Twelve-year-old Genevieve has been having a hard time at home, and all she really wants is to be an altar server at her church. Except it’s 1963 and Father Paul tells her that’s not allowed. After having her dreams crushed and being made fun of by her classmate and star altar boy Martin, Genevieve prays to God hoping for an exception. Instead, a fourteen-year-old martyr from the fourth century, St. Pancras, appears and promises to get her an answer from God. But with her mom missing for weeks and Martin disappearing on his way home from school the next day, she fears her prayers have been answered in dire ways.
This dark comedy dives into the expansive time between childhood and adolescence, exploring questions about the realities of home life to the possibilities of unknown worlds. Do This In Memory of Me is for anyone who has ever questioned the relationship between faith and trust or wondered where they fit in the bigger picture.
About the author
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.
Excerpt: Do This In Memory of Me (by (author) Cat Walsh)
GENEVIEVE: Dear Lord: thanks for all the help! Sorry. But come on!
I don’t want to tell you what to do, but could you maybe appear to Father Paul in a vision? Or leave him a note? Or . . . I’m sure you have some better ideas.
Or maybe I could perform a miracle. Just a small one, nothing too flashy. Just something that would show everyone, but particularly Father Paul that you’re on my side about this. Maybe levitation?
I’ll let you decide. Thy will be done, amen.
A young man appears, looking to be about 14 or so, dressed in something that suggests “4th Century Rome.” A halo would be great. He is ST. PANCRAS OF ROME.
ST. PANCRAS: Genevieve!
GENEVIEVE thinks God Himself has answered her.
GENEVIEVE: . . . Lord?
ST. PANCRAS: Genevieve!
GENEVIEVE: You’re here! Of course, you’re everywhere, but . . . I’m going to get Father Paul. Don’t go anywhere.
She is about to leave when ST. PANCRAS speaks again, somewhat impatiently.
ST. PANCRAS: Behind you!
She turns around and is startled to see him.
ST. PANCRAS: Oh yourself.
GENEVIEVE: Who are you?
ST. PANCRAS: Ha ha, very funny.
GENEVIEVE: No, who are you?
ST. PANCRAS: Isn’t it obvious?
ST. PANCRAS: You don’t recognize me from a stained glass window or maybe a prayer card . . . ?
GENEVIEVE: Um . . .
ST. PANCRAS: I am Pancras of Rome.
ST. PANCRAS: Pancras of Rome. Saint Pancras of Rome? The patron saint of children?
GENEVIEVE: I thought Saint Nicholas was the patron saint of children.
ST. PANCRAS: There are enough children in the world to have more than one patron. But since you asked, I also look after jobs, health, cramps, false witnesses, headaches and perjury.
GENEVIEVE: That’s a lot of things.
ST. PANCRAS: Thank you.
GENEVIEVE: Are you a virgin martyr?
ST. PANCRAS: We just say “martyr”.
GENEVIEVE: So you’re not—
ST. PANCRAS: Well aren’t you nosy? In fact, I am. But with men it’s not necessary to specify. It’s just implied. So how can I help you?
GENEVIEVE: I’m not sure.
ST. PANCRAS: Well you called for intercession, didn’t you? I’m here to intercede.
GENEVIEVE: With Father Paul?
ST. PANCRAS: With God.
ST. PANCRAS: Really.
GENEVIEVE: Can’t I just ask Him directly?
ST. PANCRAS: Sometimes you need someone to put in a good word for you. Besides, maybe I can even help you myself.
ST. PANCRAS: Yes?
GENEVIEVE: It’s just that . . .
ST. PANCRAS: Yes, speak up.
GENEVIEVE: I want to be an altar server.
ST. PANCRAS: And?
GENEVIEVE: Girls aren’t allowed.
ST. PANCRAS: Yes. And?
GENEVIEVE: And I want to change the rule.
ST. PANCRAS: Oh. That’s it?
GENEVIEVE: What do you mean that’s it?
ST. PANCRAS: Well, that’s easy.
GENEVIEVE: It is?
ST. PANCRAS: You can’t.
GENEVIEVE: But you didn’t even try!
ST. PANCRAS: I’m going to give you a valuable piece of advice: Pick your battles.
GENEVIEVE: Just give up? What kind of advice is that?
ST. PANCRAS: Do you know how I was martyred?
GENEVIEVE: I’ve never even heard of you.
ST. PANCRAS: And it’s so kind of you to keep reminding me. I was beheaded.
He puts his hands on his head as if he were about to remove it.
Want to see?
ST. PANCRAS: Fine. But it was because I refused to give up my faith. You know, my head, my actual head is underneath a basilica that’s named after me.
ST. PANCRAS: Yes, really! You’re not even a little impressed? I’m sure you have several basilicas named after you!
GENEVIEVE: It’s not that—
ST. PANCRAS: I am very popular in Europe.
GENEVIEVE: Maybe I should talk to someone else.
ST. PANCRAS: You don’t get to choose! And you don’t get to change things to suit yourself.
GENEVIEVE: It’s a silly rule.
ST. PANCRAS: But it’s still a rule.
GENEVIEVE: I want to ring the bells. And carry the wine.
ST. PANCRAS: Can’t you just—
GENEVIEVE: Don’t say Ladies’ Auxiliary.
ST. PANCRAS: Become a nun?
GENEVIEVE: I’m twelve.
ST. PANCRAS: I’m fourteen. And look where I am.
GENEVIEVE: I don’t think you’re supposed to rub it in people’s faces. And it doesn’t have to be a change. Just an exception.
ST. PANCRAS: You think you’re worthy of an exception?
GENEVIEVE: . . . Yes.
ST. PANCRAS: Really.
ST. PANCRAS: Fine. I’ll ask for an exception. But I can’t guarantee what the answer will be.
GENEVIEVE: Thank you!
ST. PANCRAS: Exceptions are very rare.
GENEVIEVE: When will you find out?
ST. PANCRAS: I’ll let you know when I hear.
GENEVIEVE: Should I wait here?
ST. PANCRAS: You don’t have to wait here. I can find you anywhere.
ST. PANCRAS: Trust me.
GENEVIEVE: I’ll wait here.
ST. PANCRAS: Go home to your father and brothers. And wait for a sign.
GENEVIEVE: How will I know when—
ST. PANCRAS: It’ll be a big one.
ST. PANCRAS: Anything else?
GENEVIEVE: Do you know anything about missing people?
“A strange and captivating new comedy.”
Liz Nicholls, 12thnight.ca
“A poignant look at the time of life when children become aware that adults actually don’t have all the answers, and that answers (just in general) can be quite difficult to come by.”
Liane Faulder, Edmonton Journal