Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tarragon Theatre Toronto - A Small Room at the Top of the Stairs Continues to April 8

From a media release:

Continues to April 8, 2012

"Spread your wings, my love. Take over the whole house."

Toronto - Tarragon Theatre is pleased to present the English-language premiere of The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs, written by leading Canadian playwright Carole Fréchette, translated by John Murrell, one of Canada's most frequently produced playwrights, and directed by Weyni Mengesha, hot on the heels of her production of Kim's Convenience at Soulpepper Theatre Company where she is associate artist.

The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs stars Claire Calnan as Anne (Tarragon: After Akhmatova, The Clockmaker), Sarah Dodd as Joyce (Tarragon: The Fall, Humble Boy), Raquel Duffy as Jenny (Soulpepper: The Odd Couple, Death of a Salesman), Rick Roberts as Henry (Tarragon: Molière, John and Beatrice) and Nicole Underhay as Grace (Shaw Festival: Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, The Admirable Crichton).

Innocent, angelic and beautiful, Grace has just married the man of her dreams. Henry is rich, handsome and promises the world. He just has one small request. A request she must abide. She mustn't ever go into the small room at the top of the stairs. And yet, Grace finds herself irresistibly drawn to the mystery behind the door, despite warnings from her mother Joyce and the endless misgivings of Anne, her older sister. Loosely based on Charles Perrault's Bluebeard, The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs proves that we all have things to hide, and begs the question, what would happen if these secrets are exposed?

Currently showing in Mexico City, The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs has garnered worldwide attention with productions in France, Switzerland, Greece, Slovenia and Austria. Tarragon has previously presented English-language premieres of Fréchette's The Four Lives of Marie (1997), Elisa's Skin (2001), Helene's Necklace (2003) and John and Beatrice (2007).

Carole Fréchette was born in Montréal and is a graduate of the National Theatre School. Still based in Montréal, she has been a force in Québec theatre for over 25 years. She is the author of 15 plays, which have been translated into 18 languages and staged all over the world. Fréchette won the 1995 Governor General's Award for her play Les Quatre Morts de Marie and the Chalmers Award for John Murrell's English version of that play. She is the 2002 winner of the Siminovitch Prize. John Murrell's English versions of her plays are published by Playwrights Canada Press. In 2012, her new play Je pense à Yu will be produced in Paris, Montreal and Brussels. The English version, Thinking of YU, translated by Murrell, will be produced in Calgary at Alberta Theatre Projects.

Weyni Mengesha first received acclaim directing and composing 'da kink in my hair (Theatre Passe Muraille/Mirvish/Hackney London - nominated for 4 Dora Awards). Mengesha serves as the artistic director of two youth arts initiatives: Sound The Horn, which she co-founded in 2004, and The AMY Project (Artists Mentoring Youths) with Claire Calnan. Named one of NOW Magazine's top ten theatre artists to watch in 2012, she is the recipient of a Harold Award, the Toronto Arts Council's Emerging Artist of the Year Award and a Harry Jerome Award.

Tarragon Theatre presents the English-language premiere of
The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs

Written by Carole Fréchette
Translated by John Murrell
Directed by Weyni Mengesha
Starring Claire Calnan, Sarah Dodd, Raquel Duffy, Rick Roberts and Nicole Underhay

Set and Costume Designer: Astrid Jansen
Lighting Designer: Bonnie Beecher
Composer/Sound Design: Thomas Ryder Payne
Assistant Director: Laury Leite
Stage Manager: Marie Fewer

Continues to April 8, 2012
Tarragon Theatre's Mainspace, 30 Bridgman Avenue

Tuesday-Saturday 8pm, Sunday matinees at 2:30pm, Saturday matinees March 24 at 2:30pm.
Tickets range from $21-$51 (including discounts for students, seniors and groups).
For tickets, call the box office at 416.531.1827 or visit

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