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Cat Walsh holding Do This In Memory of Me

Meet the Author: Cat Walsh

By Jessica Lewis Date: January 27, 2022 Tags: Meet the Author

Meet the author of the charming Do This In Memory of Me—Cat Walsh!

Describe yourself in one sentence.
Playwright, performer, blatant neurotic, secret singer, future ghost, curiouser and curiouser. 

Tell us a little bit about your new book.
Do This In Memory of Me is a dark comedy about a young girl who desperately wants to be an altar server, but is told only boys are allowed. She prays for divine intercession, but when altar boy Martin goes missing on his way home from school, she begins to wonder if God is answering her prayers in the worst possible way. I’d been asked to write a play that would run in rep in English and French, and the Catholic church in the 1960s seemed like a natural setting that would resonate with audiences in both languages. I was also inspired by my own childhood experience of wanting to be an altar server and not being allowed because my parish didn’t allow girls to do it.

One of my favourite aspects of theatre is the magical, transformative nature of it—the idea that we can be anywhere we say we are still excites me. The play moves quickly between church, home, outer space, and the ocean floor. It features divine apparitions, the resurrected dead, Sputnik, and dog cosmonauts. It definitely draws from some aspects of Catholicism that I think heavily influence my aesthetic—the pageantry and the gruesomeness.

What’s something unique about you or something you like to do?
I was once the playwright in residence at a funeral home!

What is something that you enjoy doing, and why?
I love knitting—mostly socks, but occasionally a blanket or a sweater. How cool is it that you can make something you can wear out of basically one long piece of string?

What are some of your favourite plays?
Possible Worlds by John Mighton is a beautiful play and was hugely influential for me when I first started writing. Another couple of favourites are If We Were Birds by Erin Shields and Amadeus by Peter Shaffer.

What are you reading these days?
I just got a copy of Tarot for Change by Jessica Dore, and I’m really excited to dig into it!

What’s something that makes you laugh?
I love gallows humour, dry wit, and dumb jokes. This is definitely not safe for work or kids, but it makes me cry with laughter every time I see it: https://youtu.be/0Rn5QdO07d8.

Learn more about Cat Walsh:
Cat Walsh is an award-winning performer and playwright based in Edmonton. Her plays include the site-specific ANXIETY (Theatre Yes), the gas-station gothic The Laws of Thermodynamics (Theatre Yes/Workshop West Playwrights’ Theatre), and the quantum-inspired FETCH (Interloper Theatre). Cat is a graduate of the University of Ottawa.

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