The Kymeras

The Kymeras (pronounced Kai-MAIR-as) are a performance group of which I am pleased and proud to be a member. They're a creative impetus and an inspiration, as well as being among my best friends. Aside from me, the Kymeras are storytellers Marie Bilodeau and Ruthanne Edward, and poet Sean Zio.

An awesome piece of fan-art by our friend Kerri Gerow (Check her out at
From left: Ruthanne, Sean, Marie, and me!
"The Kymeras performance troupe is a unique presence in the Ottawa scene. Made up of the fierce foursome of Kate Hunt, Sean Zio, Marie Bilodeau and Ruthanne Edward, the group puts on an event around the change of each season, weaving together poetry and storytelling that’s thematically-based on one of the classical elements: earth, water, air, fire. For example, a winter show might be entitled “Iceborn” and a summer show “Fireborn”. In the coming months, expect an appearance or two from these performers—who are skilled, crafty and just so damn charming."

The Kymeras got started a couple of years back, when Marie suggested that spring seemed to be taking entirely too long to come, and maybe if we got together and did a show about fire and rebirth and regeneration it would help. Our first show was called Fireborn (see? see? it's got 'fire' and 'reborn' in it) and was held at Shanghai Restaurant. It was so damn much fun we decided to do it again, only this time for midsummer. We called that show Earthborn, and thus a trend was begun. Our seasonal shows lasted for a couple of years, marking each solstice and equinox with themed stories and poems, and then we started branching out. We toured to a couple of places outside of Ottawa, and then in January 2011 Ruthanne and Marie and I were invited to do a show at the Ottawa Storytellers' 4th Stage based around my poem cycle Chasing Boudicca, about the 1st century warrior queen, featuring the incredible bodhran and whistle of Nathan Bishop. It was our biggest show to date.

Kymeras News:

After a couple of years of hiatus, the Kymeras ride again! Our first show in ages will be at CanCon on October 5: we're performing Evelyn: a Time Travel Love Story. While the show might be only available to con attendees, we will be putting it on again in the new year, probably around February 14th, because Sean's a big romantic like that. Also in the works is a house concert for the winter solstice. . .

We remounted Chasing Boudicca on November 17th, 2011 at the Shenkman Centre in Orleans, bringing out the biggest audience the Shenkman Series had yet seen. According to many accounts, this version of the show was even better than the first show. We had Nathan back with his pulse-pounding bodhran playing and instructed him to strut his stuff, which the audience loved; and he tells us that when Ruthanne told the scene where Boudicca saw her armies massed below her and raised her sword, he actually got choked up onstage. Victory is Ruthanne's!

Marie left the very next morning for Toronto and the Aurora Awards: she didn't win, but it's amazing she was on the shortlist with such seasoned writers, so we think she's a winner anyway.

In June, Earthborn 2011 featured the bicycle, and expanded on the opening set we did for SPIN by Evalyn Parry - all about the bicycle and the complicated relationships we have to it. We were honoured to open for Evalyn, who brought her show to Mississippi Mills Bike Month on June 4th. It was a bike-themed extravaganza, and we were really happy to be a part of it.

HOORAY for Marie, who just got shortlisted for an Aurora Award for her latest novel, Destiny's Blood! She's on the ticket alongside killer Canadian talent like Guy Gavriel Kay and Robert J. Sawyer... rarefied company indeed!

Fireborn 2011 got us back into the swing of the seasonal shows, with a series of stories and poems about the stars. And Maggie the guitar made an appearance!

The photos are in from the shoot we did at the Chateau Laurier in early February with the lovely Jess Torrance. We had entirely too much fun clowning around in front of the camera, we did! 

We just got a really nice mention in the first issue of Canadian Review of Literature in Performance.

Great news! Marie, Ruthanne and I were invited to bring Chasing Boudicca back at the Shenkman Centre! Mark the date: November 19th, 2011.

The seasonal shows are coming back, with Fireborn in March: and Allison Armstrong just wrote a lovely blog post about us at Xdestination!

The Warrior Queen: Chasing Boudicca was a massive success. A packed house at the NAC 4th Stage, and the show went beyond our expectations. Nathan Bishop was fantastic, punctuating and driving the story with his astonishing bodhran playing and plaintive whistle, and by the end there were definitely some non-dry eyes in the house. (Including ours.) We got a standing ovation. Check out Nichole McGill's review in Ottawa Tonite!

"Amazing show! Totally worth coming all the way from Toronto for!" - Robert J. Sawyer

“The audience was absolutely mesmerized -- there were occasional gasps or chuckles (there was some funny stuff), but in general it was utterly silent and focused. Not a cough. Not a whisper.” - Russell Hunt

“Si vous n'y étiez pas vous avez manqué un magnifique spectacle... Boudicca est une grande dame...” - Nicole Poirier-Caouette

Check out our interview from Click Here on CHUO on Wednesday Jan 19, where Ruthanne and Marie and I talked warrior queens with Mitchell Caplan. Marie and I also did an interview with Kathleen Petty on CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning, very early on the 20th (6:45 AM): we're hoping to get hold of a recording of that interview too.

And just because I love it, here's a video my sister found, created by Horrible Histories: Boudicca gets her own rock video!