The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan

The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan

by The Old Trout Puppet Workshop

April 1–18, 2010

It's breathtakingly original. - Vancouver Courier
The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan

“Look at you. You are… so beautiful. But so lonely! I love you. I was born only to love you.”

The Ghost of Don Juan is summoned from Hell to repent for his sins, and to tell us the tale of his nefarious life so that we may avoid his fate.  But does he truly repent?  Is he a monster or a saint?  He will attempt to save us from our amorous errors, and deliver a sermon of universal love.  In the end, we are liberated from our fears, and what we thought would be a simple evening at the theatre becomes a transcendental orgy that will change us forever.
Most nights, anyway.  Depends on the audience.

Conceived and Written by: Peter Balkwill, Mercedes Bátiz-Benét, Pityu Kenderes, Judd Palmer and Vanessa Porteous
Performers: Duval Lang, Pityu Kenderes, Don Brinsmead, Anne Lalancette
Music composed by George Fenwick
Set & Lighting Design by Cimmeron Meyer
Puppet Costumes by Jen Gareau
Stage Management by Mitchell Craib

March 30 & 31; Opens: April 1; Runs Through: April 18th; 2-For-1 Tuesdays: April 6 & 13

READ: Production Notes

April 1–18, 2010

Previews March 30
Opening April 1



Duval Lang

Duval has been very active in the dynamic growth of the Calgary theatre community for the past 35 years. He was a co-founder and Artistic Director of Quest Theatre, a prominent Canadian theatre for young audience company for 25 of those years. He is now busy as a freelance actor and director across the country. He was last seen in Halifax this January as Hitler and Disney in the much-acclaimed play, The Blue Light. Other favourite roles include an award winning Capulet in Theatre Calgary’s Romeo and Juliet, Sigmund Freud in Alberta Theatre Project’s Why Freud Fainted, Gustave in Heroes for Sage Theatre, Dressler in The Dishwashers for Downstage Theatre and the back in the news Wiebo Ludwig-like Reverend in Ghost River Theatre’s award winning musical An Eye For An Eye. Duval is also a recipient of the Harry and Martha Cohen Award for significant and long-term contribution to theatre in Calgary.


Pityu Kenderes

Pityu Kenderes is one of the founding co-artistic directors of the Old Trout Puppet Workshop. Pityu is a sculptor and painter and puppeteer, in live theater and for film. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Nova Scotia College of Arts and Design, and a Graduate degree in Fine Arts from the University of Calgary.


Don Brinsmead

Don Brinsmead was discovered amongst crates of discarded puppets, stored in an abandoned gypsy caravan, once owned by a Dutch circus which became defunct in the early 1930s. Restored to what researchers believe to be original condition, he is proud to now be contributing to the Old Trout repertoire.


Anne Lalancette

Anne has a great passion and curiosity for arts of all kinds. Mostly known as a puppeteer and performer, she takes great pleasure working as a clown, visual artist, illustrator and graphic designer as well. She has taken several workshops and courses over the years from renowned professionals in puppetry and physical theatre. In 2006, she performed as a clown in Peru with Patch Adams, the famous doctor, bringing joy to over one thousand afflicted souls. In her home town of Montreal, she has her own puppet company, called Princesse Patate; its first show, Le Grand Cirque Minuscule, has toured Quebec extensively. Hired last year by the company as an apprentice, she enjoys living the life of an Old Trout very much.


Peter Balkwill

Peter Balkwill is one of the founding co-artistic directors of the Old Trout Puppet Workshop. He holds an MFA in Acting from the University of Washington in Seattle (2000), as well as a BFA in Theatre from University of Victoria (1997). He has served as the head of movement at the University of Victoria (2001/2002) and has led workshops extensively in Canada and the U.S. Peter has worked nine summers and four full seasons at the Rocky Mountain YMCA, Outdoor Centre, instructing groups through environmental education.


Mercedes Batiz-Benet

Mercedes Bátiz-Benét is a multi-disciplinary artist and writer. She was born and raised in Mexico and in 1997 she moved to Canada. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing and a BA Honours in Philosophy from the University of Victoria, as well as a Diploma in Film Production. She works in theatre and film and has extensive experience in both mediums. In theatre she has specialized in Image Theatre, Theatre of the Oppressed, Mexican Spectacle Theatre, puppetry, mask, and Shadow Play.  Productions of her work include Faust: Ignis Fatuus, at the international festival “Faustfest,” Shining Through, Lágrimas Crueles, and as co-writer, The Secret Sorrow of Hatchet Jack Macphee for The Caravan Farm Theatre in BC. She is the poetry, fiction, and non-fiction editor at Bayeux Arts, and her first children’s book, Lunar, is forthcoming in April.  She is currently co-writing a feature length screenplay, working on a puppet play, and has just been commissioned to write We are Here, a new play about the immigrant experience in Canada for Puente Theatre in Victoria, BC.


Judd Palmer

Judd Palmer is one of the founding co-artistic directors of the Old Trout Puppet Workshop, and so thinking up puppet shows is his main bag, God help him.  In recent years his focus has been on the Old Trout Film Division, directing the award-winning Old Trout/NFB Christmas special From Naughty to Nice.  Judd is also a writer and illustrator – three of his books have been shortlisted for the Governor-General’s Award for Children’s Literature – and long ago he was the singer and slide banjo player in the Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir.  He lives with the woman of his dreams and their son Max, who is planning on turning one in January and will grow up to be a great conqueror.  Except the good kind of conqueror.  A conqueror for goodness.


Vanessa Porteous

Vanessa Porteous is the newly appointed Artistic Director of Alberta Theatre Projects and a Calgary-based director and dramaturg. This is her second project with The Old Trout Puppet Workshop, for whom she directed the world premiere of Pinocchio in 2004 (Betty Mitchell Award, Outstanding Production.) Her article about that experience appeared in Canadian Theatre Review this spring. Recent directing work includes: the world premiere of Tyland by Greg MacArthur (Alberta Theatre Projects, Enbridge playRites Festival), the world premiere of Queen Lear at Urban Curvz Theatre; Ravel’s short opera The Enchanted Child, with Calgary Opera Emerging Artists, for which Vanessa also did production design; Suddenly Last Summer at Mount Royal College; and When That I Was… with The Shakespeare Company, for which Vanessa also did production design. Other work includes The Syringa Tree at Alberta Theatre Projects (twice) and at Thousand Islands Playhouse; two short operas, La Divina and Le portrait de Manon, with Calgary Opera Emerging Artists; and Proof, Plan B, Respectable, The Hobbit, and the world premiere of Why Freud Fainted by David Rhymer, all at Alberta Theatre Projects.


George Fenwick

George Fenwick is a free-lance composer and sometime librarian, journalist, violinist and arts administrator.

He has been involved in the new music scene in Calgary for the past decade through his work with the Canadian Music Centre and Land’s End Chamber Ensemble.  Currently, he is a member of the Spiritus Chamber Choir, and is treasurer for New Works Calgary.

Recent performances include The Benevolent Predator, by Land’s End Chamber Ensemble, and Fickle, by Vancouver pianist Corey Hamm.  In November 2008 the Calgary Youth Orchestra and Mount Royal Kantorei choir premiered The Splendid Line, a work commissioned for the CYO’s 50th anniversary.

Fenwick’s score for The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan was nominated for a Betty Mitchell award in 2009.  He is currently working on commissions for the UCalgary String Quartet, and the Spiritus Chamber Choir.


Cimmeron Meyer

Cimmeron is alumna of the National Theatre School of Canada and an award-winning theatre designer.  Selected designs include: for The Old Trout Puppet Workshop, Famous Puppet Death Scenes, The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan, Ignorance, for One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre,  Dream Machine,  Featherland, A History of Wild Theatre, for Ghost River Theatre,  Sailor Boy, The Alan Parkinson’s project, Confessions of a Paper Boy, for Ground Zero Theatre Closer, Reasons to be Pretty, Urinetown, the Musical, Writer’s Block and The Full Monty, for Vertigo Theatre, Travels with My Aunt,  Snake in the Grass, The Mystery of Irma Vep, Shear Madness.


Jen Gareau

Jen Gareau is happy to still be making ridiculously small clothing for Old Trout puppets. Her first show with the Trouts was The Tooth Fairy, and Jen has designed for and costumed puppets for every Old Trout show since.


Mitchell Craib

Mitch is very excited to be on a new tour with The Old Trouts. A Calgary based Man of the Theatre and a graduate of Mount Royal College, he has been working with the Old Trouts since 2006 where he has played all across Canada, the United States, and France in Famous Puppet Death Scenes; Also, for the company, Mitch worked on the short film The Miserable End of Don Alonso and the music video for Feist’s Honey Honey.  Other favorite credits include:  Directing: Wedgie, Intervention (THEATREboom), Assistant Directing: Sailor Boy (Czapno Ensemble), Stage Managing: Heaven’s to Murgatroid (One Yellow Rabbit), Mesa (Ghost River Theatre), Trick Riders (Sheri D Wilson). Trance Canada, Ivanka’s Perfect Christmas (Lunchbox Theatre).