'To Live, Darling,' a new show from The Rejane Project

The story of Belle Époque actress Réjane from humble to haute, using text, movement, music & the plays that made her famous. Réjane’s life was, and is, art.
Ilana Turner
Los Angeles, California
United States
3 Team Members
The Rejane Project is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of The Rejane Project must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.


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“To Live, Darling” tells the story of comedienne Réjane, from humble to haute, using text, movement, music and the plays that made her famous during the Belle Époque. "To Live, Darling" is both written and assembled. Writer Ilana Turner has culled Réjane’s plays, and uses extant text from these plays and her own writing to create on- and off-stage worlds that collide. At the beginning of "To Live, Darling," extant plays are named, sometimes as ‘plays within the play.’ Then, scenes or lines from existing plays begin to weave seamlessly into original dialogue, so that ‘onstage’ and ‘backstage’ worlds crash together just as they did in Réjane’s life as a working mother. As Tina Fey said, “The life of a working parent is constantly saying 'This is impossible,' and then you keep doing it.” Réjane did it 125 years ago. With the project’s first institutional support from Art viaCorpora, “To Live, Darling,” finally has a physical home in Los Angeles. 

After five years of intensive research, three development periods, one workshop and inclusion in the staged reading festival “Playwrights Express” by First Stage, The Réjane Project’s “To Live, Darling” is ready and ripe for full rehearsal and production. Said Rico Gagliano of the Dinner Party Download, "I saw scenes from 'To Live, Darling' at a showcase of new work, and was struck by its humor, intelligence and style -- kind of Howard Hawkes meets Moulin Rouge. Can't wait to see a full production that gets to play with the piece's ingenious backstage/frontstage structure."

Les Createurs

The Réjane Project creative team are Writer Ilana Turner; Director Christopher Sivertsen; Musical Collaborator Adrien Reju; and Dramaturg Tonia N. Sutherland. Between them the team has created original, transcenedent physical theatre productions all over Europe; published articles in international magazines; performed leading and award-winning roles in film, TV and theatre; made several beloved records widely available on itunes; and (almost) finished one a propos PhD in Archives and Performance.

Ilana Turner has been working as a writer and actress for 10+ years. She has written for Elle magazine’s E. Jean Carroll, international publications and for web sites, including Turner Broadcasting. With Dramaturg Tonia N. Sutherland, she also co-authored and presented an academic paper on the use of historical research to create the original work of The Réjane Project (see below for details), and has lectured to Univeristy of Pittsburgh Masters students on the same subject. On stage, Ilana has starred in a world premiere at Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Suzan-Lori Parks' 365 Plays for 365 Days. On screen, Ilana has worked for HBO, Sci Fi Channel and Spike TV. She also starred in the BAFTA/LA finalist film "The Red Ace Cola Project, dubbed, "Fun, weird, and a little disturbing, just how I like it" by Rico Gagliano of the Dinner Party Download.

Christopher Sivertsen’s company, The Awake Project, is based in and funded by Västerås, Sweden."Christopher Sivertsen and the Awake Project have composed a dance of death with the same beautiful melancholy as Lou Reed's 'twilight' ballad "Perfect Day." (Dan Linder in VLT 3rd June 2012) During his 7 years in Poland's Teatr Piesn Kozla, he developed and performed the multi award-winning Chronicles - A Lamentation. With Timberlake Wertenbaker and Irina Brown, Christopher is a founding member of Natural Perspective TC in London, together. Christopher movement-directed Edward Kemp’s production of his own adaptation of Kleist’s Pethesilea, then directed Antigone, both at RADA. 

As a solo artist, Adrien Reju has shared the stage with the likes of singer/songwriters Amos Lee, Jim Boggia, Geoffrey Gaines, and Susan Werner. Her new record, Lucky Ones, is now available on itunes. Two songs from her debut solo album, “A Million Hearts” were placed in the movie Flower Girl. Adrien’s song “When the Curtain Falls” earned 1st place in the Pop/Adult Contemporary category and 2nd Place Overall in the 2009 100% Music’s Songwriting Contest, and was a top-12 finalist in the 2009 New York Songwriters Circle Songwriting Contest. Adrien is also Réjane's great-great-granddaughter.

Tonia N. Sutherland is currently pursuing a PhD in Archives and Performance at the University of Pittsburgh where her research includes performing arts archives, orality in the archives and documenting and preserving intangible cultural heritage. With Ilana Turner, Tonia authored the paper, "Madame Sans Genre: A Unique Collaboration Between Artist and Archivist," about the creation of an original work from research. Sutherland and Turner presented the paper at 2010 American Society for Theatre Research/Theatre Library Association/Congress on Research in Dance. Tonia is a member of the Theatre Library Association, the Dramatists Guild of America and the Society of American Archivists. She is a storyteller at heart.

Where your money goes

All funds donated to The Réjane Project will fund a short October workshop in Los Angeles. Art viaCorpora is partnering with The Réjane project to fully develop "To Live, Darling." This fall, a portion of the newly revamped script will be staged for the first time and staged  as a work-in-progress showing on October 11th at Art/Works Theatre. In the spring, the full show will be rehearsed and staged in full. This fall showing will give the Director time to incorporate very necessary movement into a physical theatre show, and introduce "To Live, Darling" to the Los Angeles theatre community at large.

Private donations have made The Réjane Project possible. The Réjane Project is a sponsored projected of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of The Réjane Project must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by the law. No amount is too small - seriously.

Why this show is important

In her day Réjane was as famous as her colleague and friend Sarah Bernhardt. Réjane premiered works by Sardou, Meilhac & Halevy and played the first French translation of Ibsen's "A Doll's House." Réjane was Ibsen's favorite Nora. Réjane ran her own theatre (still standing as Théâtre de Paris) and toured the world. Réjane had children, married, divorced and as part of her divorce proceedings was awarded the right to sign her own contracts at a time when women were still legally obligated to have their husbands sign for them. Today, most people have heard of Sarah Bernhardt; almost no one remembers Réjane. 

Such remarkable women often slip through the cracks of history. Ilana only became familiar with Réjane's story through Adrien's familiy. (Their two families have been friends for decades.) Adrien's family has provided unfettered access to Réjane's original letters and photos, all of which inspired The Réjane Project. Research has taken the team to Paris (BnF, Moulin Rouge and more); New York; Bennington, VT; Seattle and Los Angeles.

Other Ways You Can Help

Even if you can't support The Réjane Project, you can help!

-Please, please share this link with people - every helps The Réjane Project be seen by more people. You can use the Indiegogo share tools.

- Like The Réjane Project and Réjane on Facebook.

- Donate time to look for applicable grant/funding opportunities;help produce fundraising events or salons; host the creative team when in Los Angeles; do PR; or man the concessions/box office/help in the theatre when the show is in rehearsals.


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This campaign ended on October 31, 2012
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  • $25USD
    Grand Croix

    A big shout out on The Réjane Project Facebook Page and an autographed program from the show. (fully tax-deductible)

    3 out of 50 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2012
  • $100USD

    A big shout out on The Réjane Project Facebook Page, inclusion in the show program, an autographed program from the show and one ticket to the show. (amount over $20 is tax-deductible)

    2 out of 25 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2012
  • $250USD

    A big shout out on The Réjane Project Facebook Page, inclusion in the show program, an autographed program from the show and two tickets to the show and wine when you get there. (amount over $40 is tax-deductible)

    0 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2012
  • $500USD

    A big shout out on The Réjane Project Facebook Page, inclusion in the show program, an autographed program from the show, two tickets to the show, wine when you get there and a special backstage tour to meet the cast and crew. (amount over $40 is tax-deductible)

    0 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2012
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