Interview: Eric Robitaille of FIGARO at Nutley Little Theatre

Check out the interview!

By: Apr. 10, 2024
Interview: Eric Robitaille of FIGARO at Nutley Little Theatre
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Interview: Eric Robitaille of FIGARO at Nutley Little Theatre Nutley Little Theatre presents FIGARO by Charles Morey, directed by Eric Robitaille. FIGARO is a modern day adaptation of the classic French play “Le Mariage De Figaro”.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Eric. 

Please tell us about yourself. 

I have always had a passion for creating and storytelling since I was a young kid. The worlds of my toys and in my mind felt just as real and important as our physical world that surrounds us. So it is no surprise to me that I found my way to the arts.

I always found myself immersed in the worlds of movies, books, and games. These stories that have been used by humans as a tool for generations to tell the stories of ourselves, our history, and our future. And to be part of that, that long standing worldwide tradition of storytelling is a dream come true.


Please tell us about your involvement in the theater.

Theater has been an active part of my life since middle school where I began preforming in school productions. Very quickly I moved on to my high school shows and community theater. It was there in the community theater circuits of New Jersey where I found my interest in directing. From there my attraction to theater only grew.

I went to Marymount Manhattan College for Directing and New Media, focusing on not just theater but many other art forms such as TV, film, and video games, so that I could write and direct regardless of what art form opened up for me.

And that brings us to now, I am a few years out of college and have returned to my roots in New Jersey Theater to continue my journey of artistic improvement to work on pursuing a career out of this art we all know and love.


What inspired you to direct this piece?

I was first exposed to this play in a dramaturgy class where we read it through the lens of historical understanding and how adaptational works maintain or change things compared to the original version. Though once the class moved on to the next play this one still stuck with, and I would find myself revisiting it again and again. It was a show that made me laugh just reading it after all.

Years later, I am going through my collection of plays deciding what to submit to Nutley Little Theater for their season. What plays could be physically done on their stage; what plays can work with their demographics. And I came back to Figaro.

A topical piece, that is relevant and hard hitting, while still being charming and funny. The play leaves room for nuanced conversation while still finding space to directly present its thesis to the audience. Often times people can forget that just because a play is a comedy it can't have a greater message or story to tell, and that is something this play does wonderfully. Which is why I knew it would be such a great choice for a theater that loves to take chances on works that aren't done as often.


What do you want your audiences to take away from this show?

The central idea behind this play is taking the classic and associating it with the present. This is a classical play from the French Revolution but has been translated and updated to modern times and comedic sensibilities. And everything we have made with this production is made to enhance that central idea.

From the beautiful French chaetae that is going through a modern grey renovation, to the costumes being used to signify a character's wealth. The more modern the wealthier the more period the poorer. 

Though it may be a comedy this play was born from the French Revolution. Class struggle, workers' rights, and woman's role in society are at the heart of not only this play, but also the period it was originally written and what we see now in our modern day.

So, if the audience can some, laugh at the antics of this crazed French court, hear the reality of these character's struggles, and maybe just maybe leave with an appetite for those wealthy few who sit above us all. This play will have done its job.

Any upcoming projects you will be working on after this? (Directing, acting, etc.)

I a few yet to be announced directing projects so do keep an eye out for those. As well as a bit of writing, a bit of design, and some new media projects, all in the early stages. So do follow along and see what comes next.


Anything additional you would like to add?

I want to thank all the amazing support the team of Nutley Little Theater has given this production. Without their time, effort and energy this production would be only a fraction of what it is now.

Figaro – Gabe Michelson

Suzanne – Melanie Tischler

Count Almaviva – Jim Simpson

Countess Almaviva (Rosine) – Anne Kenny Simpson

Doctor Bartholo – Allen Roberts

Marceline – Tara Spinelli

Fanchette – Asuka Kimara

Cherubin/Doublemain – Diana Severin

Bazile/Antonio/Bridoison – Nelson Valentin

Performances will be April 12th– 27th. 4/12, 13, 19, 20, 25, 26 & 27 at 8:00 PM & 4/14, 21 & 27 at 2:00 PM.

The crew includes:

Eric Robitaille - Director

Amirah Hillman - Assitant Director

Miranda Madrazzo - Stage Manager

Artwork is by Steve Crooks.

Tickets:

Tickets can be purchased ahead of time online at ShowTix4U – Free Online Ticketing – Schools, Community, Regional

Tickets will also be available at the Box Office. The Box office opens 45 minutes before show time. We only accept cash, Venmo and PayPal at the Box Office. 

Doors open a half hour before show time. Please note, seating is not assigned. Seating is on a first come first serve basis. 

About Nutley Little Theatre:

For 90 years, Nutley Little Theatre has been producing high quality theatrical entertainment for the enjoyment of Nutley residents and surrounding communities. Started in 1934, NLT prides itself on providing a range of live theatre: the all-volunteer organization presents six mainstage shows per year, showcasing a range of genres including musicals, comedies, and drama. It also offers free Readers’ Theatre performances, special events, and creative workshops that bring people together from all walks of life from in and around Nutley. 

Nutley Little Theatre is located at 47 Erie Place, Nutley NJ.

Please note, the theater is NOT handicap accessible. 

No outside food or drinks will be permitted. 

Parking:

There is a small parking lot right outside of the theater. Our traffic volunteers will hold these parking spots for elderly or pregnant patrons. There is a parking lot located at the school across the street. You may also park on either side of Brookfield Ave. Please note, parking is NOT permitted on Erie Place. 

For more information, please visit NutleyLittleTheatre.com and follow us on Instagram and Facebook. 




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