Anchor Red Theatre’s second performance aims to connect with audience

Husband and wife Andrew and Brieanna Blizzard, are ready to release their newest creation, The After, to the Calgary theatre scene.

Anchor Red Theatre was founded in 2009 by the Calgary couple. Both have been a part of the Calgary theatre community for a while, Brieanna as an actress and Andrew in sound design and music.

“We wanted to tell stories that we care about, that come from personal experiences that hopefully connect with people,” said Brieanna.

The After is Anchor Red’s second show. It is the story of a psychopomp, or Husband and wife team, Brieanna and Andrew started Anchor Red Theatre in 2009. The After, Anchor Red’s second show starts Nov. 22.

Photo by Taylor Haahrdeath guide, named Libby.

According to Oxford, a psychopomp is “a guide of souls to the place of the dead.” Psychopomps.org gives examples of psychopomps as angels – associated with religions such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam; Hermes – “the ancient Greek trickster god”; and Barnumbir – “the Australian morning star.”

Libby uses experiences from her life and death to guide the audience through the afterlife, said Brieanna. However, she said that Libby is not a “sweet, comforting angelic figure,” but rather “crazy and caustic.”

“She’s got a bit of a chip on her shoulder,” said Brieanna. “She’s been dead longer than she’s been alive.”

Even though Libby is “grumpy,” Brieanna hopes that the audience develops “an understanding for who she is.” Thriving on the theme of connection, Libby is also searching for something herself and hopes that the audience can connect to that, Brieanna said.

“Maybe what (the audience) gets from the character is an understanding of what we carry around with us, affects how we live our lives,” said Andrew. “We all have that.”

With connection as a goal the creators hope that the audience feels connected and as much a part of the show as Libby herself.

Brieanna plays Libby, a psychopomp who guides the audience through the afterlife in Anchor Red’s production of The After.

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Laird“We’re really not trying to make light of death,” Andrew said, noting the journey that Libby takes the audience through includes dark comedy. Brieanna added that the creation of this piece stemmed from wanting to think of death in another way.

“We’re not alone in the crappy things we have to go through,” said Brieanna “We all have to go through them.

“I think if people can feel a little bit less alone and have a different perspective on something as dark as death, that would be great.”

Performances of The After start Nov. 22 and go through to Dec. 1 at the Epcor Centre’s Motel. Tickets can be pre-purchased online or at the door before the show.

thaahr@cjournal.ca