Coming to Toronto Fringe 2009: CROWN HILL CEMETERY

From Press Release


Near(by) death experience

New York City monologist Lisa Haas presents her morbidly funny tale about her struggle to avoid death while growing up next to a burial ground in the suburbs of Denver.

Directed by Jocelyn Sawyer, Crown Hill Cemetery centers on the story of Haas’s uncle who obsessively photographs dead relatives in their coffins. Haas uncovers his mysterious shutter-bug tendencies through a series of hapless yet embarrassing events. She aspires to fully embrace life only to have her enthusiasm trampled on by telemarketers selling cemetery plots, coffin-side calamities and her death obsessed family.  Even a simple trip to the mall turns sour when her sister justifies purchasing an outfit for their mother by pointing out, “She needs something decent to wear, and for God’s sake, what will we bury her in?”

Though the subject matter of death is sobering, the piece is outrageously comic and includes opportunities for the audience to call for a break anytime “death” gets too heavy — then Haas must deliver a non-death related story.

As a recipient of a Jerome Foundation Fellowship, Haas began the development of this solo show as an artist-in-residence at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center in Minnesota.  Subsequently, Crown Hill Cemetery has been seen in various NYC venues (including the Artists of Tomorrow Festival where it was named ‘Best of the Fest’) and has played to critical acclaim in other festivals in the U.S. and Canada.  At the Fringe Theatre Festival in Florida, the Orlando Sentinel said, “Haas brings sincerity, creativity and humor to her tale…  I’ve never seen anybody else convey grief quite as Haas does – This is a sweet, funny tale.”  At the Piccolo Spoleto Festival The Post and Courier said, “Her vivacious, amazingly zingy off-the-wall material about death and dying came across hilariously.” And    “…Haas is a comedian who shows a lot of promise as well as a bit of a Lily Tomlin quality.  Saturday Night Live could use a comedian of this caliber.”  The Charleston City Paper noted, “Haas delivers monologue with moxie…”

Haas is also a playwright known for her twisted queer comedies Stacked: A Deviant Doctoral Dissertation and In Heat.  Haas is also the co-author of the sketch comedy, Rita & Inez: The True Queens of Femininity, which was a critically acclaimed festival hit in the Seattle and Edmonton Fringes. For more information, log onto

Location: Glen Morris Theatre.  4 Glen Morris Avenue.

Ticket Price: $10.

Performance dates & times:

Thursday July 2 11:00 pm

Saturday July 4   2:00 pm

Sunday July 5 8:30 pm

Wednesday July 8 5:00 pm

Friday July 10 8:30 pm

Saturday July 11 1:30 pm

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Crown Hill Cemetery is produced by Creative Evolution