Cispersonnages en quête d’auteurice
Exploring Blind Spots
In his famous play Six Characters in Search of an Author, Pirandello called into question the legitimacy of his actors and denounced the theatre of his time for its inability to approach truth through fiction. A century later, it’s the turn of Catherine Bourgeois, who cannot resist the temptation to gum up the works of theatrical artifice in this play featuring a group of actors in search of meaning. As ethical concerns proliferate, creative possibilities disintegrate, and soon the group seems trapped in the solitary domain of reality, in all its complexity.
Should we be ashamed of our dreams? What does it mean to be a character in a play? Do we always hide our moral failings? Do you believe in unicorns? These are the thorny, unsolvable questions tackled by Joe Jack & John as the company makes its first-ever appearance at Festival TransAmériques. P.S.: It’s a comedy!
Produced by Joe Jack & John
Written, directed and designed by Catherine Bourgeois
Performed by Maryline Chery + Guy-Philippe Côté + Edon Descollines + Pénélope Goulet-Simard + Hubert Lemire + Michael Nimbley + Audrey Talbot
Costume and Set Design Amy Keith
Lighting Design Jean Jauvin
Sound Design Alexander MacSween
Text Collaborators Pénélope Bourque + the performers + Louis Girandello
Dramaturgical Advisor Sara Fauteux
Surtitles translation Bobby Theodore
Surtitles Operator Delphine Ricard
Support and coaching Paul-Patrick Charbonneau
Assistant Director Pascale Courville
Set Design Assistant Alizée Milot
Costume Assistant Carolie Delisle
Production Director Pénélope Bourque
Technical Director Kyllian Mahieu
Stage Manager Audrey Belzile
Sound and Sound Manager Andrea Marsolais-Roy
Co-produced by Festival TransAmériques + Théâtre Gilles-Vigneault
With the support of National Arts Center (Ottawa) + Prêts, disponibles et capables
Presented in association with Espace Libre
Premiered at Festival TransAmériques, on May 30, 2023
Written by Sara Fauteux
Translated by David Dalgleish
About the artist
Catherine Bourgeois (Montreal) Joe Jack & John
Scenographer and director Catherine Bourgeois, who remains at the helm of the company she co-founded 20 years ago, continues to cultivate this unique creative space that is always driven by the pursuit of the unique.
In 2004, Joe Jack & John performed Quand j’étais un animal (Manuel de taxidermie) at a small Montreal venue, O Patro Vys. With its atypical cast and performative aesthetic, their wonderful, incongruous first show opened up a new space where seldom-heard voices rang out and an open-ended formal approach flourished. Scenographer and director Catherine Bourgeois, who remains at the helm of the company she co-founded 20 years ago, continues to cultivate this unique creative space that is always driven by the pursuit of the unique.
Each of Joe Jack & John’s multidisciplinary, collaborative stage projects reasserts its commitment to formal exploration and desire to reflect on the relationship with the other in today’s world. After Dis merci (2018), a gripping work that tackled the immigration crisis and the power dynamics that govern our social relations with a keen eye, the company further enhanced its approach by integrating some neurodivergent artists with whom it collaborates into its creative team. Most recently, the visual artist, poet, dancer, and actor Edon Descollines presented the multidisciplinary performance Le magasin ferme (2021), while the performer Michael Nimbley contributed Les Waitress sont tristes (2022).
Placing people at the heart of its artistic vision, Joe Jack & John continuously strives to equip both its administrative and creative structures with human and organizational resources that support seamless processes and genuinely inclusive works.
« Catherine Bourgeois porte toujours haut et fort le flambeau d’un théâtre s’interrogeant sur les normes sociales avec pertinence et ludisme. »
Christian Saint-Pierre, Le Devoir, 2022-09-16, about Les Waitress sont tristes
« Faire entendre haut et fort la parole de personnes qu’on n’entend que trop peu dans notre société. »
Karine Tessier, JEU, 2022-09-24, about Les Waitress sont tristes
« L’acte de spectature dépasse les limites du geste artistique et devient une expérience humaine ! »
Karine Tessier, Jeu, revue de théâtre, 2022-09-24 about Les Waitress sont tristes