Rebecca Northan is a Canadian actress, improviser, theatre director, and creative artist. She is known for playing the hippie mother Diane Macleod on the CTV & The Comedy Network sitcom Alice, I Think. She was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. She is a graduate of the University of Calgary, and an alumna of the Loose Moose Theatre Company where she did her improv training with Keith Johnstone.
Northan has been improvising and working as an actor for many years, and in 2004 she was nominated for a Gemini Award for "Best Ensemble in a Comedy" for The Comedy Network’s The Joe Blow Show. Northan is also a five-time Canadian Comedy Award nominee for "Best Female Improviser". She has made several appearances at the Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in the World Improv Games, and was recently a member of The Second City Toronto mainstage cast in Good's Good, Evil's Bad. She has also appeared as a guest host on CBC's This Hour Has 22 Minutes, as well as having appeared in the feature films The Rocker and Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. She also co-stars in the Showcase series The Foundation, directed by Michael Dowse.
As an actress, Northan has worked in theatres across Canada including Theatre Calgary, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Fringe Theatre Adventures (Edmonton), Quest Theatre (touring theatre for young people) and Alberta Theatre Projects where she appeared in the Fall Ensemble and playRites, a festival of new Canadian Work. In Toronto, Northan was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for "Best Actress" for her work in Eric Woolfe's Jack the Ripper play, Dear Boss. When not performing Northan also works as producer/director and is currently directing the comedy troupe The Imponderables. She also directed the 2006 Toronto Fringe Festival smash hit The Burning Bush. She recently married her longtime partner, entertainer Bruce Horak.
Northan and Horak are also collaborators on the live theatrical show This is Cancer!, a comedy which brings the character of Cancer to life in order to address the modern audience's current cancer concerns.
When not performing, producing, or directing, Northan also teaches Keith Johnstone's approach to improvisation in private workshops. She has also been a guest faculty member in the Department of Drama at the University of Calgary.
In the summer of 2007 Northan created a performance piece for the Harbourfront Centre's Spiegelshow Blind Date, an improvised turn in which Northan chooses a member of the audience to perform with her as her blind date. This subsequently evolved into a 90 minute performance that, to date, has played at both the Loose Moose Theatre, and the World Stage Series at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, to sold out crowds. In December 2010, the show was a sell out in NYC and received rave reviews. She also played Ellie Applebaum in the film Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. In the spring of 2013 Northan brought Blind Date to the Charing Cross Theatre in London for seven weeks.
In 2016, she won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female in a Principal Role – Play (Large Theatre) for Blind Date.
- Shenton, Mark. "Blind Date on Stage". Playbill. Retrieved 23 May 2013.