December 8th – 18th, 2021
by Heather Morrison, with production dramaturgy by Lenore Claire Herrem
Fruitcake is a comedic family drama about the relationships we build with others, and with ourselves.
When a family gathers for their first Christmas without their mother, many tensions lie underneath the holiday cheer. Si has recently transitioned, but her father has asked her to go back in the closet “just for the holidays”. Jill and Michael are struggling with infertility, while their sister-in-law carries her new baby around on her hip.
There is also the pressing question – who will take the family heirloom their mother lovingly took care of for the past forty years – the 137 year old fruitcake?
It all comes to a head on Christmas eve.
At the 2020-2022 Saskatoon & Area Theatre Awards, Fruitcake was nominated for The Excellence in New Work Award (Heather Morrison & Lenore Claire Herrem). Jalisa Gonie, was additionally nominated for The Technical Excellence Award for production management.
Cast & Crew
Oliver (Liv) Claxton (he/they) - Si
Oliver Claxton (he/they) is a visual and performance artist currently based on Treaty 3 lands in Haudenosaunee Territory (so called St. Catharines, ON). In their free time, Oliver enjoys watching street dance competitions, anime and manga, deep-diving into whichever musicians have caught their interest, and putting on impromptu shadow projection performances from their downtown window with their roommate. Oliver is a committed activist for the unhoused in their community, and is passionate about fighting for affordable housing for all. Fruitcake is Oliver’s debut stage production.
Jensine Emeline (she/they) - Set Designer
Jensine is a theatre designer and stage manager from Saskatoon and an alumnus from the U of S drama department. Select stage management credits include: “With Glowing Hearts”; “Blow Wind” (Dancing Sky Theatre), “Blow Wind” (Station Arts Center), and “Girl in the Box” (Scantily Glad Theatre/Live Five). Select costume designs include: “With Glowing Hearts” (Dancing Sky Theatre), “The Penelopiad” (Ferre Play Theatre), and “Girl in the Box” (Scantily Glad Theatre/Live Five). Jensine is honoured to have been awarded Saskatoon & Area Theatre Awards for Outstanding Costume Design for “The Penelopiad”, and Outstanding Emerging Artist in 2020. Jensine is endlessly grateful for their mentors and friends, the guidance and support they have been given, and to be able to work in and share their passion for the arts and community in Saskatchewan.
Morgan Carter (she/her) - Costume Assistant
S. E. Grummett (they/them) - Director
S.E. Grummett (they/them) is a queer, transgender theatre artist from Treaty 6 Territory. After graduating from acting school and becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of opportunities for queer and trans folks, Grumms began Scantily Glad Theatre, a 2SLGBTIQ+ theatre company that works to promote queer artists and stories. For the past 5 years, Grumms has created a body of sex-positive, body-positive queer work and toured it to festivals around the world, including Adelaide Fringe, Edinburgh Fringe, Twin Cities Horror Festival, and Rogue Festival. They are the creator of “Pack Animals”, “SCUM: a manifesto”, “Girl in the Box” and “Creepy Boys”. Their solo-show, “Something in the Water”, toured to the Adelaide Fringe earlier this year where it won “Best Theatre” overall in the festival. Outside of self-creation, Grumms also works as a performer, puppeteer & video artist.
Sam Fairweather (she/her) - Stage Manager
Sam (she/her) is unbelievably excited to return to theatre and stage managing after the global hiatus. She spent this time reconnecting with old passions such as reading and visual art, reflecting and growing, and increasing her family by one- her seven month old rescue pup. Sam convocated in 2018 with a BFA Honours in Acting and A B.Ed in 2020 from the University of Saskatchewan. She is also a five-time world qualifying Irish dancer, which is where she learned her passion for performing. Sam lives with two of her best friends, her dog and two cats, all of whom she loves very much.
Lenore Claire Herrem (she/her) - Dramaturg, Katie
Lenore Claire Herrem is a multidisciplinary artist currently based in Tiohtià:ke / Montreal. Born and raised in Saskatoon, she trained at the University of Saskatchewan in the Theatre Performance program. In 2013, she moved East to pursue a career in the queer cabaret and activism worlds. In 2015, she co-founded Taking What We Need, a discretionary funding organization that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Quebec’s low-income trans-feminine community. She also runs a brand called Precious Puppies which encompasses an animated series, a clothing line, and accessories. Lenore continues to work in theatre and digital content creation through writing, directing, and performing.
Jalisa Gonie (she/they) - Production Manager
Jalisa prides herself on being a versatile theatre artist. She holds a BFA with a focus in acting from the University of Saskatchewan and has trained at the Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance. She spends her time in the areas of acting, clown, stage management, production and writing. Much of her writing consists of devising solo clown and as part of a duo in Oblong and Oboe with Charlie Peters. Most recently she spent her summer as the Production Manager for the Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan 2021 Season. She is very excited to be back in a PM position as part of the Fruitcake team! Upcoming Projects: Pot Roast (Playwright, Short Cuts 2021) and The Mountain Top (ApSM, Persephone Theatre).
Amberlin Hsu (she/her) - Lighting Designer
A designer, choreographer, and co-founder of It’s Not A Box Ink.. Graduated from University of Saskatchewan Drama department with BFA High Honour in 2016. Before immigrated to Saskatoon, she studied dance at National Taiwan University of Arts, which experience influenced her lighting design style and concept of interaction design in the Overhear projects. The recipient of 2020 SATAwards Outstanding Lighting Design for designed Girl In The Box (Scantly Glad Theatre). Likes to play with negative and positive spaces. Therefore, she uses lots of light boxes, pattern, and colours to create intimate spaces and path in her lighting design. Recent lighting design credits: Girl In The Box (Scantly Glad Theatre),SCUM: Manifesto (Scantly Glad Theatre), The Death of A Salesman (Theatre Naught), Displaced (Ground Cover Theatre), and 2018 & 2019 SATAward Outstanding Lighting Design nominee.
Jeff Kerzinger (he/him) - Set Carpenter
Jeff is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, majoring in Theatre Design. He has worked for several companies, including Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, Saskatoon Opera, GTNT and Summer Players, both as a designer and carpenter.
Ed Mendez (he/him) - Michael
Logan Martin-Arcand (he/they) - Costume Designer
Logan Martin-Arcand is a queer Indigenous theatrical artist from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Logan has numerous credits to his name as an actor, director, designer, producer and writer. Select credits include producer/writer for The Gay Card (Horsetrade Theater Group NYC 2019, and SexualSpaceWalk Theatre, 2016, 2019, 2020), costume designer for Reneltta Arluk’s Pawakan Macbeth (Akpik Theatre 2017, 2020), costume design for Tony Kushner’s The Illusion (Greystone Theatre, 2017) and as Vernon Little in Vernon God Little (Greystone Theatre, 2014). Logan has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours (Theatre Design / Acting) from the University of Saskatchewan.
Heather Morrison (she/her) - Playwright
Heather Morrison (she/her) is an award-winning theatre artist, a radio host, an associate producer, a fitness instructor, and a public speaking coach. She is dedicated to building community whether it is through her work as the former Artistic Producer of Sum Theatre or on-air with CBC Saskatchewan. Her other plays include Thicker than Water and #consent. She sits on the Board of Directors for Chokecherry Studios and has volunteered with many other organizations in her home city of Saskatoon. Heather lives in Saskatoon and has an incredible child named Judah.
Taegan O'bertos (she/her) - Prop Master
Taegan O’Bertos is an emerging artist from Saskatoon. Her most recent work includes Puppet design/build & graphic design for Theatre in the Park’s The Otherside of the River (Sum Theatre, 2021), costume and projection design for Reasonable Doubt (Persephone Theatre, 2020), and Puppet design/build for the travelling theater experience of Turn, Turn, Turn...(Sum Theatre, 2020).Taegan’s design work has led to positions such as Head of Props at the University of Saskatchewan, and Production Assistant at Persephone Theatre. She has also found artistic outlets such as Shadow Puppet Builder, commissioned poster artist, and body painting artist. Taegan has her thinking mask on and is ready to create, innovate, and integrate safety consciousness into her upcoming projects!
respectfulchild (they/them) - Sound Designer
respectfulchild is an interdisciplinary artist born, raised, and living as an uninvited guest on Treaty 6 Territory. Rooted primarily in sound and composition with their violin, their practice openly engages with any medium that best serves their creative expression. Their work explores the quiet tensions and chaotic beauty of being a queer Chinese settler on the prairies, opening up space for intimate reflection and community dialogue. The name respectfulchild is the literal translation of their Mandarin name 敬兒[jìng er]. This name was given to them by their grandmother when they were born, a name and a culture they’ve been estranged from having lived their whole life in the predominantly white world of the Canadian Prairies. respectfulchild is their space to seek meaning in 敬兒 again.
Jordie Richardson (he/him) - Fight Choreographer
Jordie is a Saskatoon-based actor and emerging violence designer, having completed a BFA: Acting (Honours) from the University of Saskatchewan. He has achieved Intermediate Actor-Combatant certification with Fight Directors Canada (FDC), and has had the great opportunity to train with multiple other international stage combat organizations. Although his natural habitat is a quiet corner with a book, he can occasionally be found getting into sword fights, kicked through tables, or set on fire.
Select Fight Choreography Credits: Henry V , Cabaret (Greystone Theatre); The Addams Family (Sask. Summer Players); The ‘C’ in Comedy (Myriad Entertainment)
Bruce Sinclair - Henry
Bruce Sinclair is a Métis theatre artist, teacher, student of the nehiyawewin (Cree) and Michif languages and is currently based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Bruce formed an artistic entity, miyotêh performance that will develop and produce works based on working with elders, the nehiyawewin\michif languages as well as artistic collaborations with diverse communities.
Presently, Bruce works as an actor, director in a community activism mode and is focusing on finding ways to share Metis \ Indigenous stories, both contemporary and traditional with the local, national and international communities.
akhimeyimo, do your best (nehiyawewin aka Plains Cree
Anita Smith (she/her) - Jill
Anita (she/her) is a dedicated member of the Saskatoon theatre community where she has been throwing heaps of energy into telling stories that make people laugh, feel, and think since she landed here so many years ago. Anita has worked as an actor and/or director with Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan (J. Caesar; As You Like It; King Henry the Fourth Part One; The Tempest; Twelfth Night; Love’s Labour’s Lost; The Winter’s Tale), Persephone Theatre (Boeing, Boeing; The Invisible Girl; Quick Bright Things; Trout Stanley), and the company of which she is a founding member, Ferre Play Theatre (The Penelopiad, recipient of eight SATAs including Best Overall Production and Best Ensemble), among many others. Anita is proud to be the Artistic & Executive Director of 25th Street Theatre where she gets to work with so many wonderful people, but she is even more proud to be known as Mom to Abigail and Josie.
Deneh'Cho Thompson (he/they) - Brad
Deneh’Cho Thompson (he/they) is a director, actor and playwright and displaced and dispossessed member of the Pehdzeh ki Nation. His artistic practice focuses on new play development, acting credits include the world premieres of Iron Peggy, by Marie Clements, REDPATCH, by Sean Oliver Harris and Raes Calvert, and Thanks for Giving, by Kevin Loring. As Assistant Professor at the University of Saskatchewan Deneh’Cho oversees the wîcêhtowin Theatre Program, one of few Indigenous theatre programs at a Canadian university. Deneh’Cho’s research focuses on the development, naming, and centring of Indigenous pedagogies; new play development, in various roles, and Indigenous collaborations while centering the values of reciprocity, respect and reflexivity. Deneh’Cho is also engaged in the (re)storying of personal family archives focusing on healing, resilience, and Indigenous storywork as a pathway towards the creation of new works of theatre. This is Deneh’Cho’s Saskatchewan stage debut, and he is excited to be working with a thoughtful and talented group.
Beyond the Fringe
Current live, professional Saskatchewan theatre.
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