Pôle sud : documentaires scéniques
Their names are Serge, Jacqueline, Johanne. In reinvented documentary theatre, they reveal their extraordinary experiences and improbable destinies in the Centre Sud neighbourhood.
Jacqueline, a former stripper. Serge, a welder-artist. Johanne, former drug addict. They live in the Centre Sud neighbourhood of Montreal. Onstage, the contours of a teenager’s room or of a high school, places that hold the memory of their past and their intimacy. Reinventing the codes of documentary theatre with cinematic narration, Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette and Émile Proulx-Cloutier sketch a few sublime portraits with palpable tenderness.
There are eight of them. Eight anonymous individuals with extraordinary pasts now together in a discreetly unusual neighbourhood. They have lived improbable lives between the Radio Canada/CBC tower and the festive fragrances of the gay village. At the invitation of the theatre Espace Libre located a few blocks away, they reveal themselves in a staging anchored initially in audio that becomes a delicate mise en scène of the human presence. A powerful docudrama, Pôle sud… is a reminder how any destiny, even the seemingly most insignificant, is always deeply moving.
Produced by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette + Émile Proulx-Cloutier
Research and interviews Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette
Direction, conception, editing Émile Proulx-Cloutier
On stage Serge Blais + François Julien + Johanne Larose + Mélissa Michaud + Vanessa Michaud + Cybèle Pilon + Marc Ouimet + Jacqueline Vigneault
Sound operators Martyne Morin + Catherine Van Der Donck in association with Jocelyn Lauzon
Conception sonore Nicolas Basque + Ilyaa Ghafouri
Interviews edited by Michel Cordey in association with Mélanie Chicoine + Mathieu Arsenault
Music Mathieu Désy + Émile Proulx-Cloutier
Decor, costume design and props Karine Galarneau
Lighting design Lucie Bazzo
Lighting design Assistant Catherine Fournier-Poirier
Technical director, video and sound manager Dominic Dubé
Researcher Annette Gonthier
Assistant Director Catherine Comeau
Presented with the support of Espace Libre in association with Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal
Written by Philippe Couture
Translated by Neil Kroetsch
Premiered at Espace Libre, Montreal, on May 10, 2015
Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette + Émile Proulx-Cloutier (Montreal)
One of the most talented couples on the Quebec arts scene, Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette and Émile Proulx-Cloutier shine as solo artists, he as an actor and singer-songwriter, she as a filmmaker and novelist.
Together they form a documentary film duo engaged in a quest for new portrayals of the world around us, sensitive to both big and small stories, with a profoundly humanist and empathic touch. In their film Le plancher des vaches, they presented a year in the lives of atypical students learning about agriculture and livestock on a farm. In their theatre plays, first Vrais mondes in 2014 at the Cinquième Salle and then Pôle sud… at Espace Libre in May 2016, they invent an original form that employs the audio interview as a vector for stories and confessions, as well as the striking stage presence of those whose story is being told. They bring out the uniqueness of these non-actors by inviting them onstage as they are, with no attempt at performance. Their shows invent a new aesthetic of documentary theatre by bypassing the filter of the actor, thereby avoiding most of the artifices of self-representation and the staging of oneself.
After studying at the Conservatoire d’art dramatique de Montréal, Émile Proulx-Cloutier established a strong reputation performing in plays directed by Alexandre Marine, Loui Mauffette and Martin Faucher, in addition to several roles in film and on television. His first album, Aimer les monstres, was released in 2013. A graduate of the University of Montreal and of INIS, Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette is renowned for her fiction films, Le ring and Inch’Allah, and also for her novels Je voudrais qu’on m’efface and La femme qui fuit, all well received by the critics.