Introducing our Team: The Directing and Producing team

Grace Smith – Co-Producer/Director/Writergrace01

Grace is a PhD Candidate at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto, as well as being the Artistic Director and co-founder of Theatre Double Take. Selected Credits: Stage Manager for The Glass Cage (Snowdrop Productions); Writer, Lead Dramaturg and Director for Troilus & Criseyde/Cressida; Director for Sicilian Limes (Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies); Director for Transit of Venus (excerpts – University of Toronto ‘Transit of Venus’ events). Upcoming: Writer – Troilus & Criseyde/Cressida, March 2014 (Hart House Players)

 

1506816_10151979617257621_105258037_nLeete Stetson Co-Producer/Assistant Director

General Manager of Theatre Double Take, Leete Stetson is an actor and musician from Victoria, BC. He attended the Victoria Conservatory of Music for two years before doing his BA with combined honours in music and theatre at Dalhousie University. In Toronto, he has performed with Hart House, Alumnae Theatre, Charcoal Sketch Productions and Bygone Theatre. He is excited to be working on the director’s side of the table for the first time.

 
Roxane_final edit

Madeleine Robin Known As Roxane opens February 5th at the Lemontree Creations Studio, and runs until February 9th.

Get your tickets now!

buttoncreate

Writing Blog #4 (Finally, we get to Roxane!)

As I said in a previous blog, Roxane doesn’t speak until Cyrano de Bergerac is well underway; we spot her in the first scene from afar, and she is talked about by most of the other characters.

Finally, partway through the second scene, she meets with Cyrano to discuss something important with him.

ROXANE

But first you must become

That boy again, that almost-brother, with whom,

I used to play in the park down by the lake.

CYRANO

When you came each summer to visit Bergerac.

ROXANE

You made swords out of bullrushes – you remember,

surely?

(Christopher Fry translation) 

While deciding how she might view the now deceased Cyrano in Madeleine Robin Known As Roxane, we loved this notion of Cyrano as Roxane’s almost-brother.

He is, as we learn earlier in the play, Roxane’s cousin and with her parents dead, he’s possibly one of her last remaining relatives. Is there some aspect of unintentional cruelty in his romantic love for her – to give her a husband but take away a ‘brother’?

How might complicate her memory of hi?. For most of their relationship, he was this almost-brother to her; in her mind, the prospect of him as a potential romantic partner only entered immediately before his death. Would she then re-evaluate all their interactions using this new lens of romance – can she easily remember him as the almost-brother she loved for so long with romance clouding the picture? And she would have assumed he saw her the same away, as an almost-sister.

In developing Roxane’s character for Madeleine Robin, we played with the idea that it might be very difficult for her to properly remember Cyrano and remember the happy conversations they’d had together, never knowing what we’d been truly thinking or how he had viewed her.

Stay tuned for more writing blogs!

-Grace

 
Roxane_final edit

Madeleine Robin Known As Roxane opens February 5th at the Lemontree Creations Studio, and runs until February 9th.

Get your tickets now!

buttoncreate

Writing Blog #3 (aka Why can’t Cyrano be more body positive?)

The play begins with a scene at a theatre; Montfleury, an actor Cyrano detests, is performing this evening and everyone wonders if our favourite long-nosed hero will appear to prevent the performance.

After Cyrano has wowed the crowds with his duelling and wit, his friend Le Bret asks:

LE BRET

I see. Now tell the truth, why do you hate

Montfleury so? 

CYRANO

That roll of lard? – so fat

He can’t reach round himself to touch his navel.

He still imagines himself the very devil

Where women are concerned, and, all the while

He’s hamming away up there, he makes his vile

Fish-eyes at them. I’ve loathed him ever since

I caught him ogling her. Does it make you wince

To see a slug crawling across a flower?

 (Christopher Fry translation used)

Cyrano’s self-consciousness about his own appearance manifests itself here in an extreme disgust with Montfleury’s weight. While it seems initially as though Cyrano’s distaste for Montfleury is solely due to the actor’s poor oratory skills, which would be more in line with the importance Cyrano places publicly on wit, it is revealed in this exchange just how important physical appearance is to our hero.

His greatest fear is becoming Montfleury – becoming the unattractive man, flirting with women, unaware of his own ugliness.

Funny enough, no one else seems much bothered by unattractiveness. No one has mentioned Montfleury being fat before Cyrano does, and while Cyrano’s nose is talked about it seems to beso  only because he is incredibly touchy about it.

In the writing process of Madeleine Robin, I wondered how Cyrano’s obsession with physical appearances might affect Roxane; she seems confident in herself, but by the end of the play she and Cyrano are much closer than they were when the play begins. Would his emphasis on perfection and beauty have rubbed off on her? Would she become as sensitive about her own appearance as he is about his?

Stay tuned for more writing blogs!

-Grace
Roxane_final edit

Madeleine Robin Known As Roxane opens February 5th at the Lemontree Creations Studio, and runs until February 9th.

Get your tickets now!

buttoncreate

Introducing our Team: The Stage Manager

EmilyDixBWEmily Dix – Stage Manager/Publicity Assistant

Emily Dix is a Toronto-based director, actor and stage manager, and is thrilled to be working with Theatre Double Take for the first time. Emily is the Artistic Director and founder of Bygone Theatre (www.bygonetheatre.com) and is currently working with Hart House Theatre as the Artistic Director for the 2014 Festival of Dance. Previous directing credits include Dial M For Murder, Doubt: A Parable (Bygone Theatre), and Hairspray (St. Michael’s College) among many others. Selected previous stage management credits include Doubt: A Parable (Bygone Theatre), Festival of Dance (Hart House Theatre) and Revelation (New Ideas Festival, Alumnae Theatre).

Roxane_final edit

Madeleine Robin Known As Roxane opens February 5th at the Lemontree Creations Studio, and runs until February 9th.

Get your tickets now!

buttoncreate

Introducing our Team: The Dramaturgs

Polly Phokeev HeadshotPolly Phokeev – Script Dramaturg

Polly Phokeev is an actor, writer, dramaturg, and clown. Acting credits include Mucedorus (Poculi Ludique Societas/UofT Graduate Centre). Much Ado about Nothing (Fly By Night Theatre), The Loyalists (Single Thread Theatre Company), The Rules (University College Drama Program; dir. Banuta Rubess), and FFFF: Studies of Want (Peanut Butter People; collective creation). Training includes Hon. BA specializing in Drama at the University of Toronto, clowning with John Turner, and film acting with John Boylan (Centre for the Arts).

aikman_headshotLisa Aikman – Production Dramaturg

Lisa Aikman is a recent graduate of UofT where she received her MA in Performance studies. Recent theatre credits include Stage Manager for Seven Days with Teatron Theatre, dramaturg for “Troilus & Criseyde/Cressida” and SM for “People We’ll Never Meet” (both Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at UofT), ASM for “Little Shop Of Horrors” (Rose Theatre), ASM for “Charlotte” (Ars Mechanica), and she will be doing production dramaturgy for the upcoming premier of “Madeleine Robin Known As Roxanne” with Theatre Double Take. This is Lisa’s first show with Theatre Double Take and would like to thank the creative team for making it such a welcoming and interesting experience.

Roxane_final edit

Madeleine Robin Known As Roxane opens February 5th at the Lemontree Creations Studio, and runs until February 9th.

Get your tickets now!

buttoncreate

Writing Blog #2

There’s not much indication given at the end of Cyrano de Bergerac as to what Roxane might do with the rest of her life. Last we see her, she’s been staying at an Abbey, mourning the now deceased Christian for over a decade. When Cyrano reveals the truth about himself and Christian’s letters, will Roxane continue to mourn at the Abbey? Will she find another place to live, and come out of mourning?

Early in Cyrano, we hear this exchange:

LIGNIERE

And so

That’s the lady?

CHRISTIAN

Yes – do tell me, man,

I’ve got to know!

LIGNIERE

Madeleine Robin,

Known as Roxane. Artistic. Cultivated.

CHRISTIAN

Alas!

LIGNIERE

Unattached.An orphan. And related

To Cyrano, the man we’ve been discussing.

Roxane’s status as an orphan became important to us in deciding what her situation would be after Cyrano’s death. She seems to have some money of her own, but what family would she have to turn to besides her cousin? How difficult might it be for her to return to society, after leaving it for so many years, with no family members to introduce her?

Stay tuned for more writing blogs!

-Grace

Roxane_final edit

Madeleine Robin Known As Roxane opens February 5th at the Lemontree Creations Studio, and runs until February 9th.

Get your tickets now!

buttoncreate

Writing Blog #1

This is the first in a series of blog posts letting you into the writing and research process behind Madeleine Robin Known As Roxane, opening February 5th.

There’s a lot of passages from Cyrano de Bergerac I found especially helpful in developing the characters of Roxane and Christian for Madeleine Robin.

CHRISTIAN:

What puzzles me

Is whether or not she is one of those exquisites

Of the clever kind who would scare me out of my wits.

The way that nowadays they talk and write

Worries me. I’m a soldier, simply that,

And I feel awkward.

(Translation by Christopher Fry)

The “she” referred to here is, of course, Roxane. This is early in the play; so far, we have only heard about Roxane, we haven’t heard from her. Christian wonders who is this beautiful woman he has seen recently at the theatre. Her cleverness is known by the audience almost as soon as her beauty is; both of these attributes, but especially her intelligence, make her intimidating to Christian.

It’s not entirely unusual to see women placed on this sort of pedestal – but the emphasis on her cleverness in doing so is interesting. It reminds me more of a modern romantic comedy, where the women are seen as more together and organized but somehow less human and sympathetic than the fun-loving men.

Anyways, what I took from this was how intimidating Roxane can be to others, how powerful her presence and reputation are, and how worried Christian is about living up the expectations she might hold.

Stay tuned for more writing blogs!

– Grace

Roxane_final edit

Madeleine Robin Known As Roxane opens February 5th at the Lemontree Creations Studio, and runs until February 9th.

Get your tickets now!

buttoncreate