After catching Stéphanie Morin-Robert at a Confabulation event during Bouge D’ici a few years ago I wrote; “My personal favourite storyteller […] was Stéphanie Morin-Robert […] Morin-Robert had that perfect combination of wit and confidence, and has intrigued this writer to see what she does next.” Turns out what’s next is being a choreographer, working on a podcast, and as the MainLine Theatre‘s artist in residence putting on a one woman show Me, Myself & Eye. Despite being busy preparing her show, which opened yesterday, Morin-Robert was gracious enough to answer a few questions via email.
Stephanie Laughlin: Tell me about yourself.
Stéphanie Morin-Robert: I was born and raised in Timmins, Ontario. I currently work in Montreal as a choreographer, artistic director and administrator for the company For Body and Light . For Body and Light is a collaboration with musician/spoken word artist Ian Ferrier where we create pieces that are intimately inspired by the memory, imagination, strength and fragility of the human body. Recently I also joined the Dirty Feet podcast team as a co-host and producer and I am a collaborating member of the multidisciplinary improvisation collective BODY SLAM directed by Greg Selinger. I’m someone who’s sensitive, emotional and very passionate about everything I do… And oh yeah, I love cats and I have a green glass eye.
SL: Tell me about the artist in residence program at MainLine, and how did you become part of it?
SM-R: I have been artist in residence since September 2013. I am thrilled to be the artist in residence at MainLine because I’ve always had so many projects and ideas to explore, but never had the budget or rehearsal space. My residency has allowed my dance company to host fundraising events and create new work for a tour in 2014, with over 40 performances in Montreal, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Victoria and Vancouver. I have also used this opportunity to develop my own work as a solo performer, for my first one-woman-show Me, Myself & Eye. MainLine is like a second home to me, and the people here are like family.
SL: What makes theatre at the MainLine theater special?
SM-R: Working for the St-Ambroise Montreal FRINGE festival for the last 3 years has definitely allowed me to get a taste of the different styles and artists from different theatre communities. That said, our theatre community here in Montreal is accessible, and that’s what makes it special. That’s what makes MainLine special and what made my solo show Me, Myself & Eye possible.
SL: What attracted you to doing a solo show? What makes your show stand out?
SM-R: As Hugh Laurie said; “It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.”
I did this show because I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to take myself outside of my comfort zone and integrate movement and storytelling by re-connecting with my childhood. Meeting so many amazing artists through the FRINGE has also encouraged me to give it a try. As a choreographer, there is nothing more terrifying then spending time alone in an empty space, and booking Me, Myself & Eye (before the show even existed) left me with no choice, but to push forward and make it happen. No matter how terrified I was, or still am, the show must go on.
Simplicity and honesty is what I bring to the stage. During the show I guide the audience through the multiple transitions experienced while facing self-discovery: innocence, denial, expectations, revenge, and (almost) total control. All of that said, the only thing that might stand out (or pop out) during the show is my glass eye. Beware of the splash zone. (Bad joke)
Me, Myself & Eye is at MainLine Theatre until Saturday, January 25. For a complete schedule and to buy tickets, visit the MainLine Theatre website.