A CONVERSATION WITH PLAYWRIGHT, ELISE FORIER EDIE
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 has it been like performing your own play for the past few years (and picking up a whole lot of awards and commendations along the way)? Any actor's nightmare stories? (*I performed a one-man show I wrote once and I found it hard to memorize!)
ELISE: I never aspired to write a one-woman show, and I was sort of appalled when I did. Once it was written though, I knew I could perform it myself, and so I sort of gritted my teeth and went on with that, too. I thought, “What the hell, I haven’t done this before. Let’s try it.” So far, I’ve had a lot of fun. I’m especially surprised about how accepting audiences have been. After all, I don’t think there’s a marginalized group in America that the play doesn’t insult. Sure, Trisha Lee takes on the Christian conservatives, but she also runs roughshod over the morbidly obese, the differently abled, the gays, the coloreds and the afflicted. Honestly, I thought I’d get up on stage and be run right out of town. But the response to the play has been enormously positive. In fact, the only actor’s nightmare story I have is how I can’t get away after I’ve performed because audience members want to talk to me about it. I’ve got this sweaty old wig on, and false eyelashes and ridiculous pink fingernails and I just want to have a beer and put my feet up and they all want to hug me and tell me their story. So I’ve learned to be available after the show. The wig has to wait. The pantyhose (TRISHA WEARS PANTYHOSE!) stay on. The starched blouse and tacky gold jewelry remain. And I can’t tell you the number of young LGBTQ youth who have sobbed with relief backstage, just because I portrayed a loving and accepting parent, or the number of parents of LGBTQ youth who have sobbed right along with them, because I chose to be honest about the fears and resistance parents can experience trying to mentor these kids. Trisha Lee’s message of forgiveness and pink unicorns has been welcomed with open arms, again and again, even in angry old New York. So, no. This experience hasn’t been an actor’s nightmare. It’s been a dream come true. I’m glad I took on the challenge.
TREVOR: I've performed two one-person plays in my time and can honestly say it was the most terrifying- and rewarding experience. Do you feel the same? Do you feel nervous at all when you step onto the stage as Trisha Lee- or is she just like an old friend you get to spend time with…?
ELISE: I adore Trisha Lee. She embodies the best qualities of my paternal grandmother and my mother-in-law. She is a woman of faith, filled with humility and intelligence, honest, plain spoken and totally fun. She is so NOT your typical hero, and her journey into heroism is a joy to take, over and over again. But yes, I do find the whole thing terrifying. Please. Back stage in New York? On Forty Second Street? About to talk to ninety minutes straight to an audience of jaded city folk? Are you KIDDING me? Come on! I’m a single mom who writes romance novels. I’m a white woman, expressing the tremulously hopeful views of a conservative Christian housewife. This is not a voice we get to hear in the modern theatre. It’s not a voice we get to hear anywhere in highbrow culture, period. And I think, “I’m going to die out there.” And then I step on stage and Trisha wins them over, every time. Audiences always stay, much to my surprise, and they listen to the whole story and more often than not, when Trisha asks them to hold out their hands at the end of the play they do! She says, “Will you walk with me?” and people hold out their hands and we all cry together and I think, “Damn. Maybe we won’t tear each other to pieces. Maybe the human race really will walk into a glorious future of love and acceptance and light.” It’s a nice thing to believe, you know? That maybe love is the answer, after all.
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.
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THE PINK UNICORN SPECIAL EVENTS
With three plays that include challenging conversations, Northern Light Theatre is delighted to unveil our 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 ten can purchase tickets for $12.00 each- that’s a $10 discount. (Standard booking rates apply).
Free Student Preview
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Bring your valid student id and receive a free ticket!
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)
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!
Special Pink Shirt Day Performance
February 25, 2015
(7:30 pm Show, Talk Back Immediately After Show)
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 www.pinkshirtday.ca
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.
(The event will be catered by MEAT)
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.
To book single tickets to THE PINK UNICORN please click here: www.fringetheatre.ca or call Northern Light Theatre