Les Belles Soeurs


From the Producer ...

Welcome to the second half of our 1995-96 season. Thanks to your outstanding support we are well on our way to our most successful season yet. You, our audience, have responded with tremendous enthusiasm to the moving reminiscences of Six War Years and the disturbing vision of The Rimers of Eldritch. The rest of the season promises to be equally stimulating and enjoyable.

In the upcoming part of the season, two professionally-directed productions--Michel Tremblay's satirical comedy Les Belles Soeurs and the Jacobean melodrama The Revenger's Tragedy--will be joined by a One-Act Play Festival at the end of March. All four plays in this Festival will be directed by students in the Theatre and Drama Studies Program and one of them is also student written. The actors will be students from the first and second years of the program. This Independent Student Production is a tribute to the diverse abilities and the enthusiasm of the Theatre and Drama Studies students.

Thank you again for joining us. We look forward to having you with us for the rest of our season as "The Adventure Continues" with these exciting productions.

Nancy Copeland

From the Artistic Director ...

Welcome to the third production of Theatre Erindale's third season! Whether you're a Member, a Patron, or a single ticket buyer, we're delighted to have you with us and we hope to see you often in future.

With this production of Michel Tremblay's world-famous satirical comedy Les Belles Soeurs, we are delighted to welcome back as Director the inimitable Mimi Mekler (who brought you last year's hilarious Scapin), and as Costume Designer/Coordinator Joanne Massingham (whose spectacular work graced The Relapse).

Once again we have some company firsts to brag about. We've never before had an all-female cast at Theatre Erindale. We think we like it for a change, and we're probably going to make it a frequent feature of our seasons. In addition, this is the first mainstage production in which we've come close to having a traditional "box set" (one with actual walls and realistic properties); we owe a special thank you to the Italian Club of Erindale College for lending us the flats, and to the Drama Club for the appliances.

The last attraction of our mainstage season (March 6 - 16) will be the rare and outrageous Jacobean melodrama that has twice scored a hit for the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Revenger's Tragedy. This extraordinary combination of black farce and morality play from Shakespeare's time is traditionally credited to Cyril Tourneur (though some claim it for Thomas Middleton) and we guarantee you've never seen anything like it!

But that ain't all, folks. I'd like to join Producer Nancy Copeland in inviting you to be with us for our very special festival of one-act Independent Student Productions, "ON THE FRINGE". Running in repertory March 26-30 will be Edward Albee's Zoo Story, John Mighton's Body and Soul, Michael Unrau's Down in the Flood (the world première of a work-in-progress by one of our own students), and Michael Weller's Split. Humour, challenge, and variety will abound in these student-produced and student-directed works, featuring actors from our first- and second-year classes. The shows are free for Members, and Pay-What-You-Can for everyone else -- the entertainment bargain of the year! If you come for two weeknights, or for Saturday afternoon and evening both, you can see all four of them. We advise arriving early: last year's Independent Student Productions completely sold out!

Meanwhile, thank you for being with us for Les Belles Soeurs. Welcome to Theatre Erindale. And enjoy the show!

Patrick Young

From the Director ...

"La maudite vie plate" -- " this stupid rotten life."

Before Les Belles Soeurs, women like Germaine Lauzon and her family and neighbours had never been seen on stage. The play tells a simple story fromt he lives of women who are traditionally ignored or repressed, and are certainly not your usual "heroes". It uses a complex non-realistic structure, and at its premiere in 1968, caused a scandal.

Tremblay was the first to use joual extensively on stage (French as it is colloquially spoken in Quebec). Where before there had been pale imitations of "real" French from Paris competing with American and English-Canadian culture, suddenly Quebecois could see and hear themselves in the theatre. The controversy was left behind as other writers followed Tremblay's lead. All of Canada began to delight in his inventive works, and he remains one of our most popular playwrights.

Soon other countries began to pay attention too. Translated into languages as diverse as Scottish and Yiddish, Les Belles Soeurs' proto-feminist examination of sex, religion, the family and the nation speaks to us all. Now, these fifteen women who are slighted in their own homes can be heard around the world. They have nothing, and they want it all.

Mimi Mekler

Les Belles Soeurs

by Michel Tremblay

Translated by John van Burek and Bill Glassco

Directed by Mimi Mekler

Assistant to the Director - Gary Penzler

Lighting and Set Designer -Jim Smagata

Scenic Painter - Elizabeth Woodley

Fight Choreographer - Daniel Levinson

Stage Manager - Steve Gauthier

Assistant Stage Manager - Jeremy Nantes

The Cast

(in order of appearance)

Linda Lauzon -Rahnuma Panthaky

Germaine Lauzon - Lisa Jean

Marie-Ange Brouillette - Larisa DeZayas

Lisette de Courval - Colomba Conte

Gabrielle Jodoin - Lara Klymko

Rose Ouimet - Lysa Weber

Yvette Longpré - Meredith Scott

Des-Neiges Verrette - Liz Dalgleish

Thérèse Dubuc - Alicia Land

Olivine Dubuc - Amanda Rolston

Lise Paquette - Hero Van Harten

Ginette Ménard - Allison Hahnfeld

Neighbour - Jacqueline Leung

Angéline Sauvé - Lori Dixon

Rhéauna Bibeau - Jen Forrester

Pierrette Guérin - Rebecca Wood

Vocal Arrangement - Janet Pelletier

Music Coach - Jacqueline Leung

Fight Captain - Rahnuma Panthaky

There will be one 15-minute intermission.

For Les Belles Soeurs:

Lighting Technician/Board Operator: Elizabeth Woodley

Audio Technician/Board Operator: Sarah Cudmore

Set and Lights: Natasha Biljetina (chief), Claire D'Angelo, Diane Cunningham, Jennifer Leblanc, Gena Restivo, Norbert Kliszczewski

Wardrobe: Jacqueline Leung (chief), Waheed Agashirin, Delia Cicconi, Nicole St. Martin, Karen Parker

Properties: Novie Edwards (chief), Claire Porter, Julie Florio, Jim Smagata, Sarah Wood

Front of House and Box Office: Dan Phelps (chief), Angela MacMillan, Janet Caruana

Running Crew: Melanie Bravetti, Matt Hall, Julie Pinto

Program: Margot Thomas

Poster concept: Dan Phelps et al

For Theatre Erindale:

Producer: Nancy Copeland

Artistic Director: Patrick Young

Production Manager, Technical Director: James W. Smagata

Business Manager: Clara Stewart

Public Relations: Maryann Wells

Office Staff: Margot Thomas

Technical Assistants: Terry Costa, Andrea Scott

For legal and/or safety reasons all cameras, recorders and paging devices must be checked with the House Manager.

In consideration for the audience and company, latecomers are not admitted until a suitable break in the performance.

The Cast

COLOMBA CONTE, 4th Yr. Theatre and Drama Studies
Home Town: Woodstock, Ont.
For Theatre Erindale: The Rimers of Eldritch - Nelly Windrod; The Relapse or, Virtue in Danger - La Verole; 1837: The Farmer's Revolt - Mary and various roles; Pericles, Prince of Tyre - Front of House Chief; The Farm Show - Publicity Crew Chief.
Ambition: To make the world realize that it's okay to hear little voices.
Favourite Saying: I need some lovin'.

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ELIZABETH DALGLEISH, 3rd Yr. Theatre and Drama Studies
Home Town: Mississauga, Ontario
For Theatre Erindale: Six War Years - ensemble; 1837: The Farmer's Revolt - Wardrobe Crew Chief; Scapin - Front of House Crew; Pericles - Wardrobe Crew; The Farm Show - Props Crew.
For Other Companies: Jesus Christ Superstar - Tormentor (Playhouse '82); The Pirates of Penzance - The Good Looking Twin (Toronto Gilbert & Sullivan Society); The Boyfriend - Faye (Meadowvale Music Theatre); Nurse Jane Goes to Hawaii - Vivien
(Meadowvale S.S.)
Ambition: To climb Mount Everest.
Favourite Saying: I hate when that happens.

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LARISA DEZAYAS, 4th Yr. Theatre and Drama Studies
Home Town: Chattanooga, Tennessee
For Theatre Erindale: The Rimers of Eldritch - Mary; The Relapse - Mrs. Abigail, Choreographer; 1837: The Farmer's Revolt - Emma, Mrs. Polk, various; Pericles - Choreographer, Assistant Director.
For Other Companies: Pump Boys and Dinettes - Choreographer, Accent Coach (Drama Club of Erindale); Big...Bad...Mouse! - Fiona Jones; Night of January 16th - Magda Swenson, Down in the Valley - chorus (CSPA).
Ambition: To learn how to shmooz, speak tactfully, and shut up when it's a good idea.
Favourite Saying: "Can I say something?"

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LORI DIXON, 3rd Yr. Theatre and Drama Studies
Home Town: Mississauga, Ontario
For Theatre Erindale: Six War Years - ensemble; The Farm Show - Front of House; Pericles - Props Crew; 1837: The Farmer's Revolt - Set/Lights Crew; The Relapse - Props Crew Chief; 'Dentity Crisis - Jane (I.S.P.).
For Other Companies: A Midsummer Night's Dream - Hermia (Streetsville Secondary); Twelfth Night - Viola (Erindale Drama Club); Impromptu - Lora (Theatre Showcase Brampton).
Ambition: To "Live Juicy".
Favourite Saying: "The Buddhists say there are 149 ways to God. I'm not looking for God, only for myself, and that is far more complicated." - Jeanette Winterson

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JENNIFER FORRESTER, 3rd Yr. Theatre and Drama Studies
Home Town: Niagara Falls, Ontario
For Theatre Erindale: Six War Years - ensemble; Scapin - Props Crew Head; Lion in the Streets - Front of House Crew; Pericles - Costume Crew; The Farm Show - Props Crew.
For Other Companies: ... and Stuff - Director, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead - Guildenstern, Not Enough Rope - Mrs. Pierce (Niagara District S. S.); Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean - Sissy (then) (Firehall Theatre).
Ambition: To be happy for the rest of my life, grow another 6 inches and play Ophelia once.
Favourite Saying: Look at me! Look at me!

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ALLISON HAHNFELD, 3rd Yr. Theatre and Drama Studies
Home Town: Mississauga, Ontario
For Theatre Erindale: Six War Years - ensemble; Scapin - Props Crew; Lion in the Streets - Front of House Head; Pericles - House Head Crew; The Farm Show - Front of House Crew.
For Other Companies: Come and See His Glory - vocalist (Musical Miracles); Genesis - Asst. Director (Holy Name of Mary Drama Club)
Ambition: To lose lots of weight, be scantily dressed, and guest star on Numa's show!!
Favourite Saying: Hi Liz, wake up call!

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LISA JEAN, 3rd Yr. Theatre and Drama Studies
Home Town: Mississauga, Ontario
For Theatre Erindale: Six War Years - ensemble; The Relapse - Set and Lights Crew Chief; 1837: The Farmer's Revolt - Running Crew/Costumes; Pericles - Front of House; The Farm Show - Set and Lights; Junior Projects 1995 - Stage Manager.
For Other Companies: Anne of Green Gables - Marilla, Liars - Mother; (Erindale S. S.).
Ambition: To find Lysa.
Favourite Saying: Have you seen Lysa?

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LARA KLYMKO, 4th Yr. Theatre and Drama Studies
Home Town: Perth, Ont.
For Theatre Erindale: The Rimers of Eldritch - Patsy; Scapin - Argante; 1837: The Farmer's Revolt - Jamie, Winnifred, Tree; Pericles - Set & Lighting Crew; The Farm Show - Props and Running Crew.
For Other Companies: Tartuffe - Dorine (P&DCI Drama Club); Anything Goes - Purity (Perth Community Choir).
Ambition: To never again have to fill out a Theatre Erindale Biography Form: Hey! Success!
Favourite Saying: "Fall not in love, therefore, it will stick to your face." - Deteriorata

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ALICIA LAND, 3rd Yr. Theatre and Drama Studies
Home Town: Mississauga, Ontario
For Theatre Erindale: Six War Years - ensemble; 'Dentity Crisis - Woman; The Farm Show - Wardrobe; Pericles - Front of House and Box Office; Lion in the Streets - Props; Scapin - Wardrobe Crew Chief.
For Other Companies: Having a Wonderful Time, Wish You Were Her - Jennifer (Caprius Dinner Theatre); Night of January 16th - Nancy Lee Faulkner (Erindale Drama Club); A Mad Breakfast - Mrs. Simpkins (Mississauga Youth Theatre); The Proposal - Natalyia Stepanova (Cawthra Park S. S.); Various Sears Festival plays and showcases - Playwright, Actor.
Ambition: To live long and prosper.
Favourite Saying: "Screw your courage to the sticking place and we'll not fail!" - Lady Macbeth

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JACQUELINE LEUNG, 2nd Yr. Theatre and Drama Studies
Home Town: Vancouver, B.C.
For Theatre Erindale: Les Belles Soeurs - Wardrobe Crew Chief; Six War Years - Musical Director; Scapin - Running Crew; Lion in the Streets - Front of House.
For Other Companies: Sweet and Sour - Susan; Passages - ensemble actor, various roles (Theatre Resource Centre); World of Colour - Elizabeth (Meeting Place Theatre); Maskman - Mother (Cinema Magic Productions).
Ambition: To hone the talent I know is there.
Favourite Saying: "You wanna be a movie sta'?!"

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RAHNUMA PANTHAKY, 4th Yr. Theatre and Drama Studies
Home Town: Mississauga, Ont.
For Theatre Erindale: Rimers of Eldritch - Martha Truit; Scapin - Léandre; 1837: The Farmer's Revolt - Tiger Dunlop, Johnson & a 60 pound block of cheese; Pericles - Publicity; The Farm Show - Props
For Other Companies: Various Sears festival plays; last season of Degrassi Junior High.
Ambition: To become really fat then go on a diet and lose a lot of weight so I can host my own talk show where scantily clad men and women parade the stage in order to gain the ratings of all the teeny boppers across North America and have my audience chant "Go Numi, Go Numi" before every commercial break!
Favourite Saying: "Will someone please grab the left one?"

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AMANDA ROLSTON, 4th Yr. Theatre and Drama Studies

Home Town: Nepean, Ont.
For Theatre Erindale: The Rimers of Eldritch - Mavis Johnson; The Relapse - Constable, Tailor, Assistant to the Director; 1837: The Farmer's Revolt - Davis and other roles; Pericles - Front of House; The Farm Show - Assistant Stage Manager.
For Other Companies: Coach, Player - Improv Team (Confederation H. S.); various roles - Insight Theatre (Planned Parenthood sponsor); Workshop Leader -Jockvale Drama Club (Jockvale Elementary).
Ambition: Finally learn to budget money so I don't ever have to beg (again).
Favourite Saying: "You can't have everything; where would you put it?" - Stephen Wright

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MEREDITH SCOTT, 4th Yr. Theatre and Drama Studies
Home Town: London, Ont.
For Theatre Erindale: The Rimers of Eldritch - Wilma; The Relapse - Porter, Cupid; 1837: The Farmer's Revolt -ensemble; The Farm Show - Director's Assistant; Pericles - Wardrobe.
For Other Companies: Meet me in St. Louis - chorus (Meadowvale Music Theatre); Lolita's Perspective - Lolita (Graduate Drama Centre); Skin - Taun (Medway High School).
Ambition: To avoid being on welfare.

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HERO V. Van HARTEN, 3rd Yr. Theatre and Drama Studies
Home Town: Burlington, Ontario
For Theatre Erindale: Six War Years - ensemble; The Relapse - Wardrobe/Set and Lights/Front of House Crew; Lion in the Streets - Wardrobe Crew Chief; Pericles - Set and Lights Crew; The Farm Show - Wardrobe Crew.
For Other Companies: Antigone - Chorus (Lord Elgin Theatre Society); The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds - Beatrice (Lord Elgin Players); Cabaret - Mausie, Kit Kat Girl.
Ambition: To someday be like a poem.
Favourite Saying: "Close my eyes so the stars in my mind aren't too bright" - from "Morning Song".

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LYSA WEBER, 4th Yr. Theatre and Drama Studies
Home Town: Mississauga, Ont.
For Theatre Erindale: The Rimers of Eldritch - Cora; Scapin - Silvestre; 1837: The Farmer's Revolt - Dummy and other roles; Pericles - Publicity Chief; The Farm Show - Front of House Chief.
For Other Companies: Drama Instructor - Stage Coach (St. Dunstan's School); Drama instructor - Mississauga Parks and Rec.; Acting Instructor - Misconceptions.
Ambition:To relate to kids on every level, every day of my life.
Favourite Saying: "Let's eat it all."

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REBECCA WOOD, 3rd Yr. Theatre and Drama Studies
Home Town: Etobicoke, Ontario
For Theatre Erindale: 1837: The Farmer's Revolt - Props Running Crew; The Relapse - Front of House Crew Chief.
For Other Companies: An Inspector Calls - Sheila (Theatre Etobicoke); Annie Get Your Gun - Minnie, South Pacific - Chorus (Etobicoke Musical Productions).
Ambition: To totally marry Zaib and live happily ever after!!?
Favourite Saying: That's so cheese!!

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Stage Management

STEVE GAUTHIER - Stage Manager, 2nd Yr. Sheridan Technical Production
Home Town: Oakville, Ontario
For Theatre Erindale: The Relapse - Assistant Stage Manager.
For Theatre Sheridan: Lies and Legends: The Musical Stories of Harry Chapin - Carpenter; Dance/Night Club Critiques - Production Assistant; Philadelphia Story - Light Technician; World Goes Round - Props.
For Other Companies: Sans Norm - Technical Director, Ya Kwalas - Lighting Designer (Les P'tits Géants).
Ambition: To make it.
Favourite Saying: I'm not gonna make it.

JEREMY NANTES - Assistant Stage Manager, 1st Yr. Sheridan Technical Production
Home Town: Brampton, Ontario
For Theatre Sheridan: Lies and Legends - Electrician.
For Other Companies: Dwaine's - ASM (Canada's Wonderland); Kismet - Lighting Board Operator (Brampton Musical Society); Pink Panther Strikes Again - Lighting Designer (Cardinal Leger S. S.).
Ambition: To stay insane and not work in a bank.
Favourite Saying: "In the real world".


Guest Technicians

SARAH CUDMORE - Sound Designer/Technician, 2nd Yr. Sheridan Technical Production
Home Town: Kincardine, Ontario
For Theatre Erindale: Six War Years - Stage Manager; The Scams of Scapin - Production Assistant.
For Theatre Sheridan: Dance and Nightclub Critiques - Co-Lighting Designer; Runway Revolution - Master Electrician; Cabaret - Audio Technician; Cabaret/The Club - Production Assistant.
For Other Companies: An Evening with Duke Ellington and the Sophisticated Lady - Followspot operator (Anna Romain); Legends on Ice - Lighting Technician (Paramount).
Ambition: To excel in technical theatre and leave my mark.
Favourite Saying: 'Tis the season to be Jolly.

ELIZABETH WOODLEY - Lighting Technician, 2nd Yr. Sheridan Technical Production

Home Town: Waterloo, Ontario
For Theatre Sheridan: Lies and Legends: - Painter; Cabaret - Wardrobe; Catch a Rising Star - FollowSpot, Electrician; The World Goes Round - Painter.
For Other Companies: Anne of Green Gables - Asst. Wardrobe (Kawartha Summer Theatre); Into the Woods - Asst. Wig Mistress (Canadian Stage); S.P.A.V.A. 94 - Asst. Scenic Designer (Centre in the Square).
Ambition: To be a set and lighting designer and Technical Director..

Direction and Design


Mimi Mekler's work as director, dramaturge, actor, writer, and adjudicator has taken her from California to Czechoslovakia, and Italy to Israel. For Theatre Erindale, she has directed Pericles and Scapin. Other directing credits include classics, new works for outdoor festivals, and her own translation of Feydeau's Nip and Tuck. She has been dramaturge for over 60 productions, and has acted in interactive "issue" plays, dubbed films in Prague, portrayed both Portia and Calpurnia in Julius Caesar, co-created and performed in a clown/dance piece at Premiere Dance Theatre, and participated in wilderness music-theatre with R. Murray Schafer. She is the Head of the Acting Discipline at Sheridan College and has extensive teaching credits. Mimi has adjudicated throughout Ontario and in Manitoba and the United States. Several of her film scripts have been produced. She holds her M.F.A. in Theatre from York University, and is an active member of Creative Artists in Schools through the Ontario Arts Council.

GARY PENZLER, Assistant to the Director

Gary has completed four years of the Erindale/Sheridan progam, and now finds he just can't leave the theatre. In past seasons, he has been seen as Lord Foppington (The Relapse); Bill, Eddie (Lion in the Streets); Antiochus, Lysimachus (Pericles); Les Jervis, Big John (The Farm Show); as well as various roles for other companies, notably Tempest Theatre. After Belles Soeurs, Gary's next project is directing Split in the One Act Play Festival in March.

JIM SMAGATA, Set and Lighting Designer

Jim is a graduate of Brock University Drama Department. He worked there as a Technical Assistant, and then moved to Alberta to head up the technical side of the Theatre at Grande Prairie Regional College. Jim worked closely with Community Theatre groups as well as the College players and Drama Department. During his stint at GPRC, he designed lights for a myriad of shows, including Guys and Dolls, The Fantastiks, Whose Life is it, Anyway?, The Hobbit, The Gin Game, and West Side Story. He honed his skills in audio working for the Jazz and Wind Ensembles and musical artists like Dizzy Gillespie, Moe Koffman and Eric Nagler, to name a few. After nine years, he moved to Nepean, Ontario to become Centrepointe Theatre's Chief of Production Services, rubbing elbows with Christopher Plummer and Sir Peter Ustinov among others. While there, he designed the critically acclaimed Into The Woods. He now is the Theatre Manager here at Erindale College and teaches Stagecraft to 1st and 2nd year students.

JOANNE MASSINGHAM - Costume Coordinator

After almost twenty years of costuming for theatre her credits include:

Costume Design - The Relapse (Theatre Erindale); Eddy (Theatre Francais); Deck the Halls (Casa Loma); Le Chien (Theatre Francais); Danceland (Crows Theatre); The Wizard of Oz (Carousel Players); Brigadoon (Limelight Theatre); Bedtime Stories (The Theatre Centre); Skin (Young Peoples Theatre).

Head of Wardrobe - Theatre Francais; Skylight Theatre; University of Toronto, Opera Department; Young Peoples Theatre; Theatre Passe Muraille.

Specific Departments - Stratford Festival (jeweller); Opera Atelier (milliner); Shaw Festival (dyer); National Ballet Company (dyer and jeweler); Canadian Opera Company (jeweller).