John & Beatrice, Theatre Projects Manitoba, Oct 30 2012

John & Beatrice
By Carole Fréchette. Translated by John Murrell
November 1-11th 2012 at the Rachel Browne Theatre

“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.”

High above the city, Beatrice sits on the 33rd floor of an office tower waiting for the right man to respond to her ad. When John appears, the games begin. This bounty hunter is up to the challenge but his reward is in question. John and Beatrice is an imaginative and subversive comedy about the delusions and truths of modern day romance.

“Her theatrical universe is a bold one, her language rising to wild flights of poetry, her style ranging from gentle naturalism to outrageous surrealism.” Kate Taylor – The Globe and Mail

The Artistic Team
Director: Ardith Boxall
Sound Design: Greg Lowe
Lighting & Video Design: Hugh Conacher
Set & Costume Design: Brian Perchaluk
Stage Manager: Michael Duggan

Featuring Kevin Klassen as John & Tracy Penner as Beatrice

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. Her work, translated into 18 languages, has been staged all over the world, from Montréal to Reykjavik, and Paris to Tokyo. Fréchette is also the author of children’s novels and translations. She won the 1995 Governor General’s Award for Drama for her play Les Quatre Morts de Marie and the Chalmers Canadian Play Award for John Murrell’s English version of that play, The Four Lives of Marie. She also received Governor General’s Award nominations for La Peau d’Elisa in 1998, for Les Sept Jours de Simon Labrosse in 1999, for Jean et Béatrice in 2002 and for Serial Killer et autres pieces courtes in 2008. Fréchette is the 2002 winner of the Siminovitch Prize. She was one of the five nominees for Le Grand Prix de littérature dramatique 2009, in France, for La Petite pièce en haut de l’escalier. Her plays are published in French by Leméac/ Actes-Sud Papiers. John Murrell’s English versions of The Four Lives of Marie, Seven Days in the life of Simon Labrosse, Elisa’s Skin, Helen’s Necklace, John and Beatrice, Earthbound, and Thinking of Yu are published by Playwrights Canada Press. Her new play Je pense à Yu, had three different productions this year, in Paris, in Montreal, and in Calgary, at Alberta Theatre Projects in John Murrell’s English version.

Ardith Boxall

A graduate of the University of Winnipeg, Ardith has performed with Prairie Theatre Exchange, Manitoba Theatre for Young People, Theatre Projects Manitoba, Adhere and Deny, and the Manitoba Theatre Centre.

Selected acting credits include, Three Sisters with zone 41/TPM, Shakespeare’s Dog at the Manitoba Theatre Centre/National Arts Centre, Zaidie’s Shoes and The Norbals at Prairie Theatre Exchange, Crave with English Suitcase and The Darling Family with Graham Ashmore at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. She has appeared in Canadian films such as The Stone Angel and Milgaard.

In 2005, Ardith took the reins as Artistic Director of Theatre Projects Manitoba where her directing credits include Eight Tiny Reindeer of the Apocalypse, North Main Gothic, Age of Arousal, The Daffodil Man, God’s Country: Tales of Doom from the North End, The Monster Trilogy, Chekhov and Me, Area 51, Hi Diddle Dee Dee, Seeing Red, and Floodgates.

Tracy Penner

Tracy is thrilled to be working with TPM again! You may have seen her at the fringe this summer, performing in Scott Douglas’s The Touring Test, as well as Michael Nathanson’s one-woman show Next. Some of the other local companies she’s worked with include Root Sky Productions, Sarasvati Productions, Zone 41, RMTC, SIR, WJT, and Dancing Hen Productions. In Edmonton, she’s worked with Catalyst Theatre, Shadow Theatre, Concrete Theatre, and many others. Tracy is a graduate of the University of Alberta. Next up, she’ll be playing Cassandra in MTC’s production of Ed’s Garage.

Kevin Klassen

Kevin is thrilled to making his first appearance with TPM. His most recent acting credits include Annie (Rainbow Stage), Henry V (SIR),Till It Hurts (PTE), The Melville Boys & Romeo & Juliet (RMTC) and Generous (Theatre By The River). Kevin is a proud member of Shakespeare in the Ruins and would like to encourage all of you to attend the public performances of their fall tour A Stripped-Down Midsummer Night’s Dream, as well as all of the events related to their upcoming 20th Anniversary Season. Love always to Charlie.

Greg Lowe
Sound Design

Guitarist Greg Lowe composes and performs in many diverse settings. He has recorded seven CDs of his own as well as recent releases by the Ministers Of Cool 2011 and Woody Holler and his Orchestra 2010. He has composed and performed music for over thirty theatre productions, over twenty radio dramas and musicals, and has had several orchestra pieces performed by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and broadcast by the CBC. He performs often in Winnipeg with various jazz combos. Please visit GREGLOWE.COM

Michael Duggan
Stage Manager

Michael graduated from the University of Winnipeg in 2010 and has since been working as an apprentice stage manager around town. He has previously worked with TPM on last year’s Three Sisters (with zone41) and recent credits include: Mrs. Warren’s Profession (MTC), Angels in America: Millenium Approaches (WJT) and Annie (Rainbow Stage). This is Michael’s first show as a member of Equity and he would like to thank everyone who helped him along the way.

Hugh Conacher
Lighting & Video Designer

Hugh has collaborated with choreographers, dance companies and theatres across Canada. He enjoys working frequently with Theatre Projects, most recently in Dionysus in Stony Mountain. Other recent work includes WJT’s Angels in America, for which he designed the lighting and media, MTC’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Zone 41’s Three Sisters presented by TPM and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Wonderland. He has worked around the country with such companies as Theatre Calgary, National Arts Centre, Gearshifting Performance Works and Chartier Danse, expanding his process beyond lighting design to include interactive media and photography, as seen in Hybrid Human at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Jolene Bailie’s Sensory Life, Infinite World, Freya Olafson’s Avatar and TPM’s North Main Gothic.

Brian Perchaluk
Set & Costume Design

Brian Perchaluk is a set and costume designer based in Winnipeg. A graduate of the University of Winnipeg and the National Theatre School of Canada, he has designed productions for major arts companies across the country including Atlantic Ballet Theatre, Neptune Theatre, Canstage, Theatre Passe Muraille, the Grand Theatre, The Blyth Festival, The National Arts Centre, Prairie Theatre Exchange, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Le Cercle Moliere, Manitoba Theatre For Young People, Persephone Theatre, Theatre Calgary, Alberta Theatre Projects, The Citadel Theatre, The Vancouver Playhouse, The Arts Club Theatre, The Belfry Theatre, Manitoba Opera, more than 40 productions for the Manitoba theatre Centre, and two seasons at each the Shaw and Stratford Festivals. He is the recipient of a Jessie Richardson award for outstanding set design, and a Gemini award for production design.


Tracy Penner in John & Beatrice
  • CBC Review: Heiress looking for a man to seduce her…and you can watch

    It’s the audience who is ultimately rewarded with this sparkling, fantastical romantic comedy.

    —Joff Schmidt, CBC Scene theatre reviewer

    Photo: Leif Norman
    Kevin Klassen & Tracy Penner as John & Beatrice

    A wealthy heiress offers a “substantial reward” to the man who can successfully seduce her – this is the premise that kicks off Quebecois playwright Carole Fréchette’s John and Beatrice, which opens Theatre Projects Manitoba’s season.

    But it’s the audience who is ultimately rewarded with this sparkling, fantastical romantic comedy.

    A modern fairy tale for grown-ups, the play begins with John (Kevin Klassen) climbing to the 33rd floor of the otherwise-abandoned building where Beatrice (Tracy Penner) has sequestered herself.

    Through posters plastered around the city, Beatrice – the veritable princess in a tower – has promised a reward to the man who can pass the challenges she has devised to win her heart, and end her romantic drought. John, a pragmatic bounty hunter whose true love is $20 bills, decides to take on the task.

    Read the full review

  • Winnipeg Free Press Review: “unpredictable and irresistible” John & Beatrice – Four Stars!!!

    photo: Leif Norman
    Kevin Klassen & Tracy Penner as John & Beatrice

    Locked-in romance leaves a lot to talk about

    by Kevin Prokosh

    November 3rd, 2012

    (transcribed from Winnipeg Free Press print edition)

    Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess with waist length blonde hair, inhabiting a tower where handsome suitors came to win her heart & kingdom.

    That’s the story John understands when he arrives breathless, after climbing 33 flights of stairs, to the lofty lair of beatrice, a bored young woman determined to find her Prince Charming.  In her version of speed dating, she throws down three challenges to her candidates but none so far have been able to “interest, move and seduce her”, and so win a substantial reward.

    In Carole Fréchette’s loopy comic romance, John & Beatrice, which opened the Theatre Projects Manitoba season on Thursday night, it quickly becomes clear that this is no fairy tale where love conquers all and everyone lives happily ever after.


Hugh Conacher
Lighting & Video Designer







Tracy Penner


Kevin Klassen and Tracy Penner on John & Beatrice, Theatre Projects Manitoba


























Kevin Klassen and Tracy Penner on John & Beatrice, Theatre Projects Manitoba





























































Brian Perchaluk
Set & Costume Design









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