NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE

Jan 14 – Jan 31, 2021
Studio Theatre inside Fringe Theatre Adventures


“We all like to be looked at, don’t we?”


Featuring: Linda Grass
Director, Set & Costumes: Trevor Schmidt
Assistant to the Director: Bethany Hughes
Original Composition & Sound Design: Darrin Hagen
Lighting Design: Rae Dunn McCallum
Projections & Multi-Media Design: Ian Jackson
Make-up Artist for Multi-Media Design: Kendra Humphrey
Stage Manager: Elizabeth Allison
Production Manager: Chris Hicks


To ensure the safety of all NLT staff, volunteers, and patrons, please complete the AHS CoVID-19 self-screening questionnaire prior to attending. If you feel unwell, or have traveled in the past 14 days or have been exposed to CoVID-19, please do not attend, we will happily book your tickets for another performance.

Please Note that masks will be mandatory at all NLT performances through the 2020-2021 season. If you do not have a mask one will be provided by NLT when you arrive.

See Northern Light Theatre’s CoVID-19 protocols

PERFORMANCE DATES

Northern Light Theatre | The Look

A training session for Estelle Cosmetics that threatens to go off the rails…

Marilyn was once a celebrity, the original “Estelle Girl” of the Estelle Cosmetics line. Today she is an aged-out supermodel, giving lectures on cosmetics and demonstrating the various “Looks” and fantasy images that she inhabited as the “Estelle Girl”. Over the course of the lecture Marilyn is forced to confront her real self. But can she cope with this new found awareness?

PLAYWRIGHT

Alexa Wyatt

Alexa Wyatt

Playwright

Alexa has worked as a story consultant, script editor, script writer and script producer on series including Janet King, Rescue Special Ops, All Saints, McLeod’s Daughters (8 series), Water Rats, Police Rescue, E Street, Heartbreak High, Big Sky, Home and Away, and Neighbours. Children’s drama credits include Mako Mermaids (3 series), The Bureau of Magical Things (2 series), 100% Wolf, Horace and Tina, Outriders and international projects. She also scripted a documentary for Foxtel’s History Channel, developed numerous TV dramas for Australian and New Zealand networks, was funded for a children’s television drama and sitcom from Create NSW and for a feature screenplay and book adaptation from Screen Australia. Playmaker Media optioned a series she created.

She is the recipient of a Distinctly Australian Script Editing Fellowship, working with London production companies, and has script edited numerous feature films. She has been a script assessor for Screen Tasmania, South Australian Film Corporation, Australian Film Commission and Australian Writer’s Guild. She is also a playwright with productions at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Stables Theatre, Melbourne Writer’s Festival, Bridewell Theatre, London and Northern Light Theatre Company, Canada. She has taught for AFTRS, Screenworks and the Australian Writer’s Guild.


CAST & COMPANY

Trevor Schmidt

Director, Set & Costumes

Trevor Schmidt

Director, Set & Costumes

Trevor has been the Artistic Director of Northern Light Theatre for the past 18 years, and involved with NLT for the past 27 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) and 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.

Linda Grass

Marilyn Miles

Linda Grass

Marilyn Miles

Linda is an Edmonton stage, film, television, and voice actor. She most recently appeared in E-DAY! with The Serial Collective. She has previously appeared onstage for Northern Light Theatre in CONTRACTIONS, MISS MARGARIDA’S WAY and THE BEARD. For Shadow Theatre in THE WRONG PEOPLE HAVE MONEY, THE RED KING’S DREAM, and BECOMING SHARP. For Teatro La Quindicina in WITNESS TO A CONGA. For Workshop West Theatre in KILL ME NOW, DOUBLE/DOUBLE, and SPRINGBOARDS. For Theatre Network in GIRL IN THE GOLDFISH BOWL.  For Trunk Theatre in CLARA. GOOD WITH PEOPLE, and ONE FLEA SPARE.  For The Citadel Theatre in NEW CANADIAN KID.

Bethany Hughes

Assistant to the Director

Bethany Hughes

Assistant to the Director

Bethany holds a BA in psychology and drama from the U of A. A playwright, director, and choreographer, she also co-founder Straight Edge Theatre. She served as the Artistic Director of the Walterdale Theatre. She was privileged to assistant direct EVERY BRILLIANT THING at the Citadel last year. Bethany is earnestly appreciative of the team working on this show and their support. Break legs and hearts.

Darrin Hagen

Original Composition & Sound Design

Darrin Hagen

Original Composition & Sound Design

Darrin is an award-winning playwright, composer and queer historian. He is the author of THE EDMONTON QUEEN, which won a Sterling Award and was published in book form by Brindle & Glass Publishing. Darrin is the Artistic Director of Guys In Disguise, marking over 30 years of creating drag comedies that have toured across North America. He has received 7 Sterling awards and over 40 nominations for his work in Edmonton theatre. Other plays by Darrin include BITCHSLAP!: THE NEO-NANCIES: HITLER’S KICKLINE; TORNADO MAGNET: A SALUTE TO TRAILER COURT WOMEN (published by Brindle & Glass), WITCH HUNT AT THE STRAND; BUDDY; WITH BELLS ON; and THE EMPRESS & THE PRIME MINISTER (all nominated for the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for Outstanding New Play.

Darrin has also teamed up with Trevor Schmidt to create FLORA & FLORA’S FIELD TRIP (WITH FLEURETTE) and FLORA & FAWNA HAVE BEAVER FEAVER (AND SO DOES FLEURETTE), PSYCHOBABBLE, 2 QUEENS & A JOKER, DRAGULA (now available as a radio play through Bandcamp), KLONDYKES, PREPARE FOR THE WORST!, PUCK BUNNIES, DON’T FROWN AT THE GOWN and the upcoming CRACK IN THE MIRROR.

Darrin has created sound and sometimes performed for many Northern Light Theatre productions going back 23 years, including CINDERELLA (THE REAL STORY), DOG’S TEMPER, METASTASIS, SPEECH AND DEBATE, 3 DIFFERENT HEAVENS, I GOOGLE MYSELF, BIFURIOUS, MOTEL HELL, MERCY OF A STORM, THE PASSION OF NARCISSE MONDOUX,  CHRISTINA/PHILIPPE, DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME and most recently BARONESS BIANKA’S BLOODSONGS.

In 2005, Darrin was named one of 100 Edmontonians of the Century. To the best of his knowledge, he’s the only Drag Queen on that list. In 2017 he was named one of the most influential Alberta artists of the past 25 years.

Rae Dunn McCallum

Lighting Design

Rae Dunn McCallum

Lighting Design

Rae has been a member of the Edmonton theatre community for the last decade. She holds her Bachelor of Science in Biology and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Technical Theatre Production from the University of Alberta. Rae has worked as a theatre technician and freelance lighting designer which credits include PREACHER PRINCESS AND THE CROW Preacher (Azimuth Theatre), 13 ENCOUNTERS (Fringe Theatre), WOLF AND OTHER TALES OF ABIGAIL (Kompany Theatre). The majority of her career has been with Fringe Theatre Adventures for the last 6 years as the Resident House Technician and then as the Technical Director since 2017 to earlier this year. Rae has developed a long collaborative history with Northern Light Theatre over her years as part of the Fringe family and is very excited to now be part of the creative team.  Rae started a new adventure this year as a mom when she welcomed her son in January.

Ian Jackson

Projections & Multi-Media Design

Ian Jackson

Projections & Multi-Media Design

Ian is delighted to be back at Northern Light Theatre. His work was last seen at NLT in the production of Speech and Debate in 2010. He is grateful to the Edmonton Theatre community for giving him three Sterling Awards for MultiMedia Design over his career. Ian is also an accomplished professional photographer and videographer.

Kendra Humphrey

Make-up Artist for Multi-Media Design

Kendra Humphrey

Make-up Artist for Multi-Media Design

Kendra is an Edmonton based actor and makeup artist. She moved to Edmonton from Red Deer, Alberta to attend Grant MacEwan University’s musical theatre program. Since graduating she has been in several shows: Straight Edge Theatre’s CULT CYCLE, IMAGINARY FRIEND. Walterdale Theatre’s THE GREAT GATSBY and Thousand Faces Theatre’s THE NIGHTINGALE.

Kendra is a self-taught free-lance makeup artist, focused primarily on drag, fantasy and horror, however she also has roots in glam and natural makeup. Her credits as a makeup artist include: Northern Lights Theatre: 2020-2021 Season Premiere Photos, Grand Prairie Live Theatre: Drag Makeup Workshop and Ollie Quinn: Promotional Makeovers.

Elizabeth Allison

Stage Manager

Elizabeth Allison

Stage Manager

Elizabeth was born and raised in Edmonton and has spent most of her adult life working in theatre here. Mostly as a Stage Manager but also as a Costume Designer/Builder, Arts Administrator and every once in a while an actress. After attending both the Theatre Production and Theatre Arts programs at MacEwan University, she spent the better part of her first year out of school playing the role of Jan in Grease at all of the Canadian, Stage West stages, (at that time Edmonton, Calgary and Missasauga). Her history with Northern Light Theatre also goes way back. The first performance she remembers seeing as a child was a production of Winnie The Pooh, which was a part of NLT’s inaugural season, this was just the beginning of her love of Edmonton Theatre. She was on the board of NLT from 1995 to 2003, including the role of Board President for two years and she has stage managed many productions for them over the last two decades including, Love, Some Girl(s), Speech and Debate, The 4th Graders Present An Unnamed Love-Suicide, Slut, 19 Weeks, Origin of the Species, Baroness Bianka’s Bloodsongs and Everybody Loves Robbie. She has worked at almost every theatre company in town at one time or another including being the Sterling Nominated Costume Designer for Peace, Love and Rock’n’Roll 2, at The Mayfield Dinner Theatre, where she was a part of the costume team for over a decade. Thank you for supporting the Edmonton Theatre Community.

Chris Hicks

Production Manager

Chris Hicks

Production Manager

Chris Hicks – but mostly just known as Hicks since there is a saturation of Chris’ in the world – is a seasoned theatre and festival production creator. He’s worked a ton of major festivals in Edmonton and beyond from dinosaur building to downhill canoe racing on snow. Graduating from the MacEwan Theatre Production program 9 years ago, Hicks is still making art happen and enjoys it!

After joining the Northern Light Theatre team 2 years ago and being involved in every show in last season, Hicks is once again pleased to be transforming the space into the powerful shows you are viewing this year.

AN INTERVIEW WITH ALEXA WYATT

What inspired the play? What had been your playwriting career up to THE LOOK?

It was inspired by the part time job I got after leaving school and which I kept all through doing uni (I did a B.A in Communications majoring in writing). I worked in a chain of stores around Sydney that sold cosmetics and perfumes. Several of them had a beauty salon attached. They were high end stores so you had to look and dress the part. A lot of the brands we stocked ran “schools” for sales women (no man ever worked in these shops!), which we had to attend to learn about the products. I met quite a few “Marilyns” when I was obliged to do these courses. And of course serving the public always has interesting stories… The Look was written during the year I was a student at NIDA’s Playwriting Studio (National Institute of Dramatic Art – Australia’s premier drama school). I’d written one other play that had been performed for Interplay (International Festival of Young Playwrights), including a performance at the drama studio at the Sydney Opera House, and a tele-movie script that was funded for development by the Australian Film Commission. But I was pretty young and green, yes.

You seem to have made a sharp pivot toward TV work. How did that happen? 

I wanted to be paid as a full time writer! And writing plays was definitely not going to do that. And I didn’t want to keep working in a shop. So I sent my cv around, phoned production companies, and did the spec script submission route – and was then offered 2 jobs in a week. One on Home and Away, and one on a show called E Street. I chose E Street because it was an hour drama and I thought I would learn more there. I stayed for about 5 years, starting as a story liner and finishing as senior script editor and script writer. I also met my partner on that show, and we have 2 children now.

How did your playwriting experience inform your writing for TV? How are they similar? Different?

A good story is a good story no matter the medium. The same with creating a compelling, complex and layered character. Playwriting tends to be more dialogue heavy, so I brought an ability to write dialogue to TV, albeit with a huge tendency to overwrite it. TV knocked that out of me pretty fast! Plus learning the pictures come first, then the words, on screen. TV also gives you the chance to craft much longer stories than the stage, so that was a great way to learn story structure. TV also teaches you how to collaborate with the massive team required to produce screen drama. Theatre can be bare bones, an actor on a stage and you can create extraordinary drama, but it’s never that simple for TV.

Here’s the SOPHIE’S CHOICE question — Which do you prefer? 

Do I really have to choose? The immediacy of playwriting is appealing, watching the audience watch your play, seeing what they respond to, the slightly different performance you get every time. I remember watching a production of The Look in Adelaide years ago and this woman in front of me kept nudging her male partner as if to say “I get that, it’s my world”. I loved the recognition of her own life she was getting. But the reach of TV is amazing. I equally love knowing that something I wrote has been seen all around the world, and can be watched over and over again, years later. I love being in a writer’s room thrashing out new stories (and getting paid to talk about what mermaids do!).