Stephanie Iszak, Lindsey Angell, Daniel Arnold

If emotion can be manufactured, how do you ever know if you are truly loved?

Single men are hard to come by in 1970’s West Germany, so when Karin Maynard meets the handsome Markus Richter, she can hardly believe her luck. But with Markus continually away on business, thoughts of his infidelity begin to consume Karin. The Romeo Initiative is half romantic comedy, half spy thriller with a tantalizing twist, inspired by true stories in Cold War Germany.

 West German secretaries were targeted and psychologically profiled to determine their “perfect man”, at which point the Stasi (East German spy agency) would recruit the man and send him to seduce her according to her unique psychological profile.

Daniel Arnold, Lindsay Angell
[Daniel Arnold, Lindsay Angell]

Written by Trina Davies, The Romeo Initiative was developed through the Vada Playwrights Retreat in Italy and the Banff Centre for the Arts. The Romeo Initiative also won the National 2008 Enbridge Award for Established Artist and was first performed as part of the Calgary’s 2011 National PlayRites Festival of New Plays at Alberta Theatre Projects.
Touchstone’s production features three of Vancouver’s finest young actors. Daniel Arnold (Influence, Tideline, Lawrence and Holloman’s co-writer/lead actor/producer) tackles the role of the charismatic Markus, while the central role of Karin is played by Lindsey Angell (The Merchant of Venice, currently starring in the Arts Club Theatre Company’s Venus in Fur). Recent Studio 58 grad Stephanie Izsak rounds out the cast as Lena. 

The Romeo Initiative will be directed by Touchstone’s Artistic Director Katrina Dunn, and supported by Set Designer Drew Facey, Lighting Designer Adrian Muir, Sound Designer Owen Belton, and Costumer Designer Mara Gottler.   

The Romeo Initiative

Dates: November 15 to 23 (Tuesdays to Sundays), 8 pm; November 16, 23, 2 pm matinees
Venue: Vancity Culture Lab 1895 Venables Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Adults, $27; students/seniors, $22; available online or via phoning 604.251.1363
2-for-1 Preview: November 14, 8 pm

About Touchstone Theatre

For 38 years, Touchstone Theatre has been a mainstay of theatrical innovation and excellence on the West Coast. The company’s all-Canadian mandate has helped to both launch and develop some of the country’s most important theatre artists, and its substantial body of work has garnered over 60 local and national awards.

All photos by Emily Cooper.

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