An interview with Onegin's Meg Roe

When did you first come on board to the project, Onegin?
I was first invited to sing a couple of songs in Amiel Gladstone's living room in 2013, along with Alessandro Juliani and Josh Epstein...I think that's who all was there. Veda Hille was there too, obviously, and I was so intimidated! Veda is a real hero of mine, had been for years, I really wanted to impress her.

Onegin refers to the name of one of the main characters, Evgeni Onegin. Eugene Onegin was originally a Russian novel in verse written in the early 1800’s. How has this musical adaptation transformed the telling of this story?
The musical picks up the plot and characters from the poem and the opera and really just plops them into a very theatre-y, very modern kind of world. It's all less formal than the source material, looser, a bit more rock and roll, but it doesn't stray too far from the original romance and drama. There's more vodka in ours.

Originally Russian literature, the story of Onegin has since been translated into many other languages. Do you speak any other languages? Can you tell us something in Russian?
Lyubov. (Means: Love)

Evgeni Onegin is performed by your real-life partner, Alessandro Juliani, but this is not the first time you have performed together. How does Onegin differ to those past performances?
Alessandro and I are really lucky to get to work together so often, and it's always kind of a re-invention. This show is particularly fun because we're so devoted to the rest of the Onegin company, it's like we've added this big extension to our family.

You play Tatyana, who falls in love with Onegin. How would you describe your character?
Tatyana is smart and curious. She has this amazing drive to pursue and discover the world around her, and she learns fast and adapts to what she finds.

How do you identify with her most?
In the show there's a very thin line between the performers and the characters, more than in most plays I'd say. We flip back and forth between being ourselves and being our characters so much that at this point it all seems pretty synthesized.

How has portraying the character of Tatyana personally changed you?
Singing your head off in over 100 performances of a show you love with people you adore can only make you a better, shinier person.

You grew up in the Calgary area and spent many years here but now reside in Vancouver. What were your experiences growing up in the theatre community in Calgary?
Calgary is an amazing community and one that I feel very grateful to have had my start in. I love coming back to perform here and feel really privileged to work with the truly talented creators, actors, producers, technicians, and directors you've got. Calgary has been one of my greatest influences as an artist.

What do you miss most about Calgary?
Sky. Sun. Eye contact.

What do you miss least?
-28 plus windchill.

Theatre Calgary is currently celebrating our 50th year, and we are so happy to have you returning to our stage! What are some past memories that you have of Theatre Calgary?
Oh man. Well I did my first show at Theatre Calgary when I was 11 and have been lucky lucky to appear a few more times over the years. Mostly I think about people who've shaped how I work....Tracey Trak Hooper, Christopher Hunt, Susan McNair many more. Great humans who taught me how to be better.

If you could describe Onegin to our audiences in one word, what would it be?
Fun. Come.