2018-2019 Season

The Origin of the Species Buy Tickets


by Bryony Lavery

October 12 – October 27, 2018 | The Studio Theatre in the ATB Financial Arts Barns 10330-84 Ave.

Featuring Holly Turner (The Testament of Mary) and Kristin Johnston in her NLT debut

Evolution, feminism and comedy come together in Origin of the Species.

In Bryony Lavery's quirky Origin of the Species, ardent archaeologist Molly, digging for prehistoric man in Olduvai Gorge finds instead a four-million-year old female body. Upon kissing her lips, the four million year old woman comes to life, and is smuggled back to England and named Victoria, after Molly’s grandmother. Once in possession of this anthropological miracle, Molly spends New Year’s Eve seeking to teach Victoria what it means to be a woman in the 21st Century, and incidentally gains much more than she expected.

"No book, no paper, no learned tome I had ever dug through during my dusty days as a student of archaeology had made mention of this. They said... 'Man discovered fire.' Man."

Performance Dates

Thursday, October 11, 2018, 7:30PM Preview (PWYC)
Friday, October 12, 2018, 7:30PM Opening
Saturday, October 12, 2018, 7:30PM Performance
Sunday, October 14, 2018, 2:00PM Matinee (Preshow Director’s Circle Event)
Sunday, October 14, 2018, 7:30PM Performance
Tuesday, October 16, 2018, 7:30PM Performance (NLT 2 for 1 Ticket at the door)
Wednesday, October 17, 2018, 7:30PM Performance (Post Show NLT Guest Speaker Salon)
Thursday, October 18, 2018, 7:30PM Performance (Post Show Actor Talk Back)
Friday, October 19, 2018, 7:30PM Performance
Saturday, October 20, 2018, 7:30PM Performance
Sunday, October 21, 2018, 2:00PM Matinee
Sunday, October 21, 2018, 7:30PM Performance
Tuesday, October 23, 2018, 7:30PM Performance (NLT 2 for 1 Ticket at the door)
Wednesday, October 24, 2018, 7:30PM Performance
Thursday, October 25, 2018, 7:30PM Performance
Friday, October 26, 2018, 7:30PM Performance
Saturday, October 27, 2018, 7:30PM Closing

Buy Tickets

Or call 780-471-1586

Season subscriptions are still available starting at $40 - $75 for all three shows in the NLT season.


Byrony Lavery - Playwright

Byrony Lavery

Playwright Bryony Lavery (born 1947) is a British dramatist, known for her successful and award-winning 1998 play Frozen. In addition to her work in theatre, she has also written for television and radio. She has written books including the biography Tallulah Bankhead and The Woman Writer's Handbook, and taught playwriting at Birmingham University.

Having begun her career as an actress, she decided that she was fed up with playing poor parts in plays, such as the left arm of a sofa, and decided to write plays with better parts for women. Early in her career she founded a theatre company called Les Oeufs Malades with actor Gerard Bell, she also founded Female Trouble, More Female Trouble and served as artistic director of Gay Sweatshop.
Her plays have a feminist undertone in them and she has even written plays (like More Light which has only one male speaking role) with almost entirely female casts. She has written more than twenty plays since 1976.

Her play Frozen won the TMA best play award, the Eileen Anderson central Television award, was produced at Birmingham Rep, then the National Theatre, then on Broadway where it was nominated for four Tony awards. Stockholm, for Frantic Assembly, won the Wolff-Whiting award for Best Play of 2008.  Beautiful Burnout for The National Theatre of Scotland and Frantic Assembly received a Fringe First at Edinburgh, before productions in the UK, New York, Australia and New Zealand.Dirt was nominated for the Charles McArthur award for most outstanding play or musical of 2013, Washington DC]
Recent work includes: The Believers[Frantic Assembly] Queen Coal [Sheffield Crucible] Treasure Island [National Theatre] 101 Dalmatians[Chichester Festival Theatre] Brideshead Revisited[York Theatre Royal/ETT] Our Mutual Friend[Hull Truck/City of Culture 2017] and Balls [One Year Lease/Stages Theatre- Houston and NYC.

She is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Literature, an honorary Doctor of Arts at De Montford University and an Associate Artist at Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Trevor Schmidt - Director / Set & Costume Designer

Trevor SchmidtTrevor has been the Artistic Director of Northern Light Theatre for the past
16 years, and involved with NLT for the past 23 years as a performer, director, designer,
and playwright, as well as being a multiple Sterling award winner. He has been awarded three times for playwrighting, (THE WATERMELON GIRLS, CHANGE ROOM, and FLORA & FAWNA'S FIELD TRIP!), twice for directing (the Canadian premieres of THE 4TH GRADERS PRESENT AN UNNAMED LOVE-SUICIDE and Carol Anne Duffy's THE WORLD'S WIFE.) He received the Outstanding Fringe Performance award for the one-man show COFFEE DAD, CHICKEN MOM, AND THE FABULOUS BUDDHA BOI, penned by Nick Green, which toured to New York as part of the FRIGID FESTIVAL. His plays have been produced across Canada and far away as Australia (MABEL STARK!).  He has created and choreographed a one-woman dance piece entitled MARKED for the Expanse Dance Festival that was extended and nominated for a Sterling award for Outstanding New Work. He was honored to be awarded for Outstanding Choreography for 6.0: HOW HEAP AND PEBBLE TOOK ON THE WORLD AND WON at the Betty Mitchell Theatre Awards in Calgary, and the DIALOG Award for Excellence in Artistic Direction as part of the Mayor's Evening for the Arts in Edmonton.  He is an Artistic Associate of GUYS IN DISGUISE theatre company.

Anne Marie Szucs - Assistant Director

Anne Marie Szucs

Anne Marie is a local director, actor, producer, and writer.  She is co-founder of Finally Sauces (Edmonton International Fringe Festival:  FROM SOMETHING, CRACK, LITTLE MONSTERS, DOUBLE DOUBLE: THE MUSICAL) and was Artistic Director of Walterdale Theatre from 2015-2017.  She is thrilled to be assistant directing for Trevor this fall in Origin of the Species for NLT.

Holly Turner - Molly

Holly Turner

Holly trained at the Neighbourhood Playhouse and performed in New York and regional theatres before coming to Edmonton to work at the Citadel. After a career in law, Holly was given her big break back to the stage by Trevor Schmidt, who cast her in the NLT production of THE BUSY WORLD IS HUSHED. Since then she has performed with the Freewill Shakespeare Festival, L'UniThéâtre, the Citadel, and Wishbone Theatre. Her Fringe performances in THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING and LOVE LETTERS were particularly well received. In 2016, she appeared in Brenley Charkow's challenging production of IF WE WERE BIRDS at the University. In 2017, her interpretation of the role of Mary in the NLT production of Colm Toibín's THE TESTAMENT OF MARY garnered a Sterling Nomination. Holly's short play THE ACCIDENT received a staged reading at the SkirtsaFire festival in 2015 and another short play, DUST was selected for reading by The Script Salon.

Kristin Johnston - Victoria

Kristin Johnston

Kristin is absolutely thrilled to be making her Northern Light Theatre debut. Kristin is an Edmonton based performer and instructor and a graduate of the Theatre Arts Program at Red Deer College and the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria, BC. She is also a recent participant in the Citadel/Banff Centre Professional Theatre Program. Select credits include SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (Citadel Theatre), Sterling-nominated new works RIVERCITY THE MUSICAL and THE UNSYNCABLES (Dammittammy Productions), IF WE WERE BIRDS (Bleviss Labouratory Theatre) and RELEASE THE MCCRAKKIN’ (Accidental Humour Co.). Much love and gratitude to Ash and her kids for their support. 

Elise Jason - Lighting Designer

Elise Jason

Elise [they/them/theirs] is an Alberta-based Theatre Designer and Installation Artist, and recent graduate from the University of Alberta's Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Design program. They aspire to integrate sculpture and installation into theatre, as well as connect with the audience through interactive, non-traditional performances and experiences. Interested in working primarily with stories of queerness and the experience of the modern other, Elise is interested in a diverse spread of work and non-traditional practices. Recent credits include: AFTER MISS JULIE (University of Alberta), QUEERS ON QUEERZ: THE MECHANICAL CABARET (Nextfest), and ON THE MARGIN (Found Festival). 

Kiidra Duhault - Composer / Sound Designer

Kiidra Duhault

Kiidra is an Edmonton based sound designer. She received her degree in stage management from the University of Alberta in 2014, and has been working in the independent theatre scene ever since. Recent sound design credits include; LES NEIGES (L'Unithéâtre), A DOLL’S HOUSE (Walterdale Theatre), L'ODYSSÉE and LE DRAGON (Théâtre à l’Ouest). She is known for her sound work with Marv n' Berry sketch comedy and at the Edmonton International Fringe Festival (2016-18) RIVERCITY THE MUSICAL and THE UNSYNCABLES (Dammitammy Productions). She was also co-nominated at the 2017 Sterling Awards for the sound design of PETER FECHTER: 59 MINUTES.


Elizabeth Allison - Stage Manager

Elizabeth Allison

Liz is very pleased to be back Stage Managing for Northern Light Theatre Previous shows with NLT include; SLUT, BONNIE AND CLYDE: THE TWO PERSON SIX GUN MUSICAL, THE GOOD BRIDE, DUST, and THE FOURTH GRADERS PRESENT AN UNNAMED LOVE SUICIDE. She has also Stage Managed for Plain Jane Theatre, The Mayfield Dinner Theatre, Prospero Theatre and Shadow Theatre among others. Liz is also a Sterling Nominated Costume Designer and is cofounder and Artistic Director of NextGen Theatre who recently produced WATERMELON GIRLS (Fringe 2016), KINGFISHER DAYS (Fringe 2017) and CLEAN CUT (Fringe 2018). When she is not doing Theatre she can also be found at StreetFest and Lecky School of Dance. She would like to thank her friends and family for their support and love, and you for supporting local theatre. 

Tyler Herman - Production Manager/Technical Director

Tyler Herman

Tyler is thrilled to be a part of the new NLT season! Tyler is an Edmonton based theatre and festival technician with experience in sound, set building, technical direction and lighting. He is also a ticketed electrician. Recent projects include: INFINITY (Audio technician, Theatre Network), SLUT (Production manager/technical director, Northern Light Theatre), and A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S FRINGE 2017 (Site technical director, Fringe Theatre Adventures). Tyler wishes to thank his partner for her patience and support, as well as Trevor Schmidt, Gina Moe, and Adam Turnbull for the chance to be a part of a great team.

Jake Tkaczyk - Artist Associate

Jake Tkaczyk

Jake is an Edmonton-based theatre artist with a passion for creating new and engaging work collaboratively. Last season Jake assistant directed THE TESTAMENT OF MARY with Northern Light Theatre and is thrilled to be back again this year. He graduated from the BFA Acting at the University of Alberta. Also a graduate of Red Deer College’s Theatre Performance and Creation program, Jake has worked as an actor, director, creator, and educator in central Alberta. His selected credits include: THAT’S DANGER! (Alberta Workers’ Health Centre), DON’T FROWN AT THE GOWN (Guys in Disguise), DEAD CENTRE OF TOWN X (Catch the Keys Productions), URINETOWN (Grindstone Theatre), THE BIG FAT SURPRISE (innocent operations), YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN! (Opera Nuova), and  THE LAND THAT ART FORGOT (Mile Zero Dance). Jake recently received the AFA Young Artist Prize.

A Woman's Body

This year's collection of plays centres on women's bodies- their right to autonomy, how that autonomy can be subjected to the will of others, and the indomitable spirit that resides within. From a large-scale multi-media work of a movement based piece in collaboration with our past collaborating company Good Women Dance Collective, and in tandem with new community partner Loud Whisper Productions (an offshoot from Film and Video Arts Society of Alberta) incorporating video, dance and a traveling audience in a pageant- play styled venue, to a quietly disturbing confession of the controversy and conflict surrounding a late-term abortion - these plays all take an unflinching look at the physical, psychological and emotional violence inflicted on women by society, by misogyny - and sometimes by each other. We know our salon events are going to be lively!

Thank you

Northern Light Theatre gratefully acknowledges The Canada Council, The Alberta Foundation for the Arts, The Edmonton Arts Council, the Edmonton Community Foundation and Cinders Fund as well as the support of our season sponsors and individual donors for their ongoing support of NLT and our 2018-2019 season.








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