The Empress & The Prime Minister

The Empress & The Prime Minister

by Darrin Hagen

April 18– May 5, 2019

There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.” - Pierre Trudeau, Minister of Justice, 1967
The Empress & The Prime Minister

The World Premiere of
The Empress & The Prime Minister

By Darrin Hagen
Translations by Gisèle Villeneuve

Production Sponsor

On the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada, Darrin Hagen premieres a new play about the life of drag queen / activist ted northe, also known as the Empress of Canada. Mr. northe’s activism draws a young Minister of Justice, Pierre Trudeau to his side, and the two form a remarkable connection that changed Canada.

Featuring: Darrin Hagen & Joey Lespérance
Director: Bradley Moss
Set & Costume Designer: Tessa Stamp
Set & Lighting Designer: Scott Peters
Sound Designer/Composer: Darrin Hagen
Makeup Consultant: Neon
Stage Manager: Gina Moe

Photo by Ryan Parker Photography

April 18– May 5, 2019

Previews April 16–17, 2019
Opening April 18
Tuesday - Saturday @ 8pm
Sundays @ 2pm

No Shows Monday
2 for 1 April 23 & 30

CBC Talk-Back Night
Friday April 26, 2019
Hosted by Adrienne Pan


Playwright, ted & others, Sound Designer

Darrin Hagen

Darrin Hagen is the Artistic Director of Guys In Disguise, which is celebrating over three decades of creating drag comedies that have toured across North America. He has received 7 Sterling awards for his work in the Edmonton theatre scene, and over 40 Sterling nominations. His writing debut in 1996 was the award-winning THE EDMONTON …

Pierre & others

Joey Lespérance

Joey is thrilled to do his debut at Theatre Network. He is a bilingual actor, established in Vancouver for 30 years and performed across Canada. He’s been nominated six times by the Jessie Richardson Awards. In 2015 he was the recipient for Best Lead Actor for ‘À TOI, POUR TOUJOURS, TA MARIE-LOU, Théâtre La Seizième. Other …


Bradley Moss

Bradley is an MFA graduate in directing from the University Alberta. He joined Theatre Network in 1996 to create the multidisciplinary emerging artist festival – Nextfest. In 2014 Bradley accepted the dual role of Artistic & Executive Director for Theatre Network. Some recent productions include: BED AND BREAKFAST, THE EMPRESS & THE PRIME MINISTER, MINERVA …

Set & Costume Designer

Tessa Stamp

Tessa Stamp is an Edmonton born theatre professional, entrepreneur, and found object artist.  A dancer first, Tessa has made her career in technical theatre.  She has traveled the world as a pirate, ran away with the circus and in 2008 landed back in Edmonton to play with these clowns.  Tessa works in set, lighting and costume design …

Set & Lighting Designer

Scott Peters

“Now is a time to storm; Why dost thou laugh? It fits not with this hour.” Recent Design credits include BED AND BREAKFAST (Theatre Network), EDAY (Serial Collective), Minerva Queen of the Handcuffs (Ghost-writer Theatre), THE EMPRESS & THE PRIME MINISTER, WHAT A YOUNG WIFE OUGHT TO KNOW, INFINITY (Theatre Network), TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA, THE WINTER’S TALE, HAMLET, A COMEDY OF ERRORS (Freewill Players), 9-5, A …

Makeup Consultant


Neon is a founding member of Guys in Disguise. Her Stage Managing credits include: EDMONTON QUEEN, WITH BELLS ON, TYPHOON JUDY, TORNADO MAGNET (original production) and KLONDYKES, all with Guys in Disguise. Neon is also a makeup artist with credits that include: HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH (Theatre Network), Edmonton Opera (2000-2006), Edmonton Musical Theatre (2001-2015), DRAGULA (Guys in Disguise), …

Stage Manager

Gina Moe

Recent Stage Management credits include: THE EMPRESS & THE PRIME MINISTER and THE LAST FIVE YEARS for Theatre Network; OH CHRISTMAS TREE for the Roxy Series; THE COLOR PURPLE for The Citadel Theatre; THE BAD SEED, SHOCKER’S DELIGHT and THE SALON OF THE TALKING TURK for Teatro La Quindicina; and WITCH HUNT AT THE STRAND for Workshop West Playwrights’ Theatre.

Love, laughs and legislation
REVIEW: Liane Faulder, Edmonton Journal
“Congratulations, your majesty”
REVIEW: liz nicholls,
The Empress and the Prime Minister a gripping gay docu-drama
Review: Colin Maclean,
an important untold Canadian history lesson
Review: maya abe, daze magazine
darrin hagen’s best work to date
review: graham hicks,
darrin hagen & joey lespÉrance on cbc
interview: mark connolly, edmonton am
the empress, the pm, the spins
review: i don’t get it podcast
an anniversary and a new darrin hagen play
preview: liz nicholls,
Darrin Hagen: ‘The man I am is because of the woman I was’
Preview: mike ross,
Gaywire Podcast – Interview with Darrin Hagen & Joey Lespérance (Starts at 17:00)

production photos

Photos by Ian Jackson

Pre Production Photos

Photos by Ryan Parker Photography