In Cispersonnages en quête d’auteurice, you tackle head on a number of ethical questions that have featured prominently in the discussion of social issues during recent years. What impelled you to create this show?

 A number of years ago, I shared with my creative partner Pénélope Bourque the idea of developing a project revolving around social positions that result from dogmatic thinking and that often fuel conversations in recent times. Then, in my professional life, a situation occurred that prompted me to seriously question my role and that of my company in the theatre world.

Because of its artistic and political viewpoint, Joe Jack & John has a specific position in debates about the representativeness and accessibility of theatres and audiences, as well as feminism and activist engagement. I’ve always worked to foster openness and exchange, but I know that having a very strong vision is sometimes an impediment to dialogue. We also know, of course, that people come together around shared visions and that, over the long term, these can become more narrow, more rigid. In an attempt to shift my perspective and stay flexible, I therefore immersed myself in reading authors whose visions are very different from mine—further toward the right of the political spectrum.


You have worked with neurodivergent performers and casts which are diverse in every respect for many years. In what way do you think working with an inclusive team can illuminate certain aspects of these sensitive topics?

Too often, ethical questions are addressed in a climate of fear. We’re worried about sharing our opinion, speaking about certain things, making a mistake… I wanted to take the opportunity to create a space with more freedom. I have also often had the impression that the discussions surrounding the fight for more equality and inclusion in matters of identity and ideology are actually rather exclusionary… In fact, there are many social debates about which I say to myself, “Yes, that’s relevant—but if a truly diverse group of participants were invited to the table, including my neurodivergent colleagues who are directly affected by these issues, the conversation wouldn’t be accessible to them at all!”

I therefore had the feeling that working with an inclusive cast would give me a new perspective. When sitting down at the table to work with the Cispersonnages en quête d’auteurice team, we had to define the concepts and specify many elements between us. Many times, these conversations led to difficult discussions, but we maintained a positive atmosphere that allowed everyone to express themselves. In this context, conclusions seem less obvious and viewpoints cannot be as entrenched. It’s my impression that the majority of the audience will identify with the ideas that impel the play’s characters.


At Joe Jack & John, the text is often developed collaboratively during rehearsals. For Cispersonnages en quête d’auteurice, your name appears as the primary author. What led you to take charge of the writing for this show?

Joe Jack & John Jack et John is a company focused on exploration and creativity, so working continuously to refresh our models and methods is part of our process. I believe that a certain amount of instability pushes you outside your comfort zone and provides fertile ground for creativity. This is the metaphor I used in Dis merci: you have to be careful not to settle for an overly comfortable armchair. When you’re seated on a stool, in a slightly precarious position, you’re forced to stay active, more alive and aware, in touch with the world.

During the evolution of the company, I’ve always seen myself as an intermediary—the person who picks up the microphone so she can pass it to someone else. This time, I wanted to give myself a different role. This show is without doubt the least collaborative in the company’s history—and perhaps the least ethically acceptable as well. I made different choices in many respects, particularly in terms of the text. It was of course informed by discussions with the team, but it was really put together based on my preoccupations. I’m putting words in the mouths of my actors for the first time!