Saturday, August 20, 2011

Spotlight On...Marion Le Coguic

Name: Marion Le Coguic

Hometown: various small towns in France, followed by the 5 boroughs of

Education: Boston University School of Theatre

Select Credits: Fallujah (Penny, Kennedy Center); Three Sisters (Olga, Calderwood Pavillion); Old Times (Kate, Boston University)

Why theater?: Have you ever seen the movie The Reckoning with Paul Bettany and Willem Dafoe? Well: set in 14th century France, Bettany plays a sinning priest turned traveling-troupe-actor. They stop in town squares and perform the creation story, mostly. But this time, the troupe essentially ends up solving a murder case and saving an innocent woman wrongly accused of committing said crime. How do they do this? By acquiring every single fact needed to perform the event of the murder in front of the whole town in order to prove that this woman did not kill this boy. Theatre sheds light, subtly or not. I like to do that, subtly or not. And if it's just for entertainment's sake, then great! As a person who sometimes loves nothing more than to just lose myself, I give back what others on movie screens and stages alike have given to me: I am always thrilled to provide people with a means of escape. We need that once in a while.

Tell us about Sanyasi2011: Sanyasi was written in 1917 by a man named Rabindranath Tagore (how cool is that name) which he translated himself into English a few years later, thereby leaving us with a perfect, unbotched translation. Nutshell: a monk, if you will, truly believes he is on the path to enlightenment. But you'll see that he speaks of the world very darkly, that he is full of anger, and has ghosts of his own... until he meets Vasanti, a girl "deserted by both gods and men alike" who opens his eyes to the beauty of all that is around us. I won't say any more, though :) Ameneh Bordi —our director— called it Sanyasi2011 as opposed to leaving it as Sanyasi because yes the play is timeless, but we have brought our own contemporary elements to it. Like a reawakening. The language is heightened, formal, but Ameneh made it a point to work with us on getting those words comfortable in our mouths. Making them not so sacred, you know? Letting the text speak for itself. We left it simple, it’s literally a trunk show. It is also underscored the whole way through with beautiful original music by Keith Adams, with electronic and real instruments, creating a flow that really helps the audience understand what is happening when.

What is it like to be a part of Sanyasi2011?: I love the fact that we’re bringing to life a play that has… as far as we know —and Ameneh’s done her research— never been done before. And it’s been really great working with familiar faces outside of the university setting, and of course meeting new theatre artists is always exciting. Especially from this upcoming generation that I am very proud to be a part of.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I’d like to thank Ilana Brownstein for my ability to answer the first part of this question, which is still hard to do after 4 years of theatre school. I really dig a lot of genres, so that’s why I’m having a tough time here… Where’s my Contemporary Drama syllabus when I need it! In a box. Somewhere. Alright: realism, historical plays, In Yer Face, abstract, magical realism, fringe, dark comedies, a damn good tragedy, the Greeks, one [wo]man shows… Hmm. I love plays that tell the stories of a different culture than mine, I think that’s such a beautiful way of showing the world. And if whatever I’ve just seen doesn’t speak to me, or “I don’t like it”, I ask Why. I’ll leave it at that. I get inspired every day by all kinds of people. By my family, especially my little sister; by my best friends, who are all incredibly talented at what they do; by my teachers, even those who date back, who strongly and willingly believe in me; by someone who’s got 5 or 7 plays laid out on his table and is memorizing monologues next to me in Starbucks to be sure to have 11 or 15 monologues lodged in the back of his brain (true story); by the woman on the subway with her 3 kids plus a stroller with the 4th one in it; by Meryl Streep, Mark Rylance (who I’d never seen before Jerusalem), Daniel Day Lewis, Emma Stone, and so fucking many of’em I couldn’t possibly name right now; by the construction workers with their spattered clothes and Timbs; by couples who have together for 50 years; by —you get it. That was “who”. Now “what”: love, knowledge, hard work, growth & change.

What’s it like to be a part of FringeNYC?: Awesome. So very awesome. And on East 4th Street, are you kidding me?! I began my theatre days at Downtown Art! I feel so lucky to be back on the block!

Any role you’re dying to play?: I was recently asked this. Trevor in Roadkill Confidential by Sheila Callaghan (again, thank you IB), Ouisa in Six Degrees of Separation (I’ve wanted that since high school, thank you Stephen Kaplan), and all the women in The Blue Room by David Hare (thank you Sidney Friedman).

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I would play my Mama, hands down, and it would be called… Petit Coq in French, and Little Rooster in English.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Haha. Jerusalem. That’s actually the only one I’ve seen since I’ve been back in NYC and I do feel terrible about that, I gotta kick my ass into gear. And I’m sad I missed Henry V, especially since it was stage managed by my friend Leigh Robinette, but I was busy every performance they had.

What’s up next?: I’m auditioning for Blood Manor (the haunted house) for this year’s Halloween season. We’ll see how that goes, I’d be SO PSYCHED if I got that gig. I’m like a giddy little kid when I think about it.

For more information on Marion, visit