Run by sisters Megan and Beth Dart, Catch the Keys Productions in an award-winning scrappy indie theatre company that continually challenges and redefines the audience experience. With a specialization in new site-specific, immersive theatre, Catch the Keys has created and produced more than 17 original works. Here are a few of the hits.
Dead Centre of Town (Annual)
Edmonton’s only site-specific, immersive horror show inspired by true history. Each year, a new script, a new location, and a new look into Edmonton’s rich, though sometimes sordid, history. In 2017, Dead Centre of Town was honoured with an Award of Excellence in Interpretation from Interpretation Canada. These awards acknowledge and promote excellence in the development and delivery of historical interpretive programs across Canada. Dead Centre of Town has gathered a cult-like following since its inception in 2007, and plays to sold-out audiences every October.
ren & the wake (2022)
Ren’s mother has passed away. Ren doesn’t know what to do or what to say. But Ren has boxes and boxes of their mother’s things: a life stuffed between the cracked pages of cookbooks, trapped in empty bottles, hidden amid dusty photos, scribbled inside a dog-eared journal. With the help of a chorus of unlikely characters, Ren discovers the stories that make us, connect us, and help us heal. ren & the wake is a sort of funeral if a funeral was a sort of musical.
The workshop production of ren & the wake was co-created by Beth Dart, Megan Dart, and Lindsey Walker, with original songs and lyrics by Lindsey Walker.
Curio Shoppe (2020)
An interactive nightmare experienced from the discomfort of your own home.
Welcome to the Curio Shoppe. Purveyors of the odd and unwanted. Take what you need, leave behind what you don’t, but remember: everything comes with a price. Choose an object, unlock a story, haunt your own house. Brought to you by the creative crackpots behind the annual immersive Halloween experience Dead Centre of Town, Curio Shoppe is an interactive nightmare inspired by true history and experienced from the discomfort of your own home.
Ursa Major (2016)
After a horrific car accident, a retired couple must decide how to best deal with the injuries they’ve sustained. Ursa Major is a powerful and moving story of love and devotion, and the strange world that exists between consciousness and unconsciousness. Nominated for four Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards, including multimedia design, choreography, musical score, and best new play. The world premiere was presented in 2016 by Workshop West Playwrights’ Theatre and Catch the Keys Productions. The development of Ursa Major was supported by Catalyst Theatre’s Company in Residence Program.
The Runcible Riddle (2016)
Slurp the syrup from the runcible spoon and unravel the riddle as you follow a curious cast of characters into unexpected places and spaces in the depths of the Citadel Theatre never before seen by audience. Lear and Lushington have been in love for forty years, but Lushington has no patience for Lear’s nonsense ways. In attempt to bring Lear back to reality, Lushington destroys Lear’s creative career, breaking his heart in the process. It’s now up to the audience to bring Lear and Lushington back together, and right a fantastical world gone terribly awry. Created for the Citadel Theatre’s Made in Edmonton Cabaret Series.
Fowl Play (2016)
Local curmudgeon John Kadgowski has been brutally murdered in old towne Edmonton. With suspects and motives aplenty, it’s up to you to solve the case. Become judge and jury in this campy interactive courtroom romp inspired by true history. Commissioned by Fort Edmonton Park as part of their corporate and tourism programming.
The seer and keeper of all fates, Ori tugs on the universal strings that connect us all, bringing acute attention to the quickly unraveling story of Lynn and Jim. Lynn and Jim were happy once, but a manipulative and devising Wolf preys on their happiness, revealing a hard but important lesson for Ori along the way. Part folktale, part poem, Snout bring elements of contemporary choreography, inclusive set design, projection in the round and a living soundscape to draw the audience into a fully immersive experience. The world premiere of Snout was presented by Azimuth Theatre’s emerging company spotlight and Catch the Keys Productions. The development of Snout was supported by the 1,000 Faces Festival of Mythic Art, the Nextfest Arts Company, and the Expanse Movement Arts Festival.
The Kitchen Sink Project (2010 – 2013)
A part of our everyday lives, the kitchen sink is privy to some our most hilarious, heartbreaking, heartwarming and honest moments. Started in 2010 as a simple experiment to encourage friends and family to share their stories, The Kitchen Sink project has gathered more than 100 personal stories from around the world. The Kitchen Sink Project aims to collect multigenerational, multicultural, real-life stories inspired by the kitchen sink that examine the roles we put on and take off in and out of the home.
Art on Art (2009)
It started with a thematic series of photos, which grew into an original electronic music composition, before becoming a script, and being realized as a fully choreographed, immersive performance about the quantum physics of love. Art on Art was produced in 2008 at The Nextfest Nite Clubs and again in 2009 as part of the Indie5 season.
The Nextfest Nite Clubs (2008 – 2015)
A series of late night, multidisciplinary art parties curated for The Nextfest Arts Company, producers of Edmonton’s emerging arts festival, Nextfest. Catch the Keys curated and produced the Nextfest Nite Clubs from 2008 – 2015.
The Revolution (2007)
Does your heart beat to The Revolution?
Consider this an artistic game of telephone, where the audience chooses how they engage with the story.
A script performed in one playing space by a group of five actors, relayed in live time by a camera feed to a second space, where a group of improvisational musicians jam in real time to what they see on screen. That audio feed is carried into a third space, where two visual artists paint in live time, their artwork inspired by the music. The creation of the visual art is relayed in live time by a camera feed back to the playing space, where the script is being performed for the first and only time. None of the artists or audience have read the script before, heard the music before, or seen the paintings before. Let’s see what happens. Produced in 2007 at the Timms Centre for the Arts as part of Beth Dart’s BFA final project.