Springboard Performance

Cabaret of the Holy Other | A Spire on Fire | Act 1

Cabaret of the Holy Other

Thursday Oct 19, 2023 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Friday Oct 20, 2023 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Tickets starting at $25

Students: $15


Presented by Springboard Performance in partnership with Knox United Church.

Tickets include Act 1 and Act 2

“A cabaret performance intentionally set in Knox United Church that invites us to consider what happens when artistic and spiritual yearnings are allowed to collide. Featured artists include Jessica Barrera-Fox, Christopher Gamble, Mpoe Mogale, Brook Tate, Jamie Tea (Tognazzini), Oliver Twirl, and Elaine Weryshko. With creation facilitation team support from Miranda Martini, Nicole Mion, and Keith Murray.


Each year, the Fluid Festival poses the question: how do bodies exist in space? On October 19 and 20 at Knox United Church, we will give voice to this question at the under-examined crossroads of art and faith, using site-specific creation and performance to explore new ways to heal, reclaim, process, and dream in community.

Churches exist in a state of constant cognitive dissonance: they are spaces purpose-built to house our spiritual lives, and for some they are still sites of community, meditation, and encounters with the holy; they are also sites of colonial violence, trauma, grief and anger.

Holding these two truths in our minds, we invited a suite of talented multidisciplinary artists to consider their personal and shared histories and possibilities within the context of the church, and to create pieces built for and within this unique space.

Intentionally situated at Knox, known as a venue for concerts and performances due to its acoustic and physical beauty, this project attempts to go beyond considering the church as an alternative performance location.

Facilitated by queer artists, dramaturgs and spiritual leaders, the process will see every space in Knox illuminated with drag, dance, music, poetry, circus and aerial arts, comedy, and beyond, envisioning the church as an untapped well for site-specific creation, not in spite of its physical and cultural burdens, but in collaboration with them.”

Join us for two evenings of performance and honest conversation about what happens when artistic and spiritual yearnings are allowed to collide.

Additional Credits:


Nikki VonPanda
Evan Medd
Jocelyn Mah
Tami McDonald
Sienna Holden
Geoffrey Simon Brown
Cassandra Watson
Natalia Cortes
Zoë Capaldi
Ben Gaudet
Karen Harrison
Travis Hauck

Featured Artists

  • Keith Murray · Creation Facilitation Team

    Keith Murray (they/them) is an artist called to ministry, or a minister called to creativity. A descendent of settlers along the convergence of the Bow and Elbow River in Treaty 7, Keith has spent a life dedicated to community transformation at the confluence of spirituality, social justice, and the arts. Keith believes we were made in the image of the Creator, created to co-create. They have worked across mediums in the visual and performing arts, engaging in societal healing through the imaginational. An advocate, and spiritual care provider Keith specializes in supporting gender-diverse communities across turtle island, and abroad. Keith’s creative projects have been recognized and exhibited internationally (including MoMA NYC, and Witte de With, NL), and they were the first artist-in-residence at Union Theological Seminary, NYC, through AA Bronson's Institute for Art, Religion and Social Justice. Murray has designed theatrical installations on ice and snow for NiX, and projected stories on 100-foot-tall trees for Out On a Limb. Keith won the 2014 Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Integrated Design with for their Art Direction on Nothing But Sky. Keith has had the pleasure of innovating along with Kendra Fanconi, new creative projects to support trans, two-spirit and gender non-conforming young people, under the Learn By Heart banner in partnership with Trans Care BC and Playwrights Theatre Centre. Keith is currently developing new work with Pacific Theatre, bringing to life the story of trans byzantine monks in ABBAMMA! the musical.

    • Elaine Weryshko · DOT | COWS | Post-Britney Practice

      Elaine Weryshko is a physical theatre artist and practitioner of live performance from Mohkínstsis||Calgary. Her medium is the poetic body for a Post-Britney world, a practice based out of extensive worldly training in Mask, Clown, Greek Chorus/Ensemble and Puppetry. She writes, performs, produces, teaches, designs and kamikaze live events in alternative spaces all over Western Canada, searching for group catharsis on and off the stage - she celebrates the need for epic ideas and runs wildly towards the exploration of our shared profane experiences with the natural world. She is also the Co-Artistic Director of the Canadian Academy of Mask and Puppetry.

      “I am interested in creating work that is unimaginable and unreproducible. Through this physical and visual lens, I have found my voice as protester, punk and artist; an emotional expression which apart from being anarchistic and slightly chaotic, is essentially visual and poetic. I am trying to work in a way that encourages the untraditional, sparks surrealism and reinvigorates how we gather around story, together.”

    • Miranda Martini · Creation Facilitation Team

      Miranda Martini is a musician, writer and composer. She co-wrote music for “John Ware Reimagined,” a musical about the life and impact of Alberta cowboy John Ware. Her face and voice can also be seen and heard in the documentary John Ware Reclaimed. Miranda works as a composer, music director and music dramaturg for theatre, most recently music directing the Betty Award-winning show “We’re Gonna Die” with Verb Theatre in Calgary. She is also a project assistant with Affirming Connections, a Calgary-based organisation that supports ministries and people of faith working to eliminate religious discrimination and to provide safe and brave spaces for people to explore their spirituality without fear of exclusion.

      • Oliver Twirl · Creator/Performer


        Born on Treaty 6 land and currently planted in Treaty 7 territory: Oliver is a small-statured, large-hearted non-binary performer and playwright creating queer art whenever possible. Raised on the stage, they have performed and worked with various professional and amateur companies including Gwaandak Theatre, Theatre Calgary, Arts Commons, Play Between Your Thighs, Fake Mustache Drag Troupe, Rosebud Theatre, and MCS Theatre. They have been writing since they were young and have recently begun dreaming about disabled happiness and queer love being freely represented in art.

      • Jessica Barrera-Fox · Creator/Performer

        Thanks to the wisdom and guidance of elders (and Divine powers at play), Jessica is grateful to call herself a multi-disciplinary artist with a passion for performance, direction, writing, and teaching. Exploring the complexities and subtleties of human relationships through storytelling remains at the forefront of her work. Credits include clown & buffon performance/teaching assistance with Mump & Smoot’s Mike Kennard & John Turner; teaching movement theatre at Ambrose University; artistic direction/performance with Toronto’s Cirque Sublime and for La Caravan Company; choreography/performance with Jani Lauzon in A Side of Dreams and Edmonton’s Firefly Theatre; collaborative choreography for Springboard’s Fluid Fest and Lawn Dances; performance/production with Calgary’s OYR High Performance Rodeo; teaching/performing/co-directing with Green Fools Theatre Society; and aerial-dance/character performance with Cirque du Soleil’s touring show, Quidam.

        • Chris Gamble · Creator/Performer

          Christopher Gamble is a versatile artist, specialising in the captivating realms of clowning and physical theatre. With a rich tapestry of experience spanning over two decades, he has masterfully honed his craft in various capacities, including writing, directing, touring, and creative production. As an internationally trained and locally celebrated clown, Christopher's artistic endeavours have earned him widespread recognition, resonating both on a national and global stage.

          Notably, Chris plays an active role on the board of CREATE Kids Fest and
          has previously held the position of creative director for the Calgary Clown
          Festival. His creative genius extends to collaborative projects with esteemed organisations such as the Green Fools, Evergreen Theatre, CAOS Festival, Arts Commons, SPARK science centre, and the International Children's Festival, where he continues to infuse passion into the world of art.

          • Mpoe Mogale (Edmonton) · Creator/Performer

            Mpoe Mogale (they/them) reigns from Lebowakgomo, South Africa and splits their time between amiskwaciywâskahikan and moh’kínst’sis, in the colonial state of Canada. They hold a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Political Science, and a wealth of expertise in community-based research, facilitation, and arts administration.

            Mpoe’s primary artmaking form is dance, with a curiosity in the place of Blackness in spaces that deny it, as explored through several projects including "What (Black) Life Requires" (produced by Mile Zero Dance and Azimuth Theatre). Mpoe’s current artistic imaginations have centered the brilliant and joyous aspects that foreground the lives of Black folks.

            • Nicole Mion · Creation Facilitation Team

              Artist and curator, Nicole Mion creates for the stage and screen. She is a sought-after director and contemporary choreographer, specializing in contemporary performance, new media, dance, and installation. She is Artistic Director for Springboard and Co-Artistic Director for Road Pictures. For Springboard, Nicole curates Interrarium – a multi-disciplinary creative residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts and the Fluid Movement Arts Festival in Calgary. Upcoming work includes The Shadow of Her Bones a new dance performance for Canadian contemporary dance artists Luciane Pinto and Ziyian Kwan, a solo for herself called Something About Vermin integrating projection machines by Joe Kelly, and illusions & visuals by Brian Batista, and ContainR a video installation and winter sports, performance and dance film festival for the Vancouver Arts Olympiad, which she will co-curate with Evann Siebens.

            • Jamie Tea (Jamie Tognazzini) · Creator/Performer

              Jamie Tea is a queer transdisciplinary vocalist, actor, puppeteer, installation/visual artist, physical theatre/clown and dance/movement artist. Based in Treaty 7 territory (Calgary), Jamie's passionately committed to creating new work; crafting/building and transcending genres. Fun Fact! The original Sister Mary episode "Our Lady of the Pitz" was created for Fluid Fest's emerging artist program in 2007. Recent credits include Wyrd (Atomic Vaudeville/Larriken), BlackHorse (Caravan Farm Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Theatre Calgary), Naughty but Nice 9 Live! (Forte Musical Theatre), Gold Rush Redux & Modern Times Redux (The Grand YYC, High Performance Rodeo). Jamie deeply believes in live performance, collaboration and shared experience, and loves to construct/fabricate/build using found and salvaged materials.

              • Chellan Hoffman · Organist

                • Garret C. Smith · Creator/Performer

                  Garret is a proud member of the Piikani and Kainai Tribes of the Blackfoot Nation in Southern Alberta. A graduate of the Centre For Indigenous Theatre (Toronto, ON) in 2013 and the Interim Artistic Director of Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society (Calgary, AB) in 2017, he is primarily an actor with multiple theatre, film and television credits.

                  In March 2018, he helped create the "Mohkinstsis" Healing Camp across the street from the Calgary Courts Centre. Initially a protest camp raising awareness of social injustices, this protest lasted one week before the group re-organized to create the Healing Camp, which stood for more than 9 months. Its purpose was to fill a gap in the city's current infrastructure by providing First Nation communities a place to engage and practice in their culture and spirituality.

                  With this experience, education and cultural background, Garret is now continuing this work towards bridging the gap of ignorance, misinformation and the basic "not-knowing" to help create a better tomorrow.

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