The Rookie Cabaret

The Rookie Cabaret

Edmonton / Amiskwaciwâskahikan
Sat Sep 23 9:30pm
60 mins | Ages 16+ $10-$25 Masks required – audience members are required to wear masks

Your wild & unexpected Saturday Night. 

This festival favourite is back! Play the Fool’s Rookie Mentorship Program showcase features six emerging clowns, physical comedy artists, and experienced performers experimenting in a new style. Artists work with festival director Christine Lesiak to take their idea from concept to stage. 

Past participants have gone on to expand and develop the work they started in the Rookie Cabaret into full-length shows.

Help us keep this program going ADOPT-A-ROOKIE today!


  • Spore in Mushroom on Humans, by haley brown
  • Mei Xing (美星) in A Lamb’s Jingle, by Blue Chu
  • Tortured Artist by Wringy Star, aka Tori Kibblewhite
  • Hootie in It’s High Noon Somewhere, by Aidan Laudersmith
  • Dick Dickson, PU, aka Sammy Lowe
  • Spring in Gemini Season, by Anna Pratch

Generously sponsored by Grindstone Theatre School

The Artists

haley brown works mostly as an illustrator these days, but her background in improv, clown, and children’s entertainment (spending some years as a professional faerie!), are never absent from her creative work, no matter the shape it takes. She has cherished the opportunity to train with clown and improv teachers from a variety of backgrounds and is delighted to dip back into performance after a very long hiatus. She’s very grateful to the Rookie Cabaret for giving her a portal back in. 

Blue Chu is a queer, non-binary, mixed-race artist with a multidisciplinary talent. They create and play on the stolen and unceded ancestral land of the Coast Salish People of the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), qiqéyt (Qayqayt), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) First Nations. Blue is a singer-songwriter, composer, performer, multi-instrumentalist, musical comedian, retired registered nurse, clown, and writer. They have released their debut album, The Whale Tale Between Two Fins, under their musical persona Lilbluebeluga, which is self-produced and recorded at home, and available on all streaming platforms. Blue studied music at Douglas College from 2021 to 2023 and received its formative clown training under Chloe Payne’s guidance and care. Their clown character, 美 星 (Mei Xing), is passionate about music, and they are excited to explore and share more of themselves with their audience.

Tori Kibblewhite is a multidisciplinary artist from Stony Plain, Alberta. She is currently in her second year of the BFA in Acting program at the University of Alberta. Having been trained under Jan Henderson and Fraser Hooper, Tori is excited to take the plunge and perform in this year’s Rookie Cabaret. They are immensely grateful for the opportunity to perform and take risks in the program. In addition to theatre, Tori is also a traditional painter. When not making art, you can find her climbing a wall somewhere. 

photo of Aidan LaudersmithAidan Laudersmith is an Alberta-based performer who is currently in his final year at the University of Alberta’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting program. He’s trained in clowning with Mike Kennard and Jan Henderson and through that, fell in love with the art form. He is so insanely excited to be a part of this year’s Rookie Cabaret with all of his fellow talented clown colleagues! Aside from clowning, he has also trained in improvisation, singing, dancing, and burping the alphabet among other things and is excited to continue to add more tools to his tool belt!

Samuel “Sammy” Lowe (He/They) is a queer artist and public health researcher living and working on Treaty 6 Territory, and is super jazzed to be a part of the delightfully foolish group of Rookies this year! Sammy is passionate about all aspects of theatre and performance, from performing, singing, drag, comedy, and dancing to directing, SMing, and causing trouble backstage. He is constantly striving to find new ways to blend his passion for science and the arts in new, exciting, weird, and, dare I say, foolish ways. He is a relative newcomer to clown and is immeasurably excited tostretch his silly legs in the Play The Fool Festival this year. In the immortal words of his favourite animal, the goose: HONK!

Anna Pratch has been moving and grooving in Alberta for over 20 years. She has trained in ballet all across North America with highlights being her summers spent with the National Ballet School, Alberta Ballet, and the American Ballet Theatre. Anna first moved to Edmonton to work for Toy Guns Dance Theatre, and has since fallen in love with the magic of theatre and clown. Pratch is proud to hold certifications attesting that she can wield a sword, throw a punch, and get set on fire. Anna loves spending her spare time reading, cuddling with her cat, Mr Benjamin Benson, and hates writing bios.