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© André Broudreault

Sur tes traces

Dany Boudreault , Gurshad Shaheman

Gurshad Shaheman and Dany Boudreault each hand over the keys to his existence to the other for a fascinating game of intimate story-telling where East meets West.


Who are the people who left a mark on us? What places, actions, and events shape our lives? A Quebecer from Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and a Frenchman of Iranian descent devise a game in which each portrays the other. In pursuit of intimate truths, each explores the other’s territory and carefully excavates stories from the past. By handing over the keys to their existence, they reconstruct each other’s lives through a theatrical experience that reveals its significance layer by layer.

In their very first collaboration, Gurshad Shaheman and Dany Boudreault—each a writer, poet, and renowned performer in his own right—blur the boundaries of documentary theatre. A one-on-one encounter haunted by a multitude of voices, Sur tes traces is a polyphonic piece that follows and interweaves fascinating life paths from East and West. And it will be up to us, the audience, to decide which destinies we will follow.


Produced by La Ligne d’Ombre + La Messe Basse
Written, directed and performed by Dany Boudreault + Gurshad Shaheman
Sound Design Lucien Gaudion
Set Design Mathieu Lorry-Dupuy
Lighting Design Julie Basse
Lighting Design Assistant Joëlle LeBlanc
Dramaturgy Youness Anzane + Maxime Carbonneau
Costume Design Bastien Poncelet
General Manager Pierre-Éric Vives
Assistant Renaud Soublière
Dany’s Interpreter in Turkey Saeed Mirzaei
Transcription of testimonies Khadija Fadhel
Administration Emma Garzaro
Production Directors Jérémie Boucher (Québec) + Julie Kretzschmar (Europe)
Production structure in European territory Les Rencontres à l’échelle, resident organization at Friche la Belle de Mai (Marseille)
Co-produced by Festival TransAmériques + Maison de la Culture d’Amiens + CCAM / Scène Nationale de Vandoeuvre +Les Tanneurs (Brussels) + Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels) + Le Manège Maubeuge + Le Quai CDN Angers Pays de la Loire + Théâtre de la Bastille (Paris) + Festival d’Automne à Paris + Théâtre Prospero
With the support of Drac Hauts-de-France + Région Hauts-de-France + Fondation Cole
Creative residency Le Phénix, Scène Nationale Valenciennes

Presented by Hôtel ZERO1 in association with Centre du Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui

Premiered at Les Tanneurs, Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels), on May 15, 2024

Written by Elsa Pépin
Translated by David Dalgleish


© Sarah Latulippe

Dany Boudreault (Roberval)
La Messe Basse

An actor, writer, and poet, Dany Boudreault has taken part in around thirty theatre productions. In 2012, along with Jérémie Boucher and Maxime Carbonneau, he founded the theatre company La Messe Basse, which favours a queer approach to creation.

Full biography
© Jeremy Meysen

Gurshad Shaheman (Tehran)
La Messe Basse

Gurshad Shaheman has been writing and performing his own works since 2012. His work draws on life stories, both his own and, as in Il pourra toujours dire que c’est pour l’amour du prophète, those of LGBTQ+ refugees from the Middle East.

Full biography