being what they are, we couldn’t safely deliver the same up close and personal thrills that’ve become part of the Dead Centre of Town ritual. So, we left Dead Centre of Town buried deep in the ground till it’s safe for us to get our scare on with you in person again.
Instead, we poured our dark little hearts into creating something new. Curio Shoppe is the first time we’ve offered an online interactive experience. And oh boy, has it been a fun, ridiculous challenge.
To our audience who invited us in to haunt your homes: thank you. For taking a risk on a brand new digital interactive experience. For believing in us even during the great pause. For an insatiable interest in Edmonton’s history. For celebrating the Halloween season with us.
To our cast and crew who dedicate countless hours, passion, and sometimes even blood, sweat and tears year over year: thank you. For breathing life into Edmonton’s dark and sordid past. For putting on one hell of a show despite the daunting conditions. For your scarily impressive talent.
To our volunteers May, Joe, Louise, Gary, Bob, and all the very many others who normally would brave the weather and the crowds to help make this experience exceptional: thank you. For supporting your local weirdos. For bringing your passion and energy to this mammoth production. We miss you. We can’t wait to get back to the Park after dark with you next year.
To our partners in scares, Fort Edmonton Park: thank you. For providing the most epic location. For the freedom to create. For six years of incredible support. For inviting us into the DARK in even the most bizarre of years.
To Fringe Theatre and our Fringe family: thank you. For being our home away from haunted home. For your mentorship. For encouraging us to run away with the scare circus every October.
To Amoris Projects: thank you. For so generously allowing us to build on the experimental platform you first dreamed up at the beginning of a lockdown that has encouraged us to innovate in new and scary (for other reasons!) ways as storytellers and experience creators.
To our DCoT Alumni and fellow Spooky Bitches near & far: you’ve built this beast, you are this beast. We couldn’t do what we do without you. Thank you for being a very important part of Edmonton’s most bizarre ritual.
Curio Shoppe Company:
Morgan lives in Amiskwaciwâskahikan, also known as Edmonton on Treaty 6 territory, with family roots from Germany, Japan, and many more places. She works as an actor, fight choreographer, arts educator, producer and creative collaborator. This is Morgan’s fourth year with Dead Center of Town. Dead Centre of Town is a highlight of her year, she loves a good scare and is so excited to share one with you!
Jake has a diploma in Theatre Performance and Creation (RDC) and a BFA Acting (UofA). Jake is a PhD Creative Practice Candidate with the Transart Institute and LJMU. As a young gay rural theatre artist, Jake was drawn to self-created work, and seeks to change people’s minds through provocative live performance. Jake received the AFA Young Artist prize, presented to the top 25 young influential artists in Alberta. This is Jake’s third year with Dead Centre of Town. So much love to Andre, and family!
Curio Shoppe Owner/Wilf
Colin (he/him) is an actor, poet, improviser and person about town based and from Edmonton, Alberta. He has performed with Catch the Keys in Dead Centre of Town for the past 9 consecutive years as the ghoulish host of the horrors we share. Lately, Colin can be found four nights a week on his live stream, Brother Bedtime, where he reads a bedtime story every night from Monday thru Thursday. This month’s book is the gothic horror classic, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Go to twitch.tv/brotherbedtime and say hi sometime why don’t ya!
Christine Lesiak (she/her) is an Edmonton/Treaty 6 based theatre artist, co-founder of Small Matters Productions, and director of Play the Fool Festival. This is her 11th year creeping around as Alice in Dead Centre of Town. Christine holds an MFA in Drama from the University of Alberta, and specialises in devising, site-specific theatre, and physical storytelling. She is co-creator of and performer in Small Matters’ six full-length shows, including the Edmonton Fringe Holdover interactive comedy, For Science! (2018-19) www.smallmatters.ca
Adam (he/him) is an Edmonton-based writer/actor/fool, with a BA Drama from the U of A and plenty of experience in dramatics, clownisms, and adventures in film. Dead Centre of Town is a yearly tradition that Adam has been a part of since its inception, and this socially distant version finally combines all his skills into one delicious performance sandwich. Please, make yourself comfortable, scream inside your heart, and enjoy!
And featuring the talents of:
Sound Warlock & Technomancer
Hailing from Saskatchewan, Michael (he/him) is a sound designer, audio technician, and composer. He has been professionally involved with theatre and live performance audio since 1995. He is a Graduate of the University of Alberta BFA in Technical Theatre program. Recent credits include sound designer “A Bright Room Called Day” (Studio Theatre); live mixer “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” and “Beauty and the Beast”(Rainbow Stage); live mixer “The Invisible” (Catalyst Theatre). This will be Michael’s 14th year working with Catch the Keys Productions as sound designer, composer, and operator.
Marc J Chalifoux
Videographer & Photographer
Marc J Chalifoux (he/him) is a full-time professional photographer/videographer/filmmaker working in the commercial, government, non-profit, and arts sectors. Attention to every bloody detail is his main concern. Documenting a moment and playing with other artists is the fuel that keeps him going. Collaborating closely with clients and creatives elevates the craft of visual communication into art to share with everyone. This is his sixth year working with Dead Centre of Town.
Beth Dart (she/her) is a theatre creator and collaborator who rarely makes art in a theatre…and until recently never on the internet. She is the co-artistic director of Catch the Keys Productions and has been the director of Dead Centre of Town since its inception in 2007 (fun fact – she’s been working on that spooky show for well over a third of her life). She is also the co-artistic producer of Common Ground Arts Society and Festival Director for Found Festival, Edmonton’s multidisciplinary found space arts festival. Beth is based in amiskwaciy-wâskahikan, colonially known as Edmonton, where she lives with her pup, Roxy, who is definitely more scared of everything than you were of the show.
Megan Dart (she/her) is a playwright, poet, and theatre creator/collaborator based in amiskwaciy-wâskahikan, colonially known as Edmonton. Megan is the co-Artistic Producer of Catch the Keys Productions, an award-winning scrappy indie theatre company that specializes in site-specific, immersive creations. Megan is the playwright and co-creator of Dead Centre of Town, Edmonton’s only live action horror inspired by true history, soon to be in its (very lucky) 13th year. What started as a one night only pop-up production in a mortuary-turned-bar has since become one of Edmonton’s longest standing Halloween traditions. And we have the thousands of kittens who come out to support it every year to thank for that. Megan is also the co-Artistic Producer of Common Ground Artist Society (CGAS) and the co-Festival director of CGAS’ annual found-space arts fest, Found Festival; and the Communications Specialist with Fringe Theatre. Plus, she’s a mom to a 3-year-old who loves Halloween almost as much as she does.
The October People Productions
John Evans (he/him) is a local theatre and film artist and co-Founder (along with his beautiful wife Kat) of The October People Productions, who specialize in practical SFX and immersive design for stage, film, as well as escape rooms. He recently performed in the movie John, 316 which was released October 4th and has already received a couple rewards, so that’s neat! This is John’s 11th year working to dredge up the ghosts of Edmonton’s past along with Catch the Keys and he has relished the chance to show off some different effects for this filmed experience.
The October People Productions
Kat Evans (she/her) is an Amiskwaciy-Wâskahikan/Edmonton based theatre and film artist and Co-Founder of The October People Productions, who specialize in practical SFX and immersive design for theatre and escape room experiences. A BFA Theatre Design graduate, Kat can be found bouncing around the Arts community playing with John (her partner in crime and life) and all of their talented friends.
This marks Kat’s 11th year working with Catch the Keys and bringing the ooky spooky to life through multidisciplinary design and SFX.
Ian (he/him) is delighted to be back at DCoT. He has been taking video for DCoT for the last 4 years. He is grateful to the Edmonton Theatre community for giving him three Sterling Awards for MultiMedia Design over his career. Ian is also an accomplished professional photographer and videographer.
Elise CM Jason
Elise CM Jason (them/them/theirs) is a queer, mixed-race, scenographer, lighting designer, and occasional video producer living and creating in amiskawaciy (colonially known as Edmonton). Recent credits include ‘All That Binds Us’ (Azimuth Theatre), ‘Horizon’s Lab’ (Citadel Theatre), ‘Tracks’ (Vena Amoris Theatre), and ‘Second-Hand Dances for the Crude, Crude City’ (Mile Zero Dance). Upcoming credits include ‘Wolves (The Maggie Tree), and ‘Tell Us What Happened’ (Theatre YES). They also hold a BFA from the University of Alberta in Drama (Theatre Design). This is Elise’s fourth year with Dead Centre of Town.
Bradley (he/him) is a rural bumpkin from small-town Alberta, navigating urban Edmonton life while drinking too much iced-coffee. A graduate of the University of Alberta with a BSc Specialization in Physics, he works with Fringe Theatre Adventures as an Information Systems Analyst. He doesn’t like putting credits for other projects in bios because then it feels like a resume. Bradley built the platform you had this experience on. Neat. This is Bradley’s first year with team DCoT.
Lindy Mullen (she/her) is a graduate of the UofA BFA Stage Management and MacEwan University Theatre Production. Lindy enjoys all aspects of production, taking a special interest in outdoor festivals. What a treat to be creating with such a spooktacular cast and crew! Lindy is grateful for the unconditional support from her family, Sofia & pals. This is Lindy’s first year with the Dead Centre of Town October Family. Stay safe & creep it real!
Video Snipper & Stitcher
Ian (he/him) is originally from Yorkshire, England. Since relocating to Edmonton in 2015, Ian has created theatre and film effects, props, projection and art installations as well as performing in several productions. He is co-creator of and performer in For Science! (2018-20) and creator of analog magical effects for Dead Centre of Town as well as performing as a spooky henchman, with the occasional bit of video editing thrown in. This is Ian’s sixth year with DCoT.