A compelling literary detective story about the turbulent lives of the Brontë sisters.
The year is 1845, and Branwell Brontë returns home to his sisters in disgrace, plagued by his addictions. As their brother descends into alcoholism and insanity, bringing chaos to the household, this powerful play explores how three Victorian spinsters, living in isolation on the Yorkshire moors, wrote some of the most powerful and passionate fiction of all time.
by Polly Teale
Timms Centre for the Arts
May 13-21, 2022
Preview May 12, 2022
Matinee May 19, 2022
(No performance May 15)
Evening performances start at 7:30pm, Matinee performance starts at 12:30pm.
Studio Theatre will not be offering subscriptions for the 2021 – 2022 season. Alternatively, we are offering FLEX passes. FLEX passes allow you to redeem three tickets at a discounted rate. These three tickets can be used to three different productions or all ticketed to a single production. They can be redeemed in person at the Timms Centre box office or by emailing email@example.com.
Single tickets and FLEX passes will be available for purchase at least two weeks prior to the first performance of each production. We are encouraging purchases and/or donations to be made online HERE.
Single ticket evening : Adult $25.00, Senior $22.00, & Student $12.00
Single ticket matinee : Adult $20.00, Senior $18.00 & Student $12.00
FLEX passes: Adult/Senior $60.00 & Student $30.00
Discounted ticket prices:
Preview: All Tickets $5.00
Half price Mondays: Adult $12.50, and Senior $11.00 & Student $6.00
Seating is limited. Walk up sales are cash only. There will be no refunds.
This season the Timms Centre daytime box office hours will vary. On performance days, the box office will open one hour prior to curtain. At this time, in person box office sales will be cash only.
Our mandate is to keep everyone safe while in the Timms Centre for the Arts. We are following all current COVID-19 protocols as dictated by AHS and the University of Alberta. Please visit THIS LINK for all up to date protocols.
We are happy to answer questions or inquiries about tickets and our 2021-2022 season by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or
"A dramaturg is a member of the artistic team of a theatre production who is a specialist in the transformation of a dramatic script into a meaningful living performance."
(5) Michael Mark Chemers, Ghost Light: An Introductory Handbook for Dramaturgy, Southern Illinois University Press, 2010.
Religion and the Brontë Family: Pray and Love
Evangelicalism was fundamentally important in Patrick Brontës’ home, which has exerted profound influences on the Brontës’ growth and education...
Becoming a Governess in the 19th Century
Being trained as a governess was incorporated into the education of the Brontë sisters. It was an indispensable element both in their real life and their works...
Branwell Brontë, A Man in the Shadow?
Branwell Brontë, usually in the shadow of his more famous sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne, has unfairly been branded in history as a drunken drug-taker...
Fantasies of Incest Love
Biographers and creative writers from the nineteenth century to the present age have characterized the relationship between Branwell and his sisters as subversively sexual...
Director — Amanda Goldberg
Set & Lighting Designer — Robert Shannon
Costume Designer — Rebecca Cypher
Sound Designer — Nichole Man
Assistant Lighting Designer — Rory Turner
Fight & Intimacy Director — Anastasia St. Amand
Vocal Coach — Alison Matthews
Stage Manager — Sherry Alvaro
Assistant Stage Manager — Patton Wei
Production Dramaturges — Zhuohao Li, Abigail Quaye
Jessy Ardern — Charlotte
Heeyun Park — Emily
Donna-Leny Hansen — Anne
David Woroner — Branwell, Heathcliff, Arthur Huntington
Michael Peng — Patrick, Rochester, Mr. Heger, Arthur Bell Nicholls
Kristin Unruh — Cathy
Karen Gomez — Bertha
Technical Director — Larry Clark
Assistant Technical Director — Kai Yakichuk
Head of Wardrobe — Joanna Johnston
Cutter — Julie Davie
Head of Carpentry — Darrell Cooksey
Scenic Carpenter — Barb Hagensen
Properties Master — Jane Kline
Properties Assistant — Tiffany Martineau
Head of Sound — Jack Thompson
Head of Lighting — Shane Marsh
Head of Paint — Tiffany Martineau
Lighting Supervisor — Laura Koyata
Sound Supervisor — Aaron Macri
Emily Lizotte — Charlotte
Alice Wordsworth — Emily
Amy Bazin — Anne
Christian Krushel — Branwell (Heathcliff, Arthur Huntington) and Patrick (Rochester, Mr. Heger, Arthur Bell Nicholls)
Elyse Roszell — Cathy and Bertha
Lighting Operator — Julian Anderson
Sound Operator — Maddy Beard
Lighting Crew — Amanda Yim, Emma Nokes, Curtis Gauthier
ADM Fine Arts, Production and Operations— Joshua C. McIntosh
Front of House Manager — Candice Stollery
Executive/Administrative Assistant — Helen Baggaley
Production and Operations Assistant — Emily Pole
Operations Manager — Ha Neul Kim
Stage Management Advisor — Molly Pearson
Directing Advisor — Jan Selman
Scenic Painting Advisor — Cindy Zuby
Design Advisor — Robert Shannon
*The participation of this Artist is arranged by permission of Canadian Actors' Equity Association under the provisions of the Dance-Opera-Theatre Policy
This may get me in trouble, but you should know, I wasn’t a huge fan of the Brontës before reading this play. Of course, I appreciated their work and understood their role in history and women’s literature. But I can’t even say that I had read more than two Brontë novels in their entirety before starting this journey. They lived in my mind as these mundane pasty-faced writers who had become untouchable celebrities in death, their inner lives a complete mystery. However, I have grown closer to them with every rehearsal. In exploring their triumphs and failures, I’ve witnessed these celebrities fight for their place in the world. In a place where we are constantly asking: what do we owe the world as payment for existing? This play gives us the opportunity to re-imagine the Brontës, to take them off their pedestals and be introduced to their humanity, their dreams, their obstacles, their fears and faults.
I love this play because it does not attempt to accomplish the impossible, it doesn’t pretend to be history. Polly Teale is very clear that this is no endeavor at finding out the “truth”, but instead discovering what our truth is through the lens of story. In her foreword, she writes: “In the end, though, this is a response to the Brontë story, not a piece of biography. That’s the reason I begin the piece in modern dress. I didn’t want to pretend this was real. I wanted us to look at it through the filter of time, to know that we are playing a kind of game: dressing up, trying to imagine, putting ourselves in their shoes, joining all those before us who have done the same. After all, this is a story of make-believe, of the power of the imagination to transcend time and place, to take us to places we cannot otherwise go”. There is something incredibly provocative and quite freeing about a playwright that acknowledges the fiction in a piece called Brontë.
The Brontës have willingly (or in some cases, unwillingly) given us everything they had to offer. We have their letters, their parsonage, their clothing, their underwear… and the most telling of all, we have their writing. On top of that, hundreds of books, essays, and biographies have been written about the Brontës, scholars have dedicated their professional careers to researching this family, and yet we are continuously drawn back to them, we continue to pry and shape their existence into meaning for ourselves. Their names have been carved into the history of modernity. We feel such ties to them that it would be unfathomable to try and understand who we’d be without them. In the spirit of re-imagining and challenging our relationship to history, this production asks: what more could we want from them? What do they teach us? How do they help us? Who are the Brontës of today?
Perhaps this isn’t your first time meeting this family and their work. You may have a favorite sister, a beloved book, a juicy conspiracy theory… While I hope you find joy in the familiarity of the characters and the text pulled from the novels, this play is equally about now as it is about then. Knowing the Brontës is not a prerequisite here. This production is about you, and me, and the artists that have filled these legendary plain faces with so much heart and resilience. I cannot wait for you to meet them.
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Have you ever read/seen novels/films about the Brontës?
In this production, what image or sound struck a chord in you. It is one to relish for a lifetime?
Which character would you like to befriend in the play, and why?
Are there any differences between the characters you knew in the novels and the characters created in this production?
Content compiled by T. Erin Gruber and Vida Khanbabaei