The Leisure Society

The Leisure Society

by Francois Archambault, translated by Bobby Theodore

September 22– October 9 , 2005

A vicious, erotically charged spectacle full of cynical disdain and gripping pathos. - Montreal Gazette
The Leisure Society

Peter and Mary are living the American nightmare. They have everything they thought they wanted – the big house, the great career, the baby – even the grand piano -but something’s still missing. When they invite their wild buddy Mark over for a dinner party, he brings a bottle of liquor and his “special friend” Paula. Suddenly the wine is flowing, the baby monitor is shut off, and Peter and Mary are forced to confront their reality. Filled with dark, biting comedy, this award winning play is raw, sexy and wickedly funny.

Starring: John Kirkpatrick, James MacDonald, Amber Bissonnette and Sue Huff
Director: Bradley Moss
Set and Costume Designer: Roger Schultz
Lighting Designer: Narda McCarroll
Sound Designer: Darrin Hagen
Stage Manager: Betty Hushlak

READ: Director’s Note

WATCH: Trailer for The Leisure Society

September 22– October 9 , 2005

Previews September 20
Opening September 22




The Leisure Society marks Amber’s debut with Theatre Network, and she feels pretty lucky to be working with such an amazing group of people. Amber graduated from Grant MacEwan’s Theatre Arts program (2001) where she performed in such shows as Company, A Little Night Music, Marie Christine, Richard II and Stewart Lemoine’s Orlando Unhinged. Since her break-out, uh, graduation she has tricked quite a few people into casting her in their shows. Favourites include Tony ‘n Tinas Wedding (Jeff Parry Promotions), Poki Talks (Teatro), A Chorus Line (Stage West), Sterling Award winning Jack and the Beanstalk (Alberta Opera), Cheerleader!, Pulling Down and Breaking Face (Human Loser). Look for Amber next on this very stage in The FreeFall Dance Project – October 21 & 22!!! Enjoy the show! This one I mean…not the FreeFall one. I don’t know if you’re coming to that one.



Sue was last seen at Theatre Network in THE LEISURE SOCIETY and is pleased to return to have the chance to work with Brad Moss again and Jim and Julien for the first time. Her past shows include: SPRING ALIBI (Fringe and Yukon Comedy Arts Festival), PUSHING UP DAISIES (Kaboom Festival, Workshop West Theatre), THE TIT SHOW (Theatre Network), OUT TOWN (Citadel Theatre), GREASE and a particularly bad play starring Elliot Gould (Mayfield Theatre), GEEK LOVE, JITTERBUG PERFUME and STARK (generic theatre). She occasionally appears on film and television (INTERN ACADEMY, THE BEAT) and has been nominated twice for best actress (AMPIAs). Sue is the co-creator and award-winning writer of WHO’S ON TOP? for the LIFE Network (Alliance Atlantis), starring Darrin Hagen. She has also written for CBC TV and CBC Radio. Sue is also a director; her first film for the National Film Board of Canada, KIDS TALKIN’ ABOUT DEATH, has been placed on the American Library Association’s Notable Children’s Video list and has received an AMTEC award for educational films.

Next, she will be appearing in Linda Wood’s newest play (Edmonton Fringe Festival) and next season in CHERISH at Northern Light Theatre. Sue lives in Edmonton with her two children and one (very supportive) husband. She dedicates this performance to Caroline Livingstone. Yours are big shoes to fill. Get well soon!



John is very excited to be returning to Theatre Network, last seen in Problem Child/End of Civilization. Recent acting credits include The Leisure Society/The Myth of Summer, Alberta Theatre Projects, Fever-Land, Teatro La Quindicina and Measure for Measure and Stones in His Pockets, Citadel Theatre. When not acting John is the Artistic Director of The River City Shakespeare Festival, directing such crowd-pleasing favourites as Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet. Other directing credits include; Near Diamond/The Visiting Hour, Flying Diamond Co-op; Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, Feral Productions and Featuring Loretta, theatre riffraff. John was twice honoured at the 2004 Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards for his directing of Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me and for his acting in Measure for Measure. John has a BFA in Acting from The University of Alberta.



James is pleased to return to Theatre Network for the first time since appearing in The Stone Angel in 1996. His recent appearances include Omnium Gatherum (CanStage), Amadeus (CanStage/Citadel Theatre), Measure for Measure (Citadel Theatre) and the title role in Henry V (River City Shakespeare Festival). As a director, his recent credits include Much Ado about Nothing and As You Like It (CanStage), The Myth of Summer (Alberta Theatre Projects), and Stones in his Pockets (Citadel Theatre). James is the former artistic director of the Free Will Players/River City Shakespeare Festival. He is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting program. In January, he will direct I Am My Own Wife at the Citadel Theatre.



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 – QUEEN OF THE HANDCUFFS, INFINITY, The Sterling Award Winning Production IRMA VOTH, BUST, GORDON, RED, THE LAST FIVE YEARS, ARMSTRONG’S WAR, the Governor General Nominated THE GRAVITATIONAL PULL OF BERNICE TRIMBLE, the Sterling Award Winning LITTLE ONE, DRIVING MISS DAISY, the Governor General Award Winning PIG GIRL, the Sterling Award Winning LET THE LIGHT OF DAY THROUGH, WHERE THE BLOOD MIXES, IN ON IT, MOVING ALONG, TWELFTH NIGHT, PUBLIC SPEAKING, DOG, THUNDERSTICK, BUDDY, ALIAS GODOT, MISERY, CLOSER AND CLOSER APART, the Sterling Award Winning SUMMER OF MY AMAZING LUCK, TRUE WEST, GIRL IN THE GOLDFISH BOWL, HOSANNA, MARION BRIDGE, A SKULL IN CONNEMARA, the Sterling Award Winning glam rock musical HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH, and HIGH LIFE.



François graduated from the playwriting section at the National Theatre School of Canada in 1993. Fast Lane, his first professionally produced play, created a controversy that was extensively covered by the Montreal media. In 1996, The Winners was nominated for Best Original Play at the Soirée des Masques. 15 Seconds was first produced in 1997 and was remounted in Montreal in 1998 before touring Québec. François received a Governor General’s Award for this play. The original production of The Leisure Society was awarded a “Masque” for Best Original Play by the Académie québécoise in 2004 and the English-language production won a Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding New Play in 2005.



Bobby, a Montreal native, is a graduate of the National Theatre School’s playwriting section. His first translation, François Archambault’s play, 15 Seconds, was nominated for a Governor General’s Award in 2000 and was produced across Canada. Since then, he has gone on to translate more than twelve plays, including the works of Quebec’s most talented playwrights. Bobby is currently a resident in the Canadian Film Centre’s Prime Time Television programme.



Roger is thrilled to be back at Network re-inhabiting his own little habitat, the costume sweatshop he sets up in the corner of the Roxy’s lobby. He has won Sterling awards for his work on Network’s productions of THE LEISURE SOCIETY (outstanding set), HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH (outstanding costumes) and A SKULL IN CONNEMARA (outstanding set) as well as receiving numerous Sterling nominations for his design work on HOSANNA (outstanding set, costume and lighting). He is a busy Edmonton designer having worked for The Citadel, Teatro La Quindicina, Mayfield Dinner Theatre, Shadow Theatre, Workshop West Theatre, St. Albert Children’s Theatre, Keyano Theatre and L’Uni Theatre, as well as Prairie Theatre Exchange and Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg. Recent designs include: FOOTLOOSE, DRIVING MISS DAISY, DOGBARKED and COMEDY OF ERRORS. Up coming will be a trip to Fort McMurray for TREASURE ISLAND and then back to the U of A to inspire a flock of young theatre designers as they create art under his tutelage.



Narda is very happy to be back working with the great Theatre Network team. Past designs for Network include: set design for GIRL IN THE GOLDFISH BOWL and EYE FOR AND EYE, lighting design for The Leisure Society, and set/costume design for FOR THE PLEASURE OF SEEING HER AGAIN, and LAWRENCE AND HOLLOMAN (Sterling award for set). Narda was the resident designer for Workshop West Theatre for six seasons where she designed MARY’S WEDDING, MY ONE AND ONLY, APPLE,17 DOGS, MESA, RESPECTABLE, and ILSA, QUEEN OF THE NAZI LOVE CAMP. Other recent design credits include: costume design for THE PILLOWMAN and production design for FULLY COMMITTED, THE SYRINGA TREE, and BLUE/ORANGE (Citadel Theatre), set/costumes for VINCENT IN BRIXTON and STONES IN HIS POCKETS (ATP, Calgary), and costume design for the past seven summers for The River City Shakespeare Festival in Edmonton.



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 QUEEN (transformed into book length and published by Brindle & Glass Publishing). Other plays by Darrin include WITCH HUNT AT THE STRAND (nominated for Outstanding New Play); BUDDY (nominated for Outstanding New Play); With Bells On (nominated for Outstanding New Play); BITCHSLAP!; THE NEO-NANCIES: HITLER’S KICKLINE!; TORNADO MAGNET: A SALUTE TO TRAILER COURT WOMEN (published by Brindle & Glass); as well as TYPHOON JUDY (co-written with Christopher Peterson); and PILEDRIVER! (co-written with Wes Borg). His plays have been produced across Canada, in the U.S. and as far away as Ireland.

With his creative partner Trevor Schmidt, he has co-created the hit musical KLONDYKES (nominated for 5 Sterling awards); FLORA & FAWNA’S FIELD TRIP (Sterling Award for Outstanding New Fringe Work); PREPARE FOR THE WORST! (Sterling Nominee for Outstanding New Fringe Work); PUCK BUNNIES (Sterling Nominee for Outstanding New Fringe Work); DON’T FROWN AT THE GOWN; PSYCHOBABBLE; DRAGULA and the children’s musical MY OTHER MOTHER.

He has been inducted into the Q Hall of Fame Canada and the Edmonton Queer Hall of Fame. In 2005 he was named one of 100 Edmontonians of the Century, and last year was named one of Alberta’s 25 Most Influential Artists in the last 25 years. To the best of his knowledge, he’s the only drag queen on that list. He was one of the official Cultural Ambassadors of Canada’s 150 Celebrations, and was appointed as the Writer In Residence for Edmonton Public Libraries for 2018. Most recently, he was one of the recipients of the Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund.



Betty is very pleased to be part of the company of WHAT A YOUNG WIFE OUGHT TO KNOW. Betty has stage managed Workshop West Playwrights’ Theatre’s production of CAFE DAUGHTER in Belgrade, Serbia, Herceg Novi, Montenegro, at the sPARK Festival/ Belfry Theatre, Victoria, BC, the National Arts and Cultural Centre, Yellowknife, NWT, and at CANADA SCENE at the National Arts Centre, Ottawa, ON.  Other credits include: producer; WiLDLIFE — a video installation at River Valley Crossing in Edmonton, assistant stage manager; DON GIOVANNI, Edmonton Opera, stage manager for the Alberta Ballet.  She goes onto co-produce and stage manage Conni Massing’s, OH! CHRISTMAS TREE, as part of the Roxy Performance Series this December.