Satie Et Cocteau: A Rehearsal of a Play of a Composer by a Poet

Erik Satie and Jean Cocteau
By Mike Czuba

A Staged Reading

July 22, 2013

Erik Satie and Jean Cocteau were both giants in the world of art and music and the relationship between these two brilliant, eccentric men, sometime collaborators, sometime rivals, marks the basis of this United States premiere. Mixing both high and low art, which was Cocteau’s wish, this play includes elements of meta-theatricality and a little surrealistic magic.

Set in a deserted theatre in 1939 New York, Cocteau attempts to direct an actor in a play about Satie based on Cocteau’s memories of him. We see the actor as himself or is it the actor as Satie or perhaps Satie himself.

Robert Orledge, UK Composer and Satie scholar says the play is “…a truly excellent piece of theatre which deals convincingly and imaginatively with one of the most fraught love-hate relationships in modern French art. It has real depth and excellent dramatic pacing and is a work of art in itself.

Composer Jamie Croft also from the UK wrote: “I really admire your vision of the relationship between the two. Even as someone who rarely reads theatre scripts I can see the production very clearly. I love the use of shadow plays and the constant presence of the piano(s) and the music. I recognize Cocteau’s voice very clearly in your play. From the Cocteau and the Satie side, it reads as totally authentic.

About the Author

Mike Czuba, a native of Montreal, is currently an acting instructor at the University of Calgary having previously taught at Concordia University in Montreal. He is a published playwright (I AM I), with an MFA and BFA in playwriting.

Selected writing credits: SATELLITES, Sage Theatre’s 2012 Ignite festival (also Director and Designer).The Adventures of Don Marcos Sebastian Guevara Fantastico, Wagon Stage 2011. Hope Is Dead, won Walterdale Theatre’s ‘Cradle to Stage’ competition May 2011. I AM I, Dancing Monkey Theatre 2009, Centaur Theatre’s Wildside festival, January 2011 and in Calgary by Theatre Transit, April 2011. Waiting on the Thunder at Sage Theatre’s 2010 Ignite! festival (also Director). The Elusive, Tableau d’Hote Theatre – Won “Best in Montreal” 2008 in the Montreal Mirror. Founding Member of Dancing Monkey Theatre in Montreal.

His play REPRISE was runner-up in the Infini Theare’s 2011 Write on Q competition I Montreal where for the first time in the contests history, the jury, awarded a cash prize out of their own pockets. More recently REPRISE placed second in the 2012 Alberta Playwrights Competition

Cast & Crew

Bernard Rice* as Cocteau and Cory Krebsbach* as Satie, Directed by Katie Horwitz.

*Member of Actors’ Equity, the union of professional actors and stage managers.