IGNITE! 2020: Shellfish Eucharist

Art Series: Theatre

Credit: Laramie Christoffersen

Living in a staunchly Catholic home, working at her parents’ lobster restaurant, and being pushed to attend confessionals with the local priest, sixteen-year-old Poppy feels confined by the limitations of her family’s religion. She has spent much of her life attempting to stave off shame for parts of life she sees as normal: experiencing pleasure, being attracted to multiple genders,
even dabbling in astrology. Unable to escape constant reminders of her family’s stifling values, Poppy is isolated, save for her secular best friend and coworker, Sylvan. Together, they navigate coming of age and the perils of wearing a lobster suit to advertise the town’s juiciest shellfish. When that same lobster comes to life with an arresting, godlike presence, Poppy is pushed to resist shame and embrace her identity in this comedic audio play.

Show Times –

  • June 13 – 7:50-8:50

Run time – 60 minutes
Rating – PG-13

  • Homophobia/heterosexism
  • Adult language/content

If you have questions relating to mental health, Alberta Health – Access Mental Health is an excellent resource with trained professionals who can answer questions about these matters.

If you need immediate help and support the Calgary Distress Centre can provide immediate access to a crisis counsellor. Accessible by phone at 403-266-4357 and by their chat function – located here.

Owl Pod is offering free virtual counselling sessions – needing to talk is okay. No problem is too small.

Cast and Creative Team

Playwright, Project Lead, Director – Tia Christoffersen 
Tia Christoffersen (she/her) is the Project Lead of the audio play, Shellfish Eucharist. The play is inspired by Tia’s life experiences, with a few added dashes of absurdity (although sometimes her true stories are just as strange as the events in the play). Tia is a recent graduate of Mount Royal University with a Bachelor of Arts in English (Honours) and will be starting her Master of Fine Arts at the University of Calgary in the fall. Her writing has been published in Cliterature and FreeFall.

Sound Designer – Caitlin Farley
Caitlin (she/her) is excited to be joining the team of Shellfish Eucharist and the IGNITE! Festival for this online theatre experience! She is going into her third and final year at the National Theatre School of Canada (NTS) in Montreal for production.
Previous credits include: Head of Sound for the Central 2020 Project (NTS), Stage Manager for The Dragonfly of Chicoutimi (NTS), Assistant Stage Manager for A Dinner Party (Bad Knaps Theatre Collective), and Festival Stage Manager for the Thousand Faces Festival (Theatre Prospero).

Performer: “Sylvan” – Max Cameron Fearon 
Max Cameron Fearon (they/them) is a queer, non-binary, Mad, and disabled theatre artist and facilitator based in Toronto.
Recent acting credits: Encounters at the ‘Edge of the Woods’ (Hart House), Out at School (Gailey Road Productions), and Wine Night (InspiraTO Festival).
Directing & Assistant Directing: Toronto Fringe, The Assembly, CAMINOS, New Ideas Festival, Driftwood Theatre, Hart House, InspiraTO Festival, Future Theatre Festival, & University of Toronto student groups. As Co-Artistic Director for Low Hanging Fruit Productions, Max will direct “Jane Doe” and “How the Wolf Says Goodnight” at the 2021 Toronto Fringe.

Performer: “Poppy” – Caitlin Kelly 
Caitlin Kelly (she/her) is a queer actor and recent graduate of the BFA Acting program at the University of Alberta. She is thrilled to be working alongside a wonderful team of artists in the IGNITE! festival this year! Recent credits include: Richard III (Studio Theatre), Meet Me Under The Gnarly Tree (Cardiac Theatre), and The Milkyway Express (In Arms Theatre Collective).

Performer: “Lobster” – Anaka Sandhu
Anaka Sandhu (they/them) is a Winnipeg-born artist, and is currently studying both political science and theatre; having been a student at the University of Manitoba for the past 2 years, and recently finishing their first year at the National Theatre School of Canada. Anaka’s most recent credits include For Love, at the Tara Players theatre in Winnipeg (Assistant Director), and Windfall, an original movie produced in Winnipeg (lead actor). 
Anaka is grateful for the opportunity to work on this show and to learn from other Canadian artists.

Performer: “Gloria” – Deanna Mae
Deanna Mae (she/her) returned to the stage in 2018 after a 25-year absence. She is a triathlete, Pilates Instructor and a grandma who is gratefully pursuing the passions of her youth. Her greatest pleasure is to realistically embody a character that is radically different from her own experience. We all have things in common and an actor has the indescribable joy of discovering those commonalities and bringing them to life. Be kind … we each have a journey.

Performer: “Father Phil” – Scout Hogg
A proud owner of a BHSc(Hons) and BEd, Scout stumbled face first into theatre 2 years ago. Since then, some memorable roles have included: 1/7th of an anthropomorphic mycelial blob (Experiment 1: Why?), a between-world insurgent jackal (antigone lives*), a nosy overbearing in-law (When She Was Good), a socially awkward meddlesome matchmaker (A Very Merry Gaymas), a devilishly charming thief turned hero (Robin Hood: Prince of Outlaws), Hamlet banished to theatre hell (A Drama in 3 Acts), a bumbling loyal dwarf (The Hobbit), and the naïve fall hard, Count Claudio (Much Ado About Nothing).

Performer – Conrad Belau
Conrad (they/them) is best known for their quarantined Instagram live productions of Mono Man Mia!, mono mAnnie Jr. & ChicagOne. They have been reading a ton of books to pass the time during this pandemic and highly suggest you check out My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix and The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowtiz. They grew up listening to Adventures in Odyssey, so doing a radio drama is a dream come true. This one is for Dolly and Bruce <3