Artistic Directors, Creators, & Producers
Eat the Cake Studio
Brought together by their shared love of stories, history – and cake! – Frances, Elena, Maddy and Jen have united their creative powerhouse strengths to create Eat The Cake, an experience design studio dedicated to redefining the experience of storytelling and audience engagement. Let Them Eat Cake, their debut show under the banner of the new company, is an intimate retelling of a turning point in the French Revolution from the point of view of legendary icon, Queen Marie-Antoinette.
Rachel Calvo, originally from Australia, is a portrait photographer based in Paris. She specialises in creative boudoir, family portraits, themed portrait shoots and modern personal branding. Whether you want to dance in front of the Eiffel Tower, fulfil your gothic heart’s desire at Père Lachaise cemetery, or create a beautiful Vanity Fair style studio portrait, a photoshoot with Rachel will be an entirely memorable experience. The results will not only blow your mind, but create a legacy for you and future generations to cherish forever.
Mathieu da Vihna (c)Thibault Grabherr
Mathieu da Vinha is a French historian. He defended his thesis on the chambermaids of Louis XIV and is a specialist of the French court of the 17th and 18th centuries. Among his numerous written works, we can note his most recent book, Dans la Garde Robe de Marie-Antoinette.
Joleen Emorry - Make-up Artist
Joleen Emory is a Franco-American make-up artist who splits her time between Paris and LA. Certified through L’Institut Technique du Maquillage in Paris and having worked in television, theatre and fashion for 10 years, she is passionate about what she does. She has worked for various French TV channels such as France 2, M6 and NRJ12, just to name a few. Her fashion and bridal editorials have been published in various magazines and blogs internationally. She has always loved the beauty of the 18th century and has made it her specialty. She was part of the makeup team for the documentary ‘Le Versailles Secret de Marie Antoinette’ made by Arte and does makeup every year for the Bal Masqué de Versailles
My name is Janine Springall. I have a love and passion for cooking from an early age as a child. I loved learning from my Great Grandmother’s and Grandmother’s in the kitchen when I was little.I grew up in Seattle, Washington in the US and gained a degree in classical French Cuisine and pastry
Applied science, whilst working in fine dining restaurants and private dinner clubs. I moved to France with my husband in 1998 where I continued to broaden my knowledge in the culinary arts. I was also lucky enough to travel and discover more about international cultures through food.
I started L’Assiette de Paris 10 years ago with cooking classes and specialized cakes and pastries, later to include events, weddings and private parties throughout Paris and the suburbs.
Imyra Santana is a musician and musicologist born in São Paulo, Brazil. Having graduated with honors in violin from the University of São Paulo, Imyra also plays the piano and accordion. It is mainly to the latter instrument that she devotes most of her focus today. Since 2004, Imyra has been participating in numerous productions as both musician and musical director. Currently, she divides her career between performing and university research in music history. Her research focuses on the careers of women instrumentalists in France in the 18th century. Imyra is currently completing her doctorate at Sorbonne-Paris IV.
A passionate woman with multiple talents, Claire has had a long career in designing for the mediums of film, television and theater. Her repertoire of productions includes films such as: “Les Nuits Révolutionnaires” by Charles BRABAN, “L’enfer” by Claude CHABROL, “Laisser-passer” by Bertrand TAVERNIER, “Bandidas” by Joachim ROENNING and Espen SANDBERG, “Arthur et Les Minimoys” by Luc BESSON, and “L’Instinct de Mort” by Jean-François RICHET.
Claire’s ability to adapt to all genres and styles offers her the flexibility to create sets in accordance to each project’s needs. For her, the decor is the key element. It is the artist’s ideal partner, the setting in which to showcase the actors’ work. Claire is passionate about translating the directors’ ideas into a relevant and aesthetic space of play and ease, and is always ready to take on creative challenges that transport the audience into another dimension.
Jonathan received his Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Motion Pictures and Television from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California. He has 20 years of experience writing for games, film, television and plays. He has also worked as a writing coach and deeply enjoyed guiding clients throughout their creative processes. Jonathan possesses a deep passion for collaborating with like-minded individuals, and crafting dynamic characters and compelling storyworlds. He currently lives in Oakland, California with his partner of many years.
Original Collaborating Cast
Agathe is French and has lived half of her life in England, Italy and the US. Performing both in French and English, she wrote and directed her first short last March called “Muops”.
Let’s just say storytelling is what she loves most.
Now, storymaking with Let Them Eat Cake might just be the cherry on top.
Charlotte is an actress with many skills : she rides horses, speaks 6 languages, fences, sings and dances. On screen, her latest participation was in the French series, Alice Nevers. On stage, she directed a play called “Hugo l ́Interview” where she plays the interviewer (the play has been running since 2016) and Charlotte is currently finishing to write a play on Calamity Jane. She played the character Olympe Mancini in 2012.
So she is very excited to participate in the arrival of immersive theater in France, especially for an international audience. The decor and costumes of the XVIIth century combined with involving the audience in the plot are a very strong motivation to be part of “Let Them Eat Cake”.
Chiara Maxia is a multilingual actress and writer. Born on the Italian island of Sardinia, she has lived in different countries including England, Russia and France. She started her acting training at a young age, in Italy, and continued her studies in London and Paris, where she graduated from her Film Acting program in 2019. In the meantime, she took part in various plays, films and video-art projects. In 2018 she published her first poetry collection “Flirt”. A second collection will be released in Spring 2020.
Elena Odessa Ray
Elena was born in California where she caught the theater bug at around the age of 11. That was when the answer to the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” became irrevocably “an actress.” She took classes in improvisation, acting, dance and voice and continues her training with her voice teacher and occasional workshops. Her indomitable thirst for learning and adventure brought her to France a first time and she fell in love with the place and so, after a few years of university in the US (she ended up with a degree in linguistics, following her father’s advice to have “something to fall back on”) came back to France for good. She has never stopped acting in various theater projects, clown, burlesque, short and feature films, voice work, institutional films, and perhaps her biggest claim to fame: playing Annie Oakley in the Wild West Show in Disney Village Paris for the last ten years. She recently created an “almost” solo show, Ma Voix, about her quest to find her voice as a singer and her path as an artist. She is thrilled to be a part of Let Them Eat Cake and is also a co-founder of the company.
Born in Germany, Florian moved to Paris in 1999. Florian graduated at the SORBONNE University in Development studies with a focus on the relations of training and employment. He has been practicing various forms of theatrical improvisation since 1993 and was trained by some of its greatest teachers (Keith Johnstone, Mick Napier, Ira Seidenstein, Tim Orr, Patti Stiles…). He has also played and taught at numerous theatre festivals (London, Lyon, Amsterdam, Honolulu, Seattle, Lima, Vancouver, Milan…). He is an improviser through and through, an actor and director as well as a teacher and corporate trainer. Florian founded the Parisian theatre school Impro Academy in 1999 and since 2001 has co-directed the
English-language improv troupe, The Improfessionals and Schwarzbrotgold (creation of shows in German). In 2011 he created « NEW – The Improvised Musical » an improvised musical in French and English. Since 2004 he has been training improvisation and creativity techniques to MBA students in the ESLCA School of Commerce in Paris, as well as other business schools. For the last 15 years Florian has been training managers all over Europe. Florian is a world citizen and speaks 3 languages fluently: German, English and French, and quite a bit of Spanish and Italian. He trained with the UN and has travelled in more than 50 countries. He loves sharing his international view, his creative ideas and his team spirit.
After having played several English productions in the capital, Jonny developed Slyfm, a “new-folk”, guitar-voice project which he played solo in the cafés of Paris. He then discovered clowning at the Samovar school where he worked with artists like Fred Combe, Yvo Lying, Alex Bermand and Christine Degliame.
Since 2012 he has been working with the American clown, Ira Seidenstein in France and Australia. He participated in many clown cabarets and street festivals in the Parisian region. He is a founding member of the Requiem project, an experimental and immersive clown theatre production, which has created exceptional theatrical events in the Parisian region since 2015. He was a dancer, clown and MC with Burlesque Moulin, a burlesque company also based in Paris, and he teaches theatre to children and adults at the TAM in Montreuil.
I’m born in a town in Sweden just opposite the famous castle of Kronborg which is where Hamlet lived once upon the time. I knew I wanted to do acting from the age of ten when I had been part of a play where I played an old man who had to witness his daughter’s dead body. It was during a parent meeting. It was a very interesting first role. I studied drama at the University of Gothenburg and acting at Arts Educational School of Acting in London. In pursuit of new adventures, I moved to Paris in 2003.
I also started a career as a guide where I can use my acting skills to tell stories, but also it’s a choice because of my love of history. I do very often guided tours of Versailles and love sharing its history with everyone.
Margot Lourdet is a french actress. She grew up in the Jura, a mountain range in the east of France. She started acting in high school and did not stop.
At 21 years old, after graduating from the drama conservatory of Besançon she came to Paris.
She acts in shorts movies and feature films, like “La Crème de la Crème” by Kim Chapiron. She works in theater too in different kind of plays.
Some comedies like “Un nerf de tango” by Patrick Phil Massé, some classical works like a text by the Marquis de Sade “L’égarement de l’infortune/ Le comte Oxtiern” directed by Sylvain Martin and some fantasy like “L’auberge des loups” by Christophe Dagobert.
She has also acted in some independent cinema productions with directors like FGKO, Martin Ziegler …
She also trained in the Meisner technique in Los Angeles with Kim Farant and Iris Klein.
Mia Leahy trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She then went on to work in theatre in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Europe, most notably at Pitochrie, Theatre Clewydd, Sadler’s Wells and the Albert Hall in London. Mia also toured with the English Shakespeare company and the ATC. She founded the Fairyfacts Theatre company commissioned by Kidscape and wrote and devised plays dealing with bullying in primary schools. Radio work includes a sci-fi series for American radio – Milwaulkee and the sci-fi convention in LA and she’s a frequent guest on GLR radio to review new plays. Mia won best actress at the London New Play Festival for her role in Shattered Peace. Since moving to Paris Mia has been working at Theatre Atelier de Montreuil teaching, writing and performing.
Pauline is half-american, half-French and grew up in Paris. She studied drama at the Ecole Claude Mathieu and received her DET (Diplôme d’Etudes Théâtrales) from the EDT91 in 2017. Pauline’s passion for acting, clowning, dancing, modeling, bodypainting, and improvisation has led her to a vast and varied career. She has played leading roles in the independant films Aya, Secondaire, After Dark, and Alive.
Her immersive theatre credits include the portrayal a schizophrenic mystic little sister in Noces de Coton a behind-closed-doors-whodunnit signed Juliette Colin, and Mary Stuart in the eponyme bilingual creation by Sean Hardy. Pauline can be seen in various commercials and she is part of the original Phantasmaphone experience, a troop of actors who anonymously reads literature over the phone. She is an integral member of Les Affreux, a special effects horror monster theater group and she works with emerging young theater companies to explore innovative forms of expression.
Excited by the process of creation, this bubbly, bilingual, hardworking artist is thrilled to be working with Eat the Cake Studio and embraces the challenge of interpreting the historical character of “Marie Antoinette” in Let Them Eat Cake and in the online experience Ladies of Versailles.
Stephanie didn’t start out as an actress. As a qualified chartered accountant, her career paid the rent while she took classes in singing and acting in her spare time. She appeared in many concerts in Winchester Cathedral, the Royal Albert Hall and others, quite often broadcast live on radio, and was cast as understudy to the lead soprano in several amateur productions of opera (Faust, Carmen) and musical comedies. When her finance career brought her to Paris in 1989, the almost total absence of “am-dram” persuaded her to enrol in a professional acting class. Since then she has appeared in some French plays, but mainly in English-language productions onstage (notably as Mrs.Eynsford-Hill in the Chatelet production of My Fair Lady in 2013), film (minor roles in films directed by François Ozon, Jean-Jacques Annaud, Benoit Jacquot…, and lead roles in several short films including the title role in The Landady, a movie shot in 3-D by David Steiner, and on television (Mme.Secretan in episode 3 of the series Versailles in 2018).
Victoria got interested in theater at a young age, playing in school theater productions or following a professional make up artist to learn about make up. She went on to learn acting at EICAR for one year, and started to work immediately as an actress/singer for Parc Asterix. There she met her artistic family with whom she has worked for more then 10 years, doing special events and shows all over France as an actress or as a mistress of ceremonies.
From 2009 to 2012 she worked as an aerial acrobat, but has since returned to her first love : acting. She is thrilled to be working on this exciting immersive project.
Yohann Chopin is an european actor based in Paris. He traveled to Italy, the UK and the United States to train for his craft. He starred in the film « Creators – the Past », an Italian Sci-fi film released on March 19th 2020 with William Shatner and Gérard Depardieu. In Italy and France, he has played in various TV shows like « Versailles » or « Rosy Abate ». He can speak French, English, Italian, Spanish and Swedish.
He is a trained horse-rider and loves period drama pieces. Therefore, it was with ease and excitement that Yohann joined the cast of “Let them eat cake – the Show”.
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