Rogé Francoeur dreamed of acting as a youngster, but it was behind the scenes rather than on stage that he was to make his mark. His studies in Fine Arts in Quebec and sculpture at York University in Toronto led him to a career creating props for film, theatre and television productions.
Rogé started in film as a set decorator, model-maker and props designer. He worked on many features, including Emile Radok's Taming of the Demons (1985) which was instrumental in his choice of career. He also applied his three-dimensional point of view to Shadow of the Wolf (1992) directed by Jacques Dorfmann, the 1993 TV movie Zelda directed by Pat O'Connor, and Screamers (1995) directed by Christian Duguay.
In 1996, Rogé Francoeur worked as a creative assistant, set decorator and model-maker for Cinema Avenue Japan, a major film exhibition in presented in Tokyo. For the past six years he has taught prop design and set painting at a college in Saint Hyacinthe, Quebec, and he is currently completing a Master's degree in teaching with a thesis on show creation.
Rogé's first formal association with Cirque did not come until 1992 when he worked with the costume designer Dominique Lemieux on the creation of Saltimbanco. He went on to work with set designer Michel Crête, creating props for the shows Mystère and Alegría in 1993 and 1994. Since 2003 he has been a consultant on R&D projects for Cirque and has also worked closely with the costume department. He says it was his work on Alegría that really caught the attention of the company, which led to KOOZA – the first time he has worked on a Cirque show as a designer.
"KOOZA is an exploration of the world of the clown, as imagined by David Shiner," he explains. "The performances of the comic actors are at a very high level and the props must never upstage their characters. My constant preoccupation is to keep things simple, ergonomic and compatible with the set design. My approach to prop design is impressionistic. Props are often only fully revealed when seen from a distance, or under lighting."
Rogé Francoeur was born in 1963 in Macamic, Quebec.