You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video.
© Benoît Daoust

La conquête du béluga

Maryse Goudreau , Théâtre À tour de rôle

At dawn or at sunset, political discourse is transformed into a historical, poetic epic about belugas, a poignant reflection on our connection to living things.


Nature Is Watching Us

At dawn or at sunset, five members of parliament address a crowd on the shore of the St. Lawrence River. They talk about fishing rights, the economy, protecting marine species. Their powerful, direct voices mix with the captivating sounds of the marine mammals at the heart of the debate. Originally created for the quay in Carleton-sur-Mer on Chaleur Bay by Théâtre À tour de rôle, this theatrical reading delivered by performers from the Gaspé Peninsula is going on the road for a meeting with the St. Lawrence. It’s a spectacular epic combining geopolitics and poetry.

A masterfully crafted work by multidisciplinary artist Maryse Goudreau, La conquête du béluga features selected transcripts from 150 years of debates about belugas in Canada’s House of Commons. While conveying the unedited words of ministers and deputies, Goudreau chooses to show, among others, the influence of female politicians and subtly introduces the Inuit’s essential perspective on our relationship with these fascinating animals. It’s a poignant reflection on our connection to living things.


Produced by Théâtre À tour de rôle

Conceived by Pascale Joubert + Dany Michaud

Text Maryse Goudreau

Directed by Johanne Haberlin

Dramaturgy, Set Design, Text originally adapted and directed by Philippe Cyr

Performed by Catherine Audet + Pierre-André Bujold + Kevin Doyle + Johanne Lebrun + Dany Michaud

Sound Design Richard Dunn with the participation of Melissa Girvan from recordings by Maryse Goudreau

Advisor Guy Sioui Durand

Translation and voice in Inuktitut Nancy Angilirq

Stage Manager Jean-François Dugas

Co-produced by Festival TransAmeriques

With the support of Ville de Carleton-sur-Mer + Centre d’artistes Vaste et Vague (Carleton-sur-Mer)

Premiered at quay in Carleton-sur-Mer on July 31, 2021

Montreal première

Written by Sophie Gemme

Translated by David Dalgleish


© Mathieu Bouchard

Maryse Goudreau (Escuminac)

A multidisciplinary artist from the Gaspé Peninsula, Maryse Goudreau began a long cycle of work about belugas in 2012. She studied their behaviour and political and poetic significance, dove with them, filmed them, and recorded their sounds, building up a comprehensive archive. Aligned with an eco-feminist approach, her hybrid work combines photography, video, installation, performance, visual art, writing, and documentary research.

Full biography
© Benoît Daoust

Théâtre À tour de rôle (Carleton-sur-Mer)

A vital creative hub based in Carleton-sur-Mer in the Gaspé Peninsula, Théâtre À tour de rôle initiated and produced this stage adaptation of Goudreau’s work. The company, which has been producing and promoting theatre arts since 1985, focuses on powerful texts by francophone authors and maintains strong links with the community. Pascale Joubert, who recently succeeded Dany Michaud as artistic director and general manager, is generating a new buzz around the company by, among others, favouring a hybrid approach to art.

Full biography