Cheryl Cashman Cheryl Cashmann Cheryl Cashman
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Cheryl Cashman

"Roads Taken"
Factory Theatre - Toronto - 1983

The idea for "Roads Taken" was to create a performance piece - not from the life of one woman - but from three, who began with the same odds for and against them, and made three different choices with what to do with their lives.

Years before, I had seen and been stunned by Edvard Munch's painting, "The Dance" and the image came back to me of the woman in White, the woman in Red, and the woman in Black.

I researched but rejected Harlowe; Monroe didn't seem right; so finally - even though "Evita" had been done - I chose Eva Peron. Then Maria Callas came, and finally Georgia O'Keeffe.

My image was of three pedestals, each holding a large crystal that the audience would pick up and examine through the light; each crystal in turn. (Later I realized that the three caskets in the "Merchant of Venice" were in my subconscious as well).

I made a sketch of each woman. Then invited Marsha Coffey, a fine musician and composer, to write and perform the music live. The back-projected slides were photos of the woman throughout their lives - except for Georgia whose paintings were projected on the screen as well. I did their rise to power in clown nose and back projections because everyone was familiar with that part of the story.

Roads taken - what would each choose? And how would that be reflected in their lives and deaths?

For me, Eva chose power; Maria art and fame, and too late love; and Georgia inner peace. (None of this was stated in the play of course).

In the end, I say in a brief epilogue; "There is a fourth woman who doesn't exist yet - one who can be an artist, have a family, children and a community as well. There is a fourth woman who doesn't exist yet."

Eva Peron Maria Callas Georgia O'Keeffe
Character Sketches by Cheryl Cashman

"Roads Taken" Photography by Lee Wildgen

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