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Two playwrights and a powerhouse comedienne
Author Marty Chan was one of five Canadian playwrights tapped to be part of The Other Path, a new audio dram podcast series. His script, Double Trouble, reimages a Chinese folk tale, The Magic Cask. SUPPLIED

Short Film Fest 

St. Albert playwright David Haas, who has developed a reputation in regional Fringe circles, is premiering his inaugural film at the 10th annual Edmonton Short Film Festival. 

The emerging screenwriter won the 2021 Alberta Screenwriters Accelerator Program award for Stage Door Johnny. It’s short tale of a washed-up old actor who stands by a stage door to give the leading lady flowers. A mystery surrounding the old man is the crux of the story. 

Haas’ $20,000 prize covered the film’s production costs from script editing to shooting to post-production. Award winning writer Neil Chase provided script mentorship with Gilbert Allan directed the film.  

Stage Door Johnny is screened on Saturday, October 15 at 9:30 p.m. in Metro Cinema, 8712 – 109 St. Tickets through Eventbrite. 

Where magic lurks 

Playwright Marty Chan is involved in a project where strange classic folk tales clash with modern life in a new podcast series filled with magic, mystery and possibly danger. 

The Morinville playwright is one of five Canadians taking part in The Other Path. The five audio dramas organized through Ottawa’s Odyssey Theatre are 30-minutes long. 

Odyssey’s artistic director Laurie Steven developed the idea during COVID to assist playwrights and actors earn a living. 

“She had read The Forbidden Phoenix and invited me to write a classic folk tale with a modern twist,” said Chan. 

He chose the ancient Chinese tale, The Magic Cask, a fantastical fable about a man who finds a cask that can duplicate anything tossed in the pot. But indulging oneself becomes a risk-taking adventure with a gruesome ending. 

Chan has adapted the ancient tale into a contemporary version and changed the name to Double Trouble where two down-on-their-luck people desperate for money discover a magic bathtub. 

“It’s dark and twisted but it has a sense of humour,” laughs Chan. 

While Chan has a deep appreciation for live theatre, there are many advantages to a recorded podcast series. 

“When a live theatre production is done, it’s done. The only records are programs, posters and tickets. It’s nice to have something more permanent. When you put a lot of work into something, it’s nice to have a record in perpetuity. And this performance will be free as long as it’s accessible.”  

The Other Path releases a new podcast audio drama every Wednesday. Double Trouble will be available to listeners on October 19.

Mary Walsh 

After two years and a couple of COVID-related postponements, Mary Walsh returns to the Arden Theatre with her favourite over-the-top characters and sharp wit. 

The comedian, social activist and multi-award-winning actor-writer-director is best known nationally for performances in This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Her character Marg Delahunty’s debut on 22 Minutes marked the launch of a cultural icon who stood up to politicians and said what many of us wished to say but did not have a platform. 

Preparing a tour of Saskatchewan and Alberta, Walsh continues to pepper her sets with activism to improve the lives of women.  

“The position of women hasn’t changed from the time I was 40 to now that I’m 70. Did you know only one per cent of decision making is made by women? I’m not judgmental to people, but I am to institutions, especially when they pay women 70 per cent of what men make,” said Walsh. 

Always an optimist, Walsh added, “Times are always changing. Look at 1918. People were coming back from the Great War and then the Spanish Flu hit killing millions. But we’re still here.” 

Walsh appears at the Arden Theatre on Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. Ticket prices are $46. Call 780-459-1542 or visit 

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