Pochsy IV (work in progress)


Pochsy IV (work in progress)

Karen Hines Pochsy IV Image Ryan Bartlett

“Ingenious, acidic comedy ... a hallucinatory ultra-feminine living corpse.”

The Globe & Mail

“Imagine Greek Tragedy by Betty Boop.”

Montreal Gazette
Thu Sep 22 8:00pm
Sat Sep 24 7:00pm
70 mins | 16+ $15-$35

A workshop production. Dark comedy. Not for children.

Written and Performed by Karen Hines

Directed by Michael Kennard

Set and Lighting Design by Sandi Somers

Music and Sound Design by Chantal Vitalis

Additional Sounds by Richard Feren

Costume Design by Justin Miller a.k.a. Pearle Harbour

Clown Coach – John Turner

Production Dramaturg – Blake Brooker

Production Management – Kate Pallesen

Graphic Art – Ryan Bartlett

Photography – Gary Mulcahey

Film Stills – Peter Moller

In 1992, Pochsy made her Fringe debut. ‘Pochsy’s Lips’ featured a wilting industrial factory worker who spun sugarplum fantasies from the bruised fruits of the North American Dream. Poisoned and poisonous, utterly narcissistic and fatally lonely, Pochsy knelt at the altar of all that is held holy in the name of consumerism gone mad. Pochsy’s lush satires have since travelled the globe: her prize-winning plays and short films have been presented at theatres and film festivals internationally.

Fifteen ago, Pochsy quietly slipped behind the veil. Now she’s back, and would like a few words with you…

CONTENT WARNINGS: Language and adult subject matter.

Made with support from the Play the Fool Festival and One Yellow Rabbit Theatre’s High Performance Rodeo, where Pochsy IV officially premieres in 2023. Keep Frozen acknowledges the support of the Canada Council and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.

What the critics say since 1992:

“Hines is an astonishing artist, both as a writer and as a performer.” – Liz Nicholls.

“To be in love with Pochsy, as I am, is an exquisitely perverse addiction … She’s like a disease you want to get in the hopes that it will purge something bigger.” (The Georgia Straight)

“Ingenious, acidic comedy … a hallucinatory ultra-feminine living corpse.” (The Globe & Mail)

“Eerie, funny brilliance.” (Edmonton Journal)

“Imagine Greek Tragedy by Betty Boop.” (Montreal Gazette)

“I laughed, I cried, I called my friends.” (Minneapolis-St.Paul Pioneer Press)

“A miracle of bitter hope … Hines has tapped into the confusion and alienation unique to our age and mined a work of gossamer charm and deadly power … Becket, a lover of clowns, would have fallen for her.” Eye, Toronto


The Artists

Karen Hines (writer/performer) After her start on the Fringe, Karen emerged as the writer of a string of award-winning plays presented through North America and in Germany. She is a two-time finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award (The Pochsy Plays; Drama: Pilot Episode) and a 2020 finalist for the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre. Her short films featuring Pochsy have screened internationally. A Gemini nominee for acting and Dora Award-winning performer and director, Hines has directed adult horror clowns Mump & Smoot since their inception, as well as premieres of Linda Griffiths’ Age of Arousal, Michelle Thrush’s Inner Elder, and Jamie Dunsdon’s recent Bliss. Currently, Hines’ real estate horror Crawlspace continues touring living rooms and micro-theatres across Canada. Upcoming 2023: Crawlspace French language premieres (Theatre Francais de Toronto), All the Little Animals I Have Eaten (Shadow Theatre), and Pochsy IV’s official premiere at One Yellow Rabbit’s High Performance Rodeo. For more, www.keepfrozen.org

Michael Kennard (director) For thirty-three years Michael has been a co-creator (with John Turner), performer and producer with internationally acclaimed clown duo Mump & Smoot. Michael is a graduate of the University of Guelph Drama program and has studied physical comedy, clown, mask, improv and movement with Richard Pochinko, Ian Wallace, Fiona Griffths, Philippe Gaulier and The Second City. He has taught and directed at numerous universities and is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Alberta. Some of Michael’s directing credits include: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot at UofA, The Christmas Carol, The Hobbit, The Wizard of Oz at The Globe Theatre in Regina, The Second City’s Family Circus Maximus and Insanity Fair in Toronto and co-directed Embryo’s on Ice in Chicago,. Michael has received a Dora award, two Canadian Comedy awards, a Boston Theatre award, a Drama Logue award (California) and several teaching awards for his work.

 Sandi Somers (set and lighting design) Over the last few decades Sandi has lit and designed stages for companies such as OYR, ATP, The Alberta Ballet and Lunchbox Theatre.  Her productions include lighting and projection design for Making Treaty 7, set and lighting design for The University of Lethbridge’s Caucasian Chalk Circle, lighting design for Karen Hines’  All the Little Animals I Have Eaten, and Crawlspace. Outside of designing for theatre, Sandi is the lighting designer for The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alberta, and is an award winning filmmaker. 

 Chantal Vitalis (music and sound design) Chantal is a Calgary-based composer, lyricist and songwriter whose primary instruments are electric guitar and pedal steel. Her compositions for films include Istotsi, Elder in the Making, The Girl Who Married a Ghost, Screaming Fish, Gens de Phoque and animations The Trade and Haiku 2: Wait. Selected theatre work includes Making Treaty 7, Modern Times Redux, Gold Rush Redux and Mesa. You can catch her playing with the following Calgary bands: The Lovebullies, Wild Rose County, and Bryson Waind & the CB.

 Richard Feren (additional sounds) Richard has been creating music and soundscapes for theatre, dance & film since 1992. He has won seven Dora Awards, the 1999 Pauline McGibbon Award, and was the first sound designer ever shortlisted for the Siminovitch Prize, in 2012. Recent credits: Public Enemy, As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, Measure For Measure (Canadian Stage); Hamlet (Stratford Festival); The Cold War (VideoCabaret); Every Brilliant Thing, Perfect Wedding, Miss Caledonia (Thousand Islands Playhouse); Going, Going (short film by Fiona Highet); Carmen (feature film score); The Flick (Outside the March/Crow’s Theatre). Upcoming: Grand Ghosts (The Grand Theatre)

Justin Miller (he/him) (costume design) Justin is a queer, Toronto-based designer, producer, theatre artist, and Fool. As his darkly comic drag persona, Pearle Harbour, he has been called “one of the most engaging and thoughtful performance artists around” (NOW Magazine). His award-winning original works have been presented to rave critical and audience response across Canada, published in Canadian Theatre review, and featured on the CBC. As a screenwriter, he has work in-development with NBC-Peacock. As a drag dramatist, consultant, and artist-educator, he has shared his unique perspective at Randolph College for the Performing Arts, Intrepid Theatre, and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Selected accolades include Audience Choice Award (SummerWorks), Outstanding Solo Performance (My Entertainment World), 3 Dora Mavor-Moore Award nominations (Outstanding Performance, Outstanding Costume Design), and the Jon Kaplan Legacy Fund Award for Canadian Theatre Performer. See more at www.pearleharbour.com.

John Turner (clown coach) has been creating, performing, teaching and directing theatre for the past 35 years. He is best known as the “Smoot” half of the award winning Canadian clown duo Mump & Smoot. He was also founder and Artistic Director of The Clown Farm from 2002 – 2020. He now coaches, teaches, directs and performs across the country. John’s Coaching and/or Directing credits include work with Justin Miller’s “Pearle Harbour in Distant Early Warning”, Christine Moynihan’s “Inside Ethel: Outside”, Jennifer Dallas’ “Kittly-Bender” and “Known”, Morro and Jasp (multiple shows), Karen Hines’ “Citizen Pochsy” and “Crawlspace”, Michael Kennard’s “Puzzle Me Red”, Sandrine Lafond’s “Little Lady”, and De-ba-jeh-mu-jig Theatre’s “A Trickster Tale”, and “The Gulch”.

Blake Brooker (production dramaturg) Founder of One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre in Calgary, Blake is the artistic director of the company and the High Performance Rodeo.

Kate Pallesen (production management) Kate has been actively engaged in theatres and live events across Alberta since graduating from the University of Lethbridge’s Technical Theatre/Design program in 2017. While she primarily works in stage management in Calgary, Kate has also worked as a Sound Designer with Haven Theatre in multiple Edmonton Fringe Festival productions, a Show Caller with Reel Canada, and most recently, an Assistant Coordinator at World Stage Design. Earlier this year, Kate crossed provincial boundaries as the Stage Manager for bliss: the birthday party play (Verb Theatre), touring to Victoria’s Uno Fest and to Ottawa’s National Arts Centre. Kate is pleased to be part of the Play The Fool Festival for the first time with Pochsy IV.