L’HISTOIRE RÉVÉLÉE DU CANADA FRANÇAIS, 1608-1998
Food, water travel and heating: three aspects “revealed” in this unusual, burlesque and sometimes troubling journey through the unknown history of French Canada.
THE INCONGRUOUS STORY OF A NATION THAT MAKES NO SENSE
Between a French Canada that refuses to die and a Quebec that has yet to be born, it comes as no surprise that history here (which dreams of its capital H) has not been transformed into a glorious narrative. Even so the Nouveau Théâtre Expérimental, fuelled with assumed erudition and megalomania, pursues three shortcuts in a journey through four centuries of Quebec history: staying warm, water travel and food, three aspects of history “revealed” in an unusual epic portraying who we are.
The complete version of this astounding historical trilogy that the NTE, at its most outrageous and its most baroque, has created to mark its 35th anniversary, is being presented only at the FTA. We know nothing – obviously! – of the final section of the triptych, Le pain et le vin, other than the fact that Jehane Benoît will be ranked as highly as Gaston Miron, Frontenac and other timber raftsmen from the Mauricie, merging into this unpredictable saga where the burlesque rubs shoulders with the serious in an obstinate quest to detect a common course in our history.
PRODUCED BY NOUVEAU THÉÂTRE EXPÉRIMENTAL
WRITTEN BY ALEXIS MARTIN
DIRECTED BY DANIEL BRIÈRE
PERFORMED BY GARY BOUDREAULT + BENOÎT DROUIN-GERMAIN + STEVE LAPLANTE + PIERRE-ANTOINE LASNIER + ALEXIS MARTIN + FRANÇOIS PAPINEAU + DOMINIQUE PÉTIN + CARL POLIQUIN + DANIELLE PROULX + MARIE-ÈVE TRUDEL
SET DESIGN MICHEL OSTASZEWSKI
COSTUME DESIGN JUDY JONKER
LIGHTING DESIGN NICOLAS DESCÔTEAUX
VIDEO YVES LABELLE
SOUND DESIGN ANTHONY ROZANKOVIC
COPRODUCTION FESTIVAL TRANSAMÉRIQUES
WRITTEN BY PAUL LEFEBVRE
TRANSLATED BY NEIL KROETSCH
WORLD PREMIÈRE AT FESTIVAL TRANSAMÉRIQUES, MAY 23, 2014
ALEXIS MARTIN + DANIEL BRIÈRE | NOUVEAU THÉÂTRE EXPÉRIMENTAL (MONTRÉAL)
Rigour and Nonchalance, Silliness and Seriousness
Created in 1979 after seceding from the Théâtre expérimental de Montréal (founded four years earlier), the Nouveau Théâtre Expérimental (NTE) was initially led by director and writer Jean-Pierre Ronfard (1979 to 2003) and the actor and playwright Robert Gravel (until 1996).
Since its inception the NTE has steadfastly adhered to certain ethical and aesthetic positions: a creative process that is decentralized, non-hierarchical and democratic with each individual responsible for the collective work, decision-making based on a unanimous consensus (and not on a majority), a questioning of the vocabulary and codes of representation through a deliberately minimalist theatrical style and, above all, a spirit driven by a profusion of ideas, playfulness and derision – a form of assumed casualness. Its performances almost always create tensions between theatre and literature, history and philosophical questioning. Over a period of 35 years the NTE created some one hundred shows, including landmark works: Vie et mort du roi boiteux (1981-1982), Les objets parlent (1986), Durocher le milliardaire (1990), Tête à tête (1994), Matines : Sade au petit déjeuner (1996), Les Mots (1998), Hitler (2001), Bureaux (2003), Sacré Cœur (2008) and Ronfard nu devant son miroir (2011). Alexis Martin and Daniel Brière, both long associated with the NTE, are now the artistic directors.