In January 2020, Cardiac Theatre and What It Is Productions will launch the first of thirteen podcast dramas as part of The Alberta Queer Calendar Project. The Alberta Queer Calendar Project is a one-year, January to December podcast that will feature thirteen new podcast dramas by queer, Albertan writers.
The Alberta Queer Calendar Project aims to cultivate new work from a cross-section of diverse queer Albertan talent and broadcast it to the world. The writers whose work will be heard on the podcast include Edmonton-based artists Émanuel Dubbeldam, Hayley Moorhouse, Jamie Price, Liam Salmon, and Calla Wright, as well as artists hailing from Lethbridge, Calgary, and Sylvan Lake: Makram Ayache, Elena Eli Belyea, Brett Dahl, Dale Lee Kwong, Natalie Meisner, Jay Northcott, Jamie Price, Arielle Rombough, and Tyler J. Sloane. The works that will be released as part of the podcast include comedies, dramas, musicals, and true stories showcasing the breadth of Albertan-grown queer talent and experience. In addition, theatre organizations across Alberta have partnered with Cardiac Theatre to sponsor various months, including Downstage, The Nextfest Arts Co., L’uni Théâtre, SkirtsAfire Festival, and Theatre Outré.
The first episode to be released is Liam Salmon’s one-person drama Local Diva, sponsored by Edmonton’s newest independent bookshop, Glass Bookshop. Local Diva first enjoyed success in the 2019 Edmonton International Fringe Festival. The production – directed by Owen Emblau and starring Jacob Holloway – received 5-star reviews from both the Edmonton Journal and Daze Magazine. Both Emblau and Holloway return for the podcast version of the script. Local Diva tells the story of Tragi-dean, victim/hero/example/metaphor/villain with 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. Local Diva will be released online January 31st at queercalendar.ca, where the remaining twelve episodes will also be made available monthly, for free.