MOLL: Behind the Scenes Blog 2

Submitted by Ethan Chapman ('17) on 11/17/2017

ABOUT THIS BLOG My name is Ethan Chapman, and I have the honour of introducing the cast of the world premiere of Moll, and the soon-to-be graduating class of December 2017. We have spent two years working with industry professionals at the Randolph College for the Performing Arts (formerly the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts) to further develop our dance, acting and singing skills. We’ve risen above all challenges thrown at us and have gone through blood, sweat and tears to prove to ourselves that we are meant to be in this industry.

We’ve done the work, we’ve put in the hours, and now it’s time to take what we’ve learned to the stage in what will be the world premiere of an original Canadian musical, Moll, written by some of Canada’s top creative talent -- Music and Lyrics by Leslie Arden; Book by Leslie Arden and Cathy Elliott with Anna Theresa Cascio;-- and directed by the RCPA’s artistic director Tamara Bernier Evans.

Loosely based on Moll Flanders, Moll is the story of an orphan’s struggle to rise above the life she has been handed. Born to a suicidal drug addict, Sarah is passed through the foster care system. Time and time again she is abused and neglected, until her desperate need for survival leads her to a life as a sex worker. Her story is echoed by the many other marginalized characters featured in the show, opening a window of perspective for the audience.

Moll is in its second week of rehearsals, and the process so far has been incredibly exciting, challenging and rewarding. We are originating the roles in this show, and therefore feel a responsibility to portray these characters as true-to-life as possible. They aren’t made-up characters; they are people you see (or choose not to see) every single day, people who have no voice of their own, but still have a point of view. The challenge is staying true to these characters and what the root of their wants and needs are, as well as finding a positive intention in a far-from-positive situation. Each of us continues to research our characters, and every day we bring a deeper perspective of the people we are portraying. Just recently we had Children’s Aid Society workers come into our rehearsal and share their stories. They gave us beautiful and heartbreaking insight into the life of a foster child, which helps us proceed respectfully and genuinely in our work. Each day a new challenge presents itself, but the moment we conquer it is so rewarding. When we unify character, story, music and movement, the beauty of this piece really glows. We are thrilled to be a part of this process, and cannot wait to open the proverbial curtain in a few weeks. You definitely don’t want to let a ticket for the world premiere of Moll slip through your fingers.

Sadly, days before rehearsals for Moll had started, we were informed that the show’s playwright Cathy Elliott had suddenly passed away. Our love and support goes out to Cathy’s loved ones at this difficult time, as well as her friends, colleagues and anyone who had the honour to work with her. Cathy leaves behind a beautiful legacy that is received all across Canada throughout the arts community. During our process for Moll, we will honour her work, her legacy, and pay beautiful tribute to an artist who was taken far too soon.


  • November 28-December 2 at 8 p.m.

  • December 2 at 2 p.m.



  • Annex Theatre (730 Bathurst Street)

Directed by Tamara Bernier Evans

Music Direction by Jason Jestadt

Choreographed by Amanda Nuttall