500 ans plus tard

Six playwrights from six countries present original texts on a common theme: the “Discovery of the Americas” 500 years ago. The organizers of six international festivals signed the “San José Agreement” at the Festival Internacional de San José por la Paz in Costa Rica in the fall of 1989.


This project of international co-operation involving playwrights and theatre artists from several countries was born of the conviction that festivals should be forums for creation and cultural exchanges. This extraordinary theatrical initiative and inter-cultural dialogue was the fruit of a remarkable commitment by the following participants: Festival Internacional de Caracas (Venezuela), Festival Iberoamericano de Bogota (Colombia), Gran Festival Ciudad de Mexico (Mexico), Festival Internacional de San José por la Paz (Costa Rica), Festival Iberoamericano de Cádiz (Spain) and the Festival de théâtre des Amériques (Canada).

Each festival has invited a playwright from its own country to write a new work wich will be staged by a foreign director. The project will culminate in 1992 with the production of all the works created in each participating country. Over the last twelve months, the writers, who have met several times, have written their plays about the events of five hundred years ago that marked the destiny of this continent. The works will be presented to the public for the first time as part of the Festival de théâtre des Amériques.

On May 31 and June 1 and 2, this special event will bring the six playwrights and their directors to Montréal, along with many foreign colleagues and producers. The participating writers are: Daniel Gallegos from Costa Rica, Michel Garneau from Québec, Vicente Leñero from Mexico, Carlos José Reyes from Colombia, Rodolfo Santana from Venezuela, and José Sánchiz Sinisterra from Spain.

The first night, excerpts from the six texts will be read in French by Québécois actors. Over the next two days, the authors will read their texts in the original, in an informal setting. Proceedings will wrap up with a reading of Michel Garneau’s work by the author himself.

Six individual looks at our collective past and present. A major chapter of the history of the Americas, reinterpreted by six playwrights, 500 YEARS LATER.


Event coordination: Linda Gaboriau