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News from NLT

February 4, 2015

The Pink Unicorn

THE PINK UNICORN by Elise Forier Edie

FEBRUARY 20-28, 2015
(Preview February 19, 2015)
PCL Studio in the ATB Financial Arts Barns 10330-84 Avenue


THE PINK UNICORN was originally created and performed by Elise Forier Edie. Over the next month we'll be sharing NLT's Artistic Director, Trevor Schmidt's conversation about the play with the charming, funny and talented Elise. (That's her in the below photo)


TREVOR: What drew you to write a stage play? Is it a return to theatre- or is it a new experience for you? Do you come from a theatre background?

ELISE: I come from a theatre background.  I hold an MFA in Playwriting from the University of Arizona, and I have worked professionally in theatres for years as a director, actor, manager and playwright. I've written all sorts of plays, but I had the most success with children's plays and musicals. I've always been an advocate for children, arts education and free expression, and these themes are present in almost all my creative work. My most well known plays (besides THE PINK UNICORN) include a fantasy musical about a girl who thinks she can speak to Joan of Arc (CATHY'S CREEK, available through Dramatic Publishing, Inc), and a play about teen pregnancy an infanticide, LA LLORONA AND OTHER TALES OF THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST.

TREVOR: You mention that the play came from a time when you were living in small-town Ellensburg, WA. How did you end up there? And how long did you stay?
ELISE: I lived in Ellensburg for eight years, where I was a tenured professor in the Theatre Arts Department, and taught classes in performance, children's theatre and playwriting.  There is much to enjoy about living in a small town.  I never locked my door, I could walk my dogs leashless by a beautiful river, and there was an actual noise ordinance on weeknights, and I never, ever had to listen to my neighbors play crappy, loud music far into the night.  But after almost a decade of living there, I realized I was in danger of becoming complacent in my art (a terrible temptation in the university system), and I was very, VERY tired of having to drive through a snowy mountain range to get to an airport so I could fly to New York and develop my plays. So I left.

TREVOR:  I love the fact that the LGBTQ issues exist in the play alongside Trisha Lee's Christian faith- one does not negate the other. Can you speak to your decision to tackle this topic from her uniquely religious angle?
ELISE: I am very disturbed by the way religion has been hijacked by political parties to scare people into voting for rich men who care nothing for the poor and powerless, but want only to line their own pockets and keep themselves in office.  I know this tactic has been used for thousands of years, that we need only open the history books to see how the Pharisees and the Catholic Church did the exact same things the Taliban and Tea Party are doing in their respective countries today, but it still makes me very sad.   Somehow, being Christian in America has become synonymous with being a bigoted asshole, and I really don’t think that describes Christ or Christians at all.  I think if Christ were here today, he’d be preaching among the homeless LGBTQ kids in Salt Lake City, in the crappy single-wide trailers that house undocumented immigrant workers, walking with his hand on the shoulders of the addicts and the addled, helping the young men in the ghettos find a voice. I don’t think He’d be having another martini and bartering another secret deal with conservatives in Washington, DC. And I just wanted to portray that clearly. Real Christians aren’t the fear-mongers clogging the airwaves and pontificating in Congress. Real Christians are just people who struggle with all the same questions everyone struggles with—only they love try to love and emulate Christ while they do it.

Stay tuned for next week’s NLT newsletter for more of our conversation with Elise and more exclusive details about THE PINK UNICORN.   

Purchase tickets for THE PINK UNICORN.

Mid-Season subscriptions are still available.



With three plays that include challenging conversations, Northern Light Theatre is delighted to unveil our new salon-style events which provoke further dialogue and discussion.

Group Rates Available
Northern Light Theatre offers an exclusive group rate for our performance run of THE PINK UNICORN.  Groups of over ten receive tickets for $12.00 each- that’s a $10 discount.  (Standard booking rates apply).

Group Rates Available

Free Student Preview
Thursday, February 19, 2015 (7:30 pm)

Bring your valid student id and receive a free ticket!

Free Student Preview

Director’s Circle
Saturday, February 21, 2015
(6:15 pm Director's Circle, 7:30 pm Show)
Join Artistic Director Trevor Schmidt as he takes you through the ins and outs of the play.  Where did he find the script?  Why did he choose the play?  How does it fit into the season? 
(With complimentary treats sponsored by Under the High Wheel)

Director’s Circle

Two-For- One Tuesday
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 (7:30 pm Show)
We’re overjoyed to bring back our steal of deal on tickets.  Come check out THE PINK UNICORN and your guest gets in for free. 
Two-for-one tickets are only available at the door so get there early before we sell out!

Two-For- One Tuesday

Special Pink Shirt Day Performance
February 25, 2015 (7:30 pm Show, Talk Back Immediately After Show)

Special Pink Shirt Day Performance

Stand against intolerance. Stand against discrimination. Stand against bullying.

NLT encourages our audiences to wear something pink to symbolize that we as a society will not tolerate bullying anywhere.

Pink Shirt Day is a nationally recognized day started by two Nova Scotia high school students named David Shepherd and Travis Price who organized a high-school protest to wear pink in sympathy with a Grade 9 boy who was being bullied for wearing a pink shirt.

Northern Light Theatre will celebrate PINK SHIRT DAY with a very special performance of our play “The Pink Unicorn” paired with a post-show discussion surrounding the topics of Alberta GSAs and gender queer youth. 

For more information on Canada’s national Pink Shirt Day visit

Speaker's Salon
Thursday, February 26, 2015 (7:30 pm Show, Speaker's Salon Immediately After Show)

Wanna talk about it?  Northern Light Theatre is delighted to bring back our Salon Series to disscuss the themes and topics of THE PINK UNICORN featuring Dr. Ruth Dyck Fehderau from the University of Alberta’s Department of English and Film Studies, Laurie Blakeman, the Liberal MLA for Edmonton-Centre who proposed the Safe and Inclusive Schools Act (Bill 202), and Courtney Cliff, a Community Liaison Worker with The AltView Foundation who works with high schools in Elk Island to create and sustain GSAs.
(With complimentary snacks provided by MEAT)


Booty Call
Friday, November 28, 2014 (10:30 pm Cocktails and Mingling, 11:30 pm show)
Set the stage for some late night fun with Northern Light Theatre. All attendees of our Late Light Booty Call performance will be entered to win a prize gift basket from Lacombe Park Spirts in St. Albert.

Booty Call

To book single tickets to THE PINK UNICORN please click here: or call Northern Light Theatre
(780) 471-1586.

What have we been up to?

Northern Light Theatre’s Director Circle with Trevor Schmidt
(Saturday, November 22, 2014)

Director Circle

While dining on fine cheeses and chocolates from Under the High Wheel, Northern Light Theatre’s Artistic Director chatted about the design and story- telling themes of our season opener SPACE// SPACE by Jason Craig. 

If you’d like to attend our next Director’s Circle event for THE PINK UNICORN, book your tickets for our Saturday, February 21, 2015 performance!

Northern Light Theatre's Wednesday Salon with Ruth Dyck-Fehderau
(Wednesday, November 26, 2014)

Wednesday Salon with Ruth Dyck-Fehderau

I can honestly say that Ruth Dyck-Fehderau is one of the smartest and coolest person I’ve ever met.  Below, we discuss some of the themes Ruth talked about at her Wednesday Salon for SPACE// SPACE and some of the topics we will be delving into for THE PINK UNICORN.

ELLEN:  Can you tell us a little about your background?

RUTH:  Sure. I'm a part-time academic and part-time writer. I finished my MA in '95 and my PhD in '01, and now I teach English Lit and Creative Writing at the U of A about half the time. The other half the time I'm writing (mostly fiction and non-fiction). I've recently finished my first novel, and these days I'm working on a book of stories for and about the James Bay Cree. 

ELLEN: What kind of topics will you cover in the salons and why is it great for our audiences to attend?

RUTH: It'll be different for each play, but essentially I'm trying to explain the parts of the plays that audience members might not have understood, to give some background to the material in the plays, and to interact with some of the controversies the plays address.

ELLEN: When you read SPACE // SPACE what tweaked you to the literary references that you brought to the talk-back?

RUTH:  I mentioned in these references because they confront some of the same questions about routine, sex, gender, stasis, change, and social control. For instance, Giambattista Basile's 16th-Century Sleeping Beauty (actually, it's called "The Sun, the Moon, and Talia") came up because the Sleeping Beauty character there is in much the same position as Penryn in SPACE//SPACE: she's been asleep for a long time, and, while she was sleeping, someone got her pregnant, and now she has to cope with that. (Basile's Sleeping Beauty, though, doesn't wake up until after she's birthed her kids.). 

Penryn, whose sex changes just before the play begins, and whose gender gradually changes throughout the play, also reminded me of Virgina Woolf's Orlando. Orlando, who has lived for centuries as a man, looks out upon yet another war, bored, decides not to kill more people, and goes to sleep only to wake several days later, now sexed female.  She remains female-sexed for the rest of the book, but she switches genders (not sexes) whenever she feels like it.

I referred to 1950s Science Fiction thought experiments like John Wyndham's 1956 novella Consider Her Ways. In Wyndham's book, a woman wakes up in the future in a huge reproducing body that's not hers (kind of like Penryn, once male, now waking in a big pregnant female body...). The society around her is made up of only women: the men were killed off by a virus and the women now function and reproduce without them. In SPACE//SPACE, Lumos, the male character who resists all change, is similarly obsolete and his body decays before us throughout the play, until, at the end, he dies.

Absurdist plays like this one don't follow the rules of realism nor the patterns of traditional "well-made" plays. They often include (among other things) plots that seem to go nowhere (as Lumos's last three years have gone while Penryn slept), broad comedy or vaudeville (here, we get stand-up comedy), absurd repetition of cliches and routines (like the gendered cliches spat out by the spaceship or Lumos's stand-up routines), and a world controlled or threatened by unseen external forces (like the forces that ejected Penryn and Lumos into space as "souvenirs of the past"). Interestingly, here, Lumos is caught in the circular meaningless absurd world in which he is obsolete -- but Penryn questions everything, embraces change, destroys the recording devices their controllers use to listen to them, and forces an ending that's meaningful for her.

ELLEN:  What topics that you’ll be talking about for the Pink Unicorn?

RUTH:  We'll be talking a lot about Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs). The panel members will include both Laurie Blakeman, the Liberal MLA for Edmonton-Centre who proposed the Safe and Inclusive Schools Act (Bill 202),  and Courtney Cliff, a Community Liaison Worker with The AltView Foundation who works with high schools in Elk Island to create and sustain GSAs.

Northern Light Theatre's Holiday Party
(Wednesday, December 17, 2014)

Holiday Party

Holiday Party

Holiday Party

Holiday Party

Holiday Party

Holiday Party

Holiday Party

Holiday Party

GET INVOLVED! Volunteer with Northern Light Theatre

Northern Light Theatre is looking for ten wonderful volunteers for our February Bingo on Thursday, February 12 from 11:00 am- 3:45 pm at Caesar's Bingo in West Edmonton Mall.

NLT volunteers will be treated to delights of Caesar's Bingo including great people watching, fascinating food infusions (grilled cheese WITH HAM, guys) and a killer calf work out that will have your cardio covered for days.

We'll also hook you up with a free ticket to one of our shows in our 2014-2015 season AND an exclusive invite to our awesome Volunteer party (WHAT? THAT'S NEW... Yep, we are going to have parties now... BECAUSE WE LOVE YOU).

WHO: You, me and 8 of our friends.
WHAT: Bingo
WHEN: Thursday, February 12, 2015 from 11:00 am-3:45 pm
WHERE: Caesar's Bingo in West Edmonton Mall (under Simons, beside HMV and Chapters)
WHY: Grilled cheese and a great theatre company

For more information about volunteering, please contact Ellen Chorley, Artistic Associate and Bingo Queen at (780) 471-1586 or e-mail

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