The Amorous Adventures of Anatol

What is it that women want? If statistics are anything to go by: theatre. Pictured above, Freud, whose grandfather came from the same small town in Ukraine as the Panych clan. Freud is considered the father of modern psychoanalysis; we can only imagine what he might have made of Anatol.. Freud lived up the street from Schnitzler and even knew about the playwrights philandering. Pictured right, home of Tarragon Theatre in the Annex, proud originator of many Canadian plays. Morris has premiered eight plays at this theatre. starting with 7 Stories.

Anatol author, Arthur Schnitzler, above, and right, a painting by Gustav Klimt, who was a pioneer of Viennese modernism. Anatol was written during a more vibrant time in the Austrian capital.

Nicole Underhay, right, plays seven different women to Mike Sharas one man. We thought it was a nifty idea to have one woman play seven parts, since Anatol views all woman the same

An impossibly handsome Mike Shara, above, from the Tarragon online brochure, and left, our Max, Robert Persichini. Robert last worked with us on Amadeus and Mike last worked with us on - yes its true - Anatol at the Vancouver Playhouse

Schnitzler plays were considered Jewish filth by the Nazis, which is pretty high praise in our books. Schnitzler considered himself Freuds double and later in life Freud referred to Schnitzler as his psychic twin. In the adaptation we made Max into a psychologist interested in Anatol from a clinical perspective - and while were on the subject of perspective

Tom McCamus in 7 Stories, above, and below, Randy Hughson in Earshot

Above, Stephen Ouimette heading to a mysterious island in The Ends of the Earth, and right, Richard Zeppieri as Lawrence rests his shoulder on his new best friend, Holloman,  Richard Waugh. Below, Tom Rooney as Eichernman and his new friend Lomey, Stephen Ouimette, in Benevolence

Kristina Nicholl and Tanja Jacobs in Girl in the Goldfish Bowl, above, and right, Joyce Campion makes friends with a visitor, Kemp, here played by Brian Tree. Below, Randy Hughson, Eric Peterson and Jonathan Crombie discuss the art of washing dishes and other soap operas in The Dishwashers

In all, Morris has premiered eight new plays at the Tarragon, all designed by Ken; Anatol will be the ninth

Before Ken and Morris finally moved to Toronto, they used to return home to Vancouver after each of their Toronto premieres, taking the daily newspapers with them to the airport to read what they called their get-out-of-town reviews; and many were. But there were successes, too, and many of these shows went on to be produced multiple times in Canada and throughout the world. Today, these plays enjoy continued success and productions thanks to their start at the Tarragon

It all started on Bridgman Avenue, next to the railroad tracks. Upper left, 7 Stories off Broadway, upper right Earshot in Norway. 7 Stories has had sixty professional productions, and is now published in its second edition by Talonbooks, Pictured, left, Olympia Dukakis plays Grace in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and right, from a production of Girl in the Goldfish Bowl in Washington D.C. Since its premiere Girl in the Goldfish Bowl has been produced in every major city in Canada and in many U.S. cities, Vigil, meanwhile, has been produced, now, in twenty four languages worldwide. Further below, left, a recent production of The Dishwashers, called Les Dishwasheurs, in Montreal and lower right, a production of Lawrence in Holloman in Warsaw, in Polish titled Lawrence and Holloman. None of this, of course has anything to do with our production of Anatol except to say that shows coming out of the Tarragon theatre have a history of moving on, Maybe its those railway tracks. Now where were we? Oh, yes - Anatol -

Morris and Ken at The Tarragon a brief history

Don Juans of a different age. Don Juan of Austria, with a reputation for being something of a ladies man, but not the source of the legend as far as we know. Far left, Don Juan de Marco, a fictional character played by Johnny Depp. The story of a libertine who seduces women comes to us from Tirso de Molina, and was the inspiration for dozens of stories from Moliere to Byron to Mozart

Floor pattern for section of the lobby of the Hotel York, inspiration for our floor design for Anatol, Right, a panoramic view of mountains in Anatolia or as it is more commonly known, Turkey. Of course, this has nothing to do with the character in the play except perhaps that Anatolia is a peninsula which protrudes into the Mediterranean?

Not that turn=of-the-century Europeans were particularly obsessed with the penis.

The big move into the theatre is underway. far left, Kate Porter, our trusted Stage Manager stands by as we wait to begin another day of tech rehearsal. Left Nicole tries on one of seven Charlotte Dean costumes for the show. A big part of the production is getting Nicole and Mike in and out of costume. Right, Ken wanders the set looking for more things to fuss with. The set is not quite complete by the time we move into the theatre but is ongoing and coming together, thanks among others to Tomasz Baranski, lower right, head carpenter and assistant technical director. Left, Mike and Robert standby to rehearse Scene Three, Bianca, in which Mike pops packages into different drawers, using a ladder on a sliding rail. Some of these drawers are working, others are merely decorative, and some disguise doors and cabinets


Right, Robert on the first day, and left, assembled Tarragon staff with cast for design presentation and first reading. Far left, Nicole is fitted for her Emily wig. Nicole plays seven different women

Below, several looks for Adam Paolozza, a Gregor, waiter, shopkeeper, and Adam Paolozza himself, who is assistant directing

Costume look, right, for Robert as Max.


Some looks for Mike Shara, above, as well as Mike Shara, playing Anatol for the second time

Five of seven Charlotte Dean looks for Nicole Underhay, Far left, Hilda, our first hypnotic character, next to her, Gabrielle. First right, Emily, the jewel of Anatols collection, further right, Bianca the bareback rider and circus performer and furthest right Mimi, the ballet dancer with the tiny boyfriend; a whole lot of fast changes and backstage chaos.

Michelle Bailey, Tarragon costume head, squeezes Nicole into her corset and bum pad. Nicole has six costume changes in the show, so fitting into them is an absolute must

The Reshaped Waist

Because the lower five ribs are not attached to the sternum (breast bone), the human torso can be shaped by various techniques to produce a waistline of desirable and alluring contours. Introduced in Europe during the fifteenth century, corsets began as tightly wrapped bandages. Over the next four centuries, corsetry evolved to include stays (boards) and strings for extra-tight lacing. Respectable and virtuous Victorian women wore corsets; an "unlaced woman" (as opposed to "straight-laced") was thought to be a vessel of sin. In a desperate attempt to achieve the ideal, some women had their lower ribs surgically removed. "Corset diseases" such as fainting, hemorrhoids, coughing, and palpitations plagued many fashionable women. Corsets could displace internal organs and cause pulmonary disease, and occasionally led to miscarriages. They were eventually replaced in the 1930s by less constricting, but still reshaping, girdles. European and American men did not entirely escape the demands of fashion. They, too, wore corsets and waist cinchers beneath their military, riding or court attire. However, once a man reached middle age, a paunch was more likely to be tolerated as a sign of his wealth and status. (University of Iowa Medical Museum)

The ages old custom of refashioning the female body shape continues, in some cultures, even today.

Opening day and the actors are running their lines onstage. Some call this an Italian, for which there are a number of plausible origins, the most convincing of which is that the lines are said quickly, without pausing, making the speaking of them sound vaguely like Italian. In our case, we like to run the lines at speed so that the actors have a chance to find the conversation within the lines without the pressure of an audience

Listen to Jean Stillwell interview Morris on 96.3 FM. Click here

Opening night reception before the performance, left, Tarragon supports gather to hear Ken and Morris talk about the show, hosted by Artistic Director, Richard Rose. Above, right, a photo from the production, scene five, with Mimi, and right, the day after opening Ken reports to St Michael for a shoulder xray to confirm the fact that he needs a replacement and that it will be a two year wait.

Scenes from the show, left, Max and Anatol hypnotize Mimi, and below it, Anatol has an underwear standoff with Elsa. Above, the finished set, shot from Kens preferred perspective which shows the draws slightly open, so they catch Jason Hands lighting more dramatically, and of course, sell the idea of drawers.

One more show opens at the Tarragon, our first Toronto home. Upstairs, in the dressing rooms, actors, directors, writers, sign their names to quotes from the plays they have done. Its a rich an moving tapestry of the Tarragon legacy.