I Am Marguerite

Chris Coculuzzi as Jean Francois de Roberval & Daniela Pagliarello as Marguerite
Daniela Pagliarello, Chris Coculuzzi, Heli Kivilaht, Sara Price & Christopher Oszwald. Photo by Bruce Peters
“Powerful, moving, and beautifully raw storytelling”
Life With More Cowbell

(Cast: 3f, 2m)

I am Marguerite is inspired by the true story of Marguerite de Roberval who, in 1542,  contrived to join her brother, Jean Francois “Sieur” de Roberval, and Jacques Cartier on the grand expedition to establish the first French colony in the new world. But when Jean Francois discovered that she’d dared to indulge in an affair with an unsuitable minor nobleman on board ship, he abandoned her, along with her lover and nurse, on a stark, deserted island in the Strait of Belle Isle for daring to choose love over duty.

The play takes place over 2 years later. Marguerite is totally alone, reduced to eating raw fish, tormented by lurking wolves, and haunted by phantoms of those who have betrayed her and those she has lost.  But then she sees a ship promising rescue.  Between the moment when the ship lowers its sail, to the dinghy scraping onto the shore, Marguerite is torn between madness, love, despair, remorse and the desire for revenge, as she struggles with her memories and her tormenting phantoms. Can she return to the rarified ‘civilization’ that has abandoned and betrayed her? Is there a way to live or is it better to die?

Marguerite argues with her Nurse, Damienne (Heli Kivilaht)
On board ship, Marguerite meets Eugene (Christopher Oszwald)

Produced at the Alumnae Theatre, Toronto, April 10 – 25, 2015.  Director:  Molly Thom

“Emotionally and psychologically packed….The storytelling is taut and compelling, shifting in and out of memory and hallucination”
 Life With More Cowbell Full review lifewithmorecowbell.wordpress.com.
Marguerite (Daniela Pagliarello) mourns the loss of her son
All production photos by Bruce Peters
“Everything that theatre should be”
Victoria Shepherd, Director
Click here for the trailer to get a taste of the show.

You can also click  Follow the Playwright, an initiative of the Playwrights Guild of Canada to read more about I am Marguerite and see me read a short scene from the play.

Cartoon by costume designer Peter de Freitas

Sample Pages

An earlier version of the play was produced by Black Box Theatre in Prague, Czech Republic in December 1994. Director: Alan Kinnaird and by Theatre By the Bay, Cornerbrook, Newfoundland. July/August 1997. Director: Roy Robitschek. There were also readings at Manhattan Theatre Source, New York, Feb 2, 2002.  Director:  Eva Van Dok and at Art Word Theatre, Toronto, June 30, 2004.  Director:  Molly Thom.

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