LSM Newswire

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

English Montrˆ©al premiˆ®re of Carole Frˆ©chette's JOHN & BˆâATRICE

Infinithˆ©ˆ¢tre Opens 2008 ’Äì 09 Season with

Montrˆ©al English Language Premiˆ®re of

John & Bˆ©atrice

By Carole Frˆ©chette

Translated by John Murrell

Directed by Guy Sprung

October 14 ’Äì November 9, 2008

Infinithˆ©ˆ¢tre's highlights another Quˆ©becois writer, introducing Anglophones to the award-winning Carole Frˆ©chettte in the Montrˆ©al English language premiˆ®re of John and Bˆ©atrice at the Bain St-Michel, running from October 16 through November 9, with previews on October 14 and 15.

Love, that little, four-letter word, mysterious and elusive, evoking a myriad of complex and confusing emotions, with as many definitions as there are people. We want it, crave it, seek it yet also shun it, hide from it or run as far from it as possible. With a season focussing on three themes, Love, Hope and Faith, Infinitheatre's production of John & Bˆ©atrice will be taking a look at love from an unusual vantage: a vacant room on the 33rd floor of a city skyscraper!

"Well-to-do young heiress, intelligent and perceptive, who has never loved anyone

is seeking a man who will interest, move and seduce her.

Substantial reward offered."

Bˆ©atrice has circulated (widely) a "want ad" poster. Now she waits up in her tower for the perfect man to arrive. John answers the call and using simple, unsophisticated language, this enterprising young man stirs emotions in Bˆ©atrice almost before she is aware of his effect. Through John's character, Frˆ©chette masterfully elicits in her audience all the emotions that Bˆ©atrice yearns to experience. But what then? A cross between Greek myth and fairytale, John and Bˆ©atrice asks the eternal questions of male and female archetypes in their relation to one another. Will the protected female open herself to experience the release and freedom of love? Will the macho male find the grit to become vulnerable enough to gain love's lasting, inner rewards?

The two-hander features Tania Kontoyanni and Frank Schorpion, two Canadian actors who successfully work in both official languages. Director, Guy Sprung, was drawn to the blend of myth and humour that Frˆ©chette uses to explore the tenets of love in this piece. "Frˆ©chette is one of our major playwrights and it's time Anglophone Quˆ©bec gets to enjoy her sublime writing. Working with bilingual actors who bring a depth of insight from having read both the French and English scripts enriches the whole process."

Frˆ©chette had her own demons to contend with when she wrote this play ten years ago. "The monsters that lived in me at the time, incarnated in this woman, arrogant and controlling, and in this man, the calculator, enclosed in himself, make me want to run and hide today." The two characters personify the duality of love. "Bˆ©atrice seeks love sublime, transcendent, love suspended in an apartment between sky and ground. The love of which young girls dream, of which I still perhaps dreamed, secretly, writing this funny duet. And then there is the love that John runs from, choking love, threatening, love that takes you to seventh heaven all the better to let you crash to the floor, love which shakes your will and your identity, misleading love that never completely tells the truth. Love that the boys fear, the love-prison that I still feared, undoubtedly, at the time of writing this funny duel."

The set is designed by NTS graduate and alumnus of l'ˆâcole Nationale d'Art Appliquˆ©es et des Mˆ©tiers d'Art, Perrine Biette, with costumes by Ariane Genet, also a NTS graduate, lighting by Eric Mongerson and his assistant, Audrey-Anne Bouchard, with sound by one of Montrˆ©al's busiest sound designers, Troy Slocum. Tom Fennario captains the video contributions to this production, (he last worked with Inifnithˆ©ˆ¢tre on Gas, projecting horrific scenes of the Iraq war onto the walls of the Bain) with stage management by Sarah-Marie Langlois.

Of special interest to note is that the same set for Jean and Bˆ©atrice will be used for the subsequent Infinithˆ©ˆ¢tre offering, Plucked, Hammered and Strung, to run concurrently at the Bain the last two weekends in October. It is the quirky semi-autobiographical cabaret of Seventeen [Anonymous] Women playwright, Carolyn Guillet. Information about that play will be circulated presently in a separate release.

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