Secret City - Old Strathcona

Commissioned by Blarney Productions for the 2019 Found Festival

Secret City: Old Strathcona takes place on the ancestral and traditional lands of the Cree, Dene,
Blackfoot, Saulteaux, Nakota Sioux, and Métis peoples now known as Treaty 6 territory.

Mural at 83rd & Gateway Blvd, in the heart of Old Strathcona
created by renowned Spanish artist
Okuda San Miguel


Secret City: Old Strathcona
July 4 - 7, 2019

Secret City is an audio adventure to discover the hidden side of a city.
Inspired by true stories shared by residents and brought to life by local artists, each episode of Secret City is a play and a personal confession rolled into one.

Look for the Secret City tent at the Found Grounds,
located outside the Backstage Theatre, 10330 84 Ave NW.

Bring your smart phone and your headphones, or borrow a listening device from us.
Written audio transcripts are available for the Deaf and hard of hearing.
ASL interpreted video will be available Deaf audiences experiencing Secret City on a smart phone.

Then, explore the neighbourhood of Old Strathcona while listening to original PodPlays based on true events that took place there!

July 4 - 5pm to 9pm
July 5 - 5pm to 9pm
July 6 - 1pm - 8pm
July 7 - 1pm to 6pm

Your Secret City adventure can begin at any time between the hours listed.
Secret City takes about 90 minutes. Admission by donation.

Secret City: Old Strathcona will feature the memories of five local residents:
Amanda Brodie, Darrin Hagen, Nisha Patel, and two anonymous Memory Holders.

The artists CReating Secret City: OLD Strathcona are:

Robert Benz is an actor and itinerant poet, of sorts. A descendant of long-ago myths, of Welsh bards and Germanic nomads, he was born where the Nakota once roamed with the buffalo, raised where the Dene once moved with the caribou, and now lives among Cree and Metis, storytellers all, playwrights and filmmakers and singers and actors and teachers. This is his first public writing.

Mac Brock is a writer, administrator, improviser, polite prairie queer, and founder of Vena Amoris Projects. Playwriting credits include Gone at Last (Saskatchewan Playwrights' Centre), Dry (Regina Fringe), and Roughhouse (Hardly Art Theatre). He's also a proud member of Rapid Fire Theatre's ensemble. With Vena Amoris, his play Boy Trouble premieres at NextFest May 2019, and his immersive project Tracks will run in Fringe Theatre's 2019/20 Off-Season as the recipient of the Westbury Family Theatre Award.

Darrin Hagen is an award-winning playwright, composer and drag artiste. He has also been the Artistic Director of Guys In Disguise for over three decades. He is obsessed with writing about Queer History, and ever since his writing debut with The Edmonton Queen, has been turning Edmonton’s LGBTQ history into writing and performance with plays like Witch Hunt at the Strand and The Empress & The Prime Minister. He was named one of 100 Edmontonians of the Century, and one of the 25 most influential Alberta artists in the last quarter-century. He has received 7 Sterling Awards for his work in Edmonton theatre, and was inducted into the Canadian Q Hall of Fame in 2013.

Erin Leflar is a local artist who has spent many formative years in Old Strathcona. She’s grateful for this opportunity to capture a beautiful piece of Edmonton’s history! With a background in performing, Erin has developed an interest in what makes each person and their voice unique and she is elated to have a chance to work with such a rich, vivid memory. Some previous works include: Blackout(Grindstone), Destroying the Castle (C.C.P.A), and Finley’s Imaginarium (Nextfest 2016).

Nisha Patel is an award-winning Indo-Canadian poet & artist, and the Festival Producer of the Edmonton Poetry Festival. She is the 2019 Canadian Individual Slam Champion, the Edmonton Slam Champion, and a recipient of the Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund Award. She is a proud member of the Breath in Poetry Collective and a graduate of the Alberta School of Business, and works to further her goal of building a stronger artistic community through living in her truth.