Public Speaking: Spoken Word & Comedy

 
With Mayor Don Iveson. Edmonton’s dream team.

With Mayor Don Iveson. Edmonton’s dream team.

 

Zach Polis is an experienced public speaker, having performed internationally and across Alberta. He has hosted literary conversations with Giller-nominated authors, defended Canadian culture as a literary panelist, acts as a master of ceremonies, even hosting Canada Day, performs spoken word poetry, gives energy to awards shows, officiates public art unveilings, and leads storytelling workshops. Zach has performed comedy and spoken word at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, ATB’s Branch for Arts and Culture, Edmonton Poetry Festival (on the CBC Centre Stage), Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Edmonton International Cat Festival, Alberta Culture Days, Arts Days in Lethbridge, as well as in New York City at the Magnet Theater, Peoples Improv Theater, and the Poetry Project, following in the spiritual footsteps of Allen Ginsberg and Patti Smith. He has been performed his writing on CBC Radio.

Zach graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama and Creative Writing (with distinction) where he studied playwriting with Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott and Marty Chan (one of Alberta Foundation for the Arts’ 25 most influential artists). He has received scholarships and awards for acting, playwriting, and poetry, including for his poem “Sarah Jessica Parker.” Yes. That Sarah Jessica Parker. True fact: English Departments are crazy about Sex and the City. He has studied improv in New York City at the Magnet Theater, Tokyo Comedy Store in Japan, and Rapid Fire Theatre in Edmonton, as well as with improvisors from Norway, Australia, London, and Vancouver.

 

Comedy

Photo credit: Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

Photo credit: Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

“Zookeeper for a Day”

 

“Hello Kitty’s Birthday”

“Evil Eye”

“Spooky Occult Book Club”

“Zookeeper for a Day”

Zach Polis performing “Zookeeper for a Day” at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

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Literary Hosting

Zach Polis in conversation with Patrick deWitt, discussing his Giller-nominated novel, “French Exit” and the Jacques Audiard-directed film adaption of “The Sisters Brothers”, which stars John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix, as part of the STARFest literary festival.

CBC Radio

Bold. Smart. Adventurous.  Zach on the CBC Centre Stage at the Edmonton Poetry Festival, 2019.

Bold. Smart. Adventurous. Zach on the CBC Centre Stage at the Edmonton Poetry Festival, 2019.

Canada Reads, local edition. CBC Radio Edmonton.

CBC Radio, Edmonton AM with Mark Connolly & Tara McCarthy.

CBC Centre Stage at the Edmonton Poetry Festival, 2019.

CBC Centre Stage at the Edmonton Poetry Festival, 2019.

Photo credit: Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, 2019.

Photo credit: Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, 2019.

 

“The moment Polis, a pop-culture aficionado, stepped up to the microphone, he delivered a series of poetic zingers that had the audience in stitches. His ruminations about life were filled with quirky twists and delivered with natural comedic timing.”

- Anna Borowiecki, St. Albert Gazette

 
 
Speaking (and performing) alongside Hon. Leela Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women and Hon. Dale Nally for Alberta Culture Days in St Albert, a feature site in 2019.

Speaking (and performing) alongside Hon. Leela Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women and Hon. Dale Nally for Alberta Culture Days in St Albert, a feature site in 2019.

 
 
Performing at CASA for Art Days, where Lethbridge was a feature site for Alberta Culture Days, 2019.

Performing at CASA for Art Days, where Lethbridge was a feature site for Alberta Culture Days, 2019.

 
Performing at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery for the SAAG Writing Prize reception, 2019.

Performing at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery for the SAAG Writing Prize reception, 2019.

 
 
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Zach Polis commemorating with a poem the public unveiling of “Migration” by  Cooke-Sasseville , a $240,000 public art piece in recognition of Canada’s 150th Anniversary.

Zach Polis commemorating with a poem the public unveiling of “Migration” by Cooke-Sasseville, a $240,000 public art piece in recognition of Canada’s 150th Anniversary.