As Black pioneers fled the southern United States, Canadian settlements weren't just the last stop; they were heaven. In one of those settlements - Amber Valley, Alberta - sharp-witted schoolteacher Charlotte arrives from Ontario to make a better life for her and her new students. But the memories she's outrunning may threaten what she's found, and her friendship with widowed farmer Ezra, forever.
Written by Cheryl Foggo
Directed by Patricia Darbasie
Featuring Helen Belay & Anthony Santiago
Set and Prop Design by Whittyn Jason
Costume Design by Leona Brausen
Lighting Design by Jeff Osterlin
Sound Design by Kiidra Duhault
Stage Management by Michelle Chan
Assistant Lighting Designer: FengYi Jiang
Associate Sound Designer: Effy Adar
Cast & Creative Team
- HELEN BELAYCHARLOTTE WILLIAMS×HELEN BELAYCHARLOTTE WILLIAMS
Helen Belay (she/her) is an Ethiopian actor and storyteller that has been playing with words and obsessed with all things beautiful since she was a wee babe in Bedford, England. A graduate of the University of Alberta BFA Acting program, she is currently one of Citadel Theatre's Associate Artists. Previous credits include: The Blue Hour (SkirtsAFire Festival); The Society of the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonious (Theatre Network); Cinderella (Globe Theatre); Vidalia (Teatro La Quindicina); Lenin's Embalmers, All for Love (Studio Theatre); Concord Floral (10/12 Productions/Edmonton Fringe).
- ANTHONY SANTIAGOEZRA JONES×ANTHONY SANTIAGOEZRA JONES
Previous selected credits Include: Betrayal (Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre); SWEAT (The Arts Club/Citadel Theatre); Of Mice and Men (Citadel Theatre/MTC); Angels in America Part II (Citadel Theatre); Best of Enemies (Pacific Theatre); Company (Raincity Theatre); Coriolanus, The Winter's Tale, Love's Labour's Lost (Bard on the Beach); Superior Donuts, Dark Road, A Prayer for Owen Meany (Ensemble Theatre Company); Dear Elizabeth (Wunderdog Theatre). Much love and thanks to James, Nya-Manet and AKC.
- PATRICIA DARBASIEDIRECTOR×PATRICIA DARBASIEDIRECTOR
Known to Citadel audiences as a performer, Pat is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting and MFA Directing programs. Pat’s directing credits include: being the assistant director of The Color Purple (Citadel Theatre); Mesa (Atlas Theatre); Ribbon, a one -woman show also about Amber Valley that she wrote and performed for her thesis. The Syringa Tree, another one-woman show, she directed using voice techniques from her year of study at York University. Henry V and The Ash Girl (Concordia University College) and The Domino Heart (Edmonton Fringe). Look for The Mountain Top later this season at Shadow Theatre.
- WHITTYN JASONSET DESIGN×WHITTYN JASONSET DESIGN
Whittyn Jason (them/them/theirs) is a queer, non-binary, mixed-race artist of South African and Ukrainian descent. They primarily work as a scenographer/lighting designer, and their lighting work has been nominated for a Sterling Award. They are currently living and creating in amiskwacîwâskahikan (colonially known as Edmonton). Previous credits include: Brimful of Asha, Horizon’s Lab (Citadel Theatre), and Night (Major Matt Mason Collective). They hold a BFA in Theatre Design from the University of Alberta and are an associate member of Associated Designers of Canada (ADC).
- LEONA BRAUSENCOSTUME DESIGN×LEONA BRAUSENCOSTUME DESIGN
Leona Brausen is an award-winning costume designer, actor, improvisor and playwright who has been working consistently in the Edmonton theatre scene since her debut at the 1982 Fringe Festival in Stewart Lemoine’s first-produced play, All These Heels. Recently she expanded her practice into art installation, with Hero Material, her series of window displays at the Varscona Theatre celebrating four iconic Canadian women. Most recently, she designed costumes for Trevor Anderson’s upcoming feature film, Before I Change My Mind, to be released in 2022.
- JEFF OSTERLINLIGHTING DESIGN×JEFF OSTERLINLIGHTING DESIGN
Jeff can be found behind the scenes at the University of Alberta Drama Department, as the Lighting Supervisor. Before Covid, Jeff worked on THE INVISIBLE – Agents of Ungentlemanly Warfare (Catalyst/Vertigo Theatre) as the Associated Projection Designer. Previous lighting designs include: Shumka’s world premieres of Mosquitos Wedding and Ancestors and Elders, and Shumka’s Nutcracker (Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, Royal Theatre), Going to St. Ives and Mesa (Atlas Theatre/Varscona Theatre), Projections for Moonshine by Larissa Pohoreski (Nextfest), Lighting and Projections for Eva Evasion (FireFly Theatre Edinburgh Fringe Festival)
- KIIDRA DUHAULTSOUND DESIGN×KIIDRA DUHAULTSOUND DESIGN
Kiidra is a designer and technician based in Edmonton (Amiskwacîwâskahikan). They have been creating sounds for theatre for 7 years now, dabbled in podcast plays during the pandemic, and is overjoyed to have people listen to their work on stage once again. Previous Credits Include: A Vendre, Suspension, Kaldr Saga (Cardiac Theatre); Boy Trouble (Vena Amoris Projects); Origin of the Species (Northern Light Theatre); The Drowsy Chaperone (Citadel Theatre's Young Company); Gemini (Defiance Theatre); A Doll's House (WalterdaleTheatre).
- CAROLINE CLAYDIALECT COACH×CAROLINE CLAYDIALECT COACH
Caroline Clay (SAG-AFTRA, AEA) is an actress, director, educator, playwright, and vocal coach. On Broadway, she has appeared in Tony Award-winning productions, including: The Little Foxes, Doubt; (Broadway. & National Tour) The Royal Family, and Drowning Crow. Her extensive film and television credits include: the role of “Cece Colvin, The Matchmaker” on Grey’s Anatomy, as well as roles on Shameless, The Knick, Law & Order: SVU, House of Cards, and this season’s ABC premiere of United We Fall. A native Washingtonian, Clay is a graduate of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, where she also teaches, and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia (BFA-Theatre Arts.) She earned her MFA in Performance at the University of Maryland. She has also taught Acting/Voice classes and intensives at Georgetown University, Howard University, Bowie State, University of Maryland, and Duke University. Under the direction of Patricia McGregor, Clay received the NAACP 2020 Award for Best Actress in A Play for the role of “Faye” in Geffen Playhouse’s production of Dominique Morrisseau’s Skeleton Crew. She is currently appearing in the World Premiere of Charlayne Woodard’s In the Garden, a co-production between Baltimore Center Stage and La Jolla Playhouse, one of the first regional theatre co-productions in the country approved by Actor’s Equity to return, implementing full Covid-era safety protocols.
- FENG YI JIANGASSISTANT LIGHTING DESIGN×FENG YI JIANGASSISTANT LIGHTING DESIGN
FengYi is an international student who was born and raised in Qingdao, China where she studied dancing from a young age. She has worked as assistant tv director and appeared on local television shows. She graduated from Theatre Stage Management program, and she is now in her final year of MFA Theatre Design program in UofA . Previous design credits include: Set for Dracula; Lighting for Chrysothemis, Iphigenia 2.0; Costume for Richard III (Studio Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Theatre Prospero), Sound for Hagar (Alma Theatre). Other main works includes: Pawakan Macbeth (Theatre Prospero); 9 Parts of Desire (The Maggie Tree); Elektra, Turandot, Maria Stuarda (Edmonton Opera); Heathers (Citadel Young Company); Pacamambo (Cardiac Theatre).
- EFFY ADARASSOCIATE SOUND DESIGN×EFFY ADARASSOCIATE SOUND DESIGN
Effy Adar is a multidisciplinary artist, DJ, and organizer based in Amiskwaciwaskahikan (Edmonton, Alberta) on Treaty 6 territory. She is the co-creator of Night Comfort and deejays under EFFY IN THE SKY. Effy also acts, writes, styles and directs music videos, short films, photo shoots and more. She also works in theatre as an actor and sound designer. She uses dance, art and education for community building, healing, and celebration. Previous Credits Include: Urashimo Taro (Theatre Prospero); All The Binds Us (Azimuth Theatre); Fringe Revue (Fringe Theatre Adventures); The Cave (Fringe Theatre Adventures); Vern’s Diary (Maa & Paa Theatre).
- MICHELLE CHANSTAGE MANAGER×MICHELLE CHANSTAGE MANAGER
Michelle is the resident stage manager at the Citadel Theatre and has been privileged to be working with the amazing team here for the last 21 seasons. Some of her favourite past Citadel Theatre credits include: A Christmas Carol, Every Brilliant Thing, Ring of Fire, Once, The Silver Arrow, Shakespeare in Love, West Side Story, Avenue Q, One Man, Two Guvnors, Spamalot, Private Lives, Beauty and the Beast, A Few Good Men, The Sound of Music, The Rocky Horror Show, August: Osage County, The Forbidden Phoenix, and Sweeney Todd.