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Presenter Spotlight: Rebecca Northan

Rebecca Northan is a celebrated actor, improviser, writer, and Artistic Director and producer of Spontaneous Theatre (Toronto, Canada). In her internationally-acclaimed, improvised Blind Date, Northan plays Mimi (sporting a clown nose) and chooses an audience member to go on a date with for 90 minutes! Using this unique impro genre, she has allowed her company to create new, evolving theatre and to take their impro skills to the next level.

For the GII Symposium on Saturday, May 13, Rebecca's presentation/open discussion "Spontaneous Theatre: Funny, Sexy, Dangerous...with an Audience Member!" will explore the "ins and outs of playing with an audience member for 90 minutes" in all of her company's productions and, time allowing, she may even demonstrate a few skills at play in Blind Date partnering with a "sample date" plucked from the audience! Also, see Rebecca perform in Maestro at the Coup de Comedy on Friday, May 12, at 7pm!

To create Blind Date, Rebecca Northan took everything she learned from Keith Johnstone over 25 years at the Loose Moose Theatre and combined it with her own professional career as an actor, a clown, and her professional training in the corporate world. Blind Date has played off-Broadway, across Canada, in parts of the US, and in London after being picked up by Broadway Producer, Kevin McCollum (RENT, Avenue Q, Hand to God, title of show). The success of Blind Date also spurred the pioneering of Spontaneous Theatre, where audiences are given the lead role in shows that are, as Rebecca defines them, equal parts structure and pure improvisation.

Other shows produced by Spontaneous Theatre include:

Legend Has It – A fantasy adventure where an Audience Hero is tasked with saving the world from an Evil Wizard (played the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2015).

An Undiscovered Shakespeare – An Audience Member takes on the role of Shakespeare’s Muse, and their own real-life love story is turned into Shakespeare’s lost Comedy, in iambic pentameter (In development at the Stratford Festival of Canada).

Undercover – An Audience Member goes undercover as a rookie detective and gets caught up in having to solve a murder (World premier tour 2017/18: Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton).

For more information about Rebecca and her Spontaneous Theatre company, go to:

Posted by Maxie Lankalingam

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