|We formed The Cygnet Theatre Company in 1997 in order to produce Samantha's Holocaust drama STAR at the Fringe of Toronto's Theatre Festival. We have respect for the audience's commitment of time and money in the hope of being entertained and edified, so we strive to deliver theatre that is as straightforward, essential and immediate as possible. Like SNAPSHOT, STAR was an ensemble piece that had company members performing multiple roles and it was Cygnet's first experiment with having players never leave the stage to accomplish transitions with their multiple-role-playing. Audiences responded to to our stripped-to-the-bone, no-nonsense high-energy performance style, and SNAPSHOT went even further down this path.
In addition to Fringe productions Cygnet has conducted acting workshops, staged readings and script workshops as part of an on-going effort to increase professional and artistic alliances and to benefit the theatre community at large.
We workshop at the beginning of our productions in order to streamline the script for narrative clarity and playability. Specific talents of individual actors are brought into focus and utilized as are their backgrounds and cultural heritage. We use the flexibility of the workshop approach to avoid typecasting, instead choosing the best actors we can find regardless of race, background and gender and shape the piece according to what they bring to the table. This policy has proved to be not only appropriate to Canada's multiculturalism, but also inspiring. At all times, our mandate is to produce work that is truthful and vital with minimal staging requirements that does not inhibit the moment by moment realism of the performances. We intend to continue this approach, even in our first "non-original" production of the great John Patrick Shanley's DANNY AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA, because of its vitality and lack of encumbrance. Cygnet focuses on the essentials of the raw intersection of Actor / Text / Space / Audience and Action.
Christopher Comrie, Toronto, 2003..