Dead Centre of Town XIII Playbill

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 a 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.

This year marks the thirteenth incantation of Dead Centre of Town, Edmonton’s only live action thrilled inspired by true history.

To our audience who join us in the Park after dark: thank you. For taking a risk on live theatre. For an insatiable interest in Edmonton’s history. For celebrating the haunt season with us.

To our cast and crew who dedicate countless hours, passion, and sometimes even blood, sweat and tears: thank you. For breathing life into Edmonton’s dark and sordid past. For putting on one hell of a show despite the sometimes daunting conditions of immersive, site specific theatre. For your scarily impressive talent.

To our volunteers who brave the weather and the crowds to help make this experience exceptional: thank you. For supporting your local weirdos. For bringing your own passion and energy to this mammoth production.

To our partners in scares Fort Edmonton Park: thank you. For providing the most epic location. For the freedom to create. For seven years of scarily rad partnership.

To Fringe Theatre and our Framily: thank you. For being our home away from haunted home. For your support. For letting us run away with the scare circus every October.

To our DCoT Alumni 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.

Dead Centre of Town XIII Company:

Michael Caron
Sound Warlock & Technomancer

Michael (he/him) is very excited for Dead Centre of Town XIII. This is his 13th season as the show’s resident Sound Warlock. With a passion for collaborative theatre, he has a focus on site specific work and the use of interactive audio and sensor technology to activate non-traditional performance spaces. In the summer you can find Michael live mixing at Rainbow Stage in Winnipeg. When not touring or designing he spends his quiet time in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. He has been working as a sound designer, audio technician and composer since 1995.

THEATRE CREDITS (Selected); Sound designer and composer “Dracula” (Studio Theatre); Live mixer “STRIKE! The Musical,” “Cinderella,” “The Hockey Sweater,” and “Wizard of Oz”(Rainbow Stage); Live mixer “Vigilante” (Catalyst Theatre); Live mixer and Co-sound designer “The Invisible” (Catalyst Theatre).

 Beth Dart
Spectre Director

Beth Dart (she/her) is a theatre creator and collaborator who rarely makes art in a theatre. She is the co-Artistic Producer 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 terrifying show for well over a third of her life). She is the past 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
Witchy Wordsmith

Megan Dart is a playwright, poet, producer, and arts administrator. Alongside her sister Beth, Megan is the co-Artistic Producer of Catch the Keys Productions, an award-winning scrappy indie theatre company specializing in site-specific, immersive creation. Recent playwriting credits include ren & the wake (Catch the Keys Productions, 2022); Curio Shoppe (Catch the Keys Productions, 2020); Fossegrim & Nøkk (Alberta Musical Theatre’s New Musical Program); Charlie Horse (shortlisted for the 2018 Alberta Playwriting Competition); Dead Centre of Town (annual, Catch the Keys Productions; recipient of a 2017 Award of Excellence in Interpretation from Interpretation Canada), and Ursa Major (Catch the Keys Productions & Workshop West Playwrights’ Theatre, nominated for four Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards, including Best New Play). Megan is also proud to serve the community as the Executive Director with Fringe Theatre, producers of the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival and home to more than 500 arts events year-round. Megan was named one of the Top 100 Women in Business by the Wanderer Online, is a University of Grant MacEwan Distinguished Alumni, and a recipient of the 2020 Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund award.

Sarah Emslie
The Bride / Hench / The Child

Sarah Emslie (they/she) is a queer theatre artist based in amiskwaciwâskahikan, Treaty 6. They hold a BFA from the University of Alberta in Acting. This is their second year in Dead Centre of Town, last seen barfing up a storm in the Mellon House. Most recently they performed at the 2022 Glastonbury Festival as Lea in the escape act Tianna & Lea: Two Times the Travels. Their love to Gabriel and Thistle.

The October People Productions
Kat & John Evans

The October People Productions was founded in Amiskwaciy-Wâskahikan/Edmonton by husband-and-wife team John (he/him) and Kat (she/her) Evans. John is a graduate of Red Deer College’s Performing Arts Program, and Kat has her BFA in Theatre Design from the U of A.

While their work through TOPP tends to specialize in practical SFX and immersive design for theatre/film and escape rooms, their experience extends into nearly every corner of these industries. Kat is a freelance professional Designer, PM/TD, Technician and Stage Manager. By day, John serves the industry as a Senior Culture Banker for ATB Financials’ Branch for Arts and Culture, and by night he is a Performer, Creator, Designer, and SFX Aficionado.

Kat and John are thrilled to be bringing the boos and scares back to life with DCoT XIII! This marks 11 years of involvement in the show, and they are as excited about it now as they were when they were Fresh Fish!

Follow them on and on Twitter @theoctpeeps

Murray Farnell
The Fireman

Murray Farnell (he/him) is a new and mostly undeceased member of the team, playing The Fireman. He does theatre and film, helps teach how to get beat up for pretend, and he is the voice of a bunch of cartoon characters. Loads of thank yous to the DCoT team, Janine and the kids, and all of you who have come to be haunted by our tales.

Max Hanic
The Workman

Max Hanic (he/him) is an amiskwaciwâskahikan raised actor, dancer, and singer. This is his first year with Dead Centre of Town and he plays the Workman who haunts the old Bus Barns. Max trained at the University of Alberta in their Fine Arts Acting program where he enriched his craft and passion for performance. He also attended La Faktoria Choreographic Centre in Pamplona Spain for the 2021/2022 period, where he studied contemporary dance technique. For this period of study he was awarded grants from the Edmonton Arts Council and the Canadian Council for the Arts. Dance and movement improv are a part of his daily artistic practice. His focuses are many, including dance theatre, improvised forms, musical theatre and all forms of acting. Some of his selected performance credits include Nosotrxs choreographed by Daniel Abreu, W.E choreographed by Mingao Zhang, Kay in Boy Trouble (Amoris Projects, Fringe 2019) for which he received a Sterling Nomination and Mircea in In Camera (Found Fest 2019).

Dayna Lea Hoffman
The Child

Dayna Lea Hoffmann (she/her) plays The Child and she is beyond excited for her first year ever with Dead Center of Town! She is a multidisciplinary artist and recent graduate of the BFA Acting Program at the University of Alberta. Her artistic focus is on acting, clown, dancing, and juggling. She additionally holds a diploma in Theatre from Douglas College and is a former performer, student, and teacher of the Vancouver Circus School. Recent credits include Midsummer Night’s Dream, Measure for Measure (Freewill Players) Hamlet in Isolation (Thou Art Here), The Man Who Fell To Pieces (Fairly Odd Productions) Jerusalem (United Players of Vancouver), God of Carnage, She Kills Monsters, and Rochdale (Studio Theatre). Look out for her in the upcoming seasons of both Shadow Theatre and Northern Light Theatre. Dayna identifies as a mixed-race settler from the unceded territories of the Coast Salish people and would like to acknowledge that she is currently living and working on stolen land in Treaty 6 Territory.

Adam Keefe

Adam has been performing in and around Edmonton since graduating from the BA program at the U of A in 2005. From his clown creations with Christine Lesiak, playing Lady Bracknell in Importance of Being Ernest, and delving into adventurous introspection with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Wind Telephone, Adam seeks to bring the strange and fantastic to life for your enjoyment and contemplation. Dead Centre of Town has become a fixture in the Edmonton Halloween scene, and Adam has been involved with it SINCE THE DAWN OF TIME (~13 years), always finding new creeps and scares to welcome you into the season!

Christine Lesiak

Christine Lesiak (she/her) is an Edmonton/ amiskwacîwâskahikan-based theatre artist, teacher, mentor, and founder and Artistic Director of Small Matters Productions. She is co-creator of and performer in Small Matters’ eight full-length shows, including the interactive comedy hit, For Science! (2018-22). Her new play, The Space Between Stars, will premiere as SkirtsAfire’s mainstage show in March 2023. She is a long-time collaborator with Catch the Keys Productions (Dead Centre of Town, The Runcible Riddle), and director of the Play the Fool Festival of clown-theatre and physical comedy. Christine holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Drama from the University of Alberta. She specialises in devising, audience experience design, interactive comedy, and physical storytelling.

Colin Matty

Colin (he/him) is an actor and poet from Edmonton, returning to Dead Centre of Town for his 9th year with the show. Aside from his work with Catch the Keys, he has found great joy in performing radio plays, spoken word poetry, improv, and traditional theatre on stages across the city. He currently splits his time between his hometown and the west coast where he lives with his partner. Colin would like to thank the cast and crew of the show for bringing these tales of horror and sorrow to life. Happy haunting kittens, enjoy the scare!

Kade Mazury
Scare Manager

Kade Mazury is the Assistant Stage Manager and Lighting Conjurer. This is Kade’s first year with DCoT. Thanks to the team for this fear-tastic process!

Jake Tkaczyk
The Projectionist

This is Jake’s third and a half time with Dead Centre of Town! Jake is an Alberta-based theatre artist with a passion for creating new and engaging work collaboratively. He graduated from the BFA Acting at the University of Alberta and is currently in the midst of his PhD in Creative Practice from the Transart Institute and Liverpool John Moores’ University. You may remember him most recently from such things as: Crack in the Mirror (Guys in Disguise), White Guy on Stage Talking (self-produced), Flora & Fawna Have Beaver Fever (and so does Fleurette!) (Lunchbox Theatre), Lungs (Shadow Theatre), With Bells On, Don’t Frown at the Gown (Guys in Disguise), Mr. Burns, a post-electric play (Blarney Productions/You are Here), Urinetown (Grindstone Theatre), You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown! (Opera Nuova). Jake had the extreme pleasure of working as an Artist Intern at Northern Light Theatre for a few years and is currently the Program Manager, Performing Arts at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

Ian Walker
Impossible Machine Wizard / Hench

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 seventh year with DCoT.