Tasty interview with the author and the actresses of Crème-Glacée


Marie-Hélène Larose-Truchon, the author of Crème-Glacée, as well as the 3 actresses, Sabrina Auclair, Marion Barot and Mariana Tayler, completed our survey. We get to know them, in resonance with the characters of the play!

1) Which Crème-Glacée character do you look like and why?

Marie-Hélène : The four characters have several common features: They are highly sensitive and very passionate. I would say that I am like all the characters put together, I’m spontaneous and crazy like Madame Sa mère, I love my solitude like La Vieille, I’m casual like Samantha … but Crème-Glacée is the one that looks like me the most. She loves a good story, poetry, and classical music, she is interested in things most other girls are not interested in … As a child, I often felt different.

2) What is your favorite ice cream flavour?

Marie-Hélène : I like many flavours, from hazelnuts to pralines; I also like the taste of coffee but overall, chocolate wins every time.
Mariana : Chocolate.
Sabrina : Cookie dough, yummy!
Marion : The taste of lavender! In addition to smelling good, it calms and soothes the mind.

… read more

Did you know ? Winter 2018

Various current projects under way for the artists working for Théâtre la Seizième…

Joey Lespérance, the actor you saw in Bonjour, là, Bonjour or Des fraises en janvier, is part of the cast of šxʷʔam̓ət (home), a show about reconciliation with the indigenous community. Currently on tour in 21 BC and Alberta communities, the play will be presented March 2-10 at the Firehall Arts Centre.
Actress and theatre creator Emilie Leclerc is in Singapore with Alley Theatre to begin collaborating with The Necessary Stage. This new play talks about colonialism, immigration, emigration, foreign policies and mixed ancestry. This is the first phase of creation for a show that will be produced in Singapore and Vancouver in 2020.
During 2018, you’ll be able to see several projects by Marie-Hélène Larose-Truchon, author of Crème-Glacée, our upcoming young audience production. Her play Minuit, published in November, will be presented February 6-21 at the Théâtre Denise-Pelletier in Montréal and in April at the Rencontres Théâtre Ados, a festival dedicated to teen theatre. The play Histoire à Plumes et à Poils (co-written with Erika Tremblay-Roy and David Paquet) will be on tour this winter and spring in Québec (RIDEAI) and Montréal.
Leanna Brodie, who translated the surtitles for Pourquoi tu pleures…?,  is currently working for various productions coming out this spring : I lost my husband from the company Ruby Slippers Theatre (Gateway, Richmond, March 2018), Gamètes (public reading on May 2018), and Dis merci from the company Joe Jack et John (Harbourfront, Toronto, June 2018).
Actress Lyne Barnabé (Bonjour, là, Bonjour and Lapin blanc, Lapin rouge) lent her voice as narrator for the TV show Maux mystères produced by Red Letter Films (Surrey) and broadcasted on Canal Vie since January 14th. She also recorded the book Sur les berges du Richelieu for Audible.


Happy holidays!

Time has come for rest, winter sports, afternoons in front of the fire
and moments of sharing with friends and family.

We wish you a warm and joyous holiday season, a time that will provide you all the energy
to start 2018 on the right foot. May all your wishes come true.
See you in January

The team of Théâtre la Seizième

P.S. Please note that our offices will be closed from December, 23rd to January, 2nd.

Interview with the Straight Jacket Winter’s team

Esther Duquette & Gilles Poulin-Denis. Photo: Emily Cooper


Straight Jacket Winter is back on the road. Next destination : Montréal, Caraquet and Moncton. Less than a week before opening night at Théâtre La Licorne (Montréal), we have news from the team in rehearsals. Esther Duquette, co-writer, co-director and actor, answers our questions between two work sessions.

1- How is the team preparing for this return to the stage, after a one-year hiatus?

The whole team just assembled in Montreal to get the show running again! We have one week of rehearsals, and then it will be show time at Théâtre La Licorne. During the first few days, everybody is a bit disoriented. But soon, we relearn our text and get back into our old habits. Most of the information is stored in our brains. It’s just a matter of finding it again! We are lucky to be able to rely on the original cast (Frédéric Lemay and Julie Trépanier). It really speeds things up.
Each tour is also an opportunity to fine-tune the staging and the text. Because Gilles and I are playing ourselves, and because our lives continue to evolve, it’s important to update what we are saying. It’s a matter of authenticity and sincerity. We are also adapting some elements according to the audience, which helps us create a greater complicity with its members.

2- It is the first time that a production by Théâtre la Seizième will be performed in Montréal. How significant is this?

Montréal is undoubtedly the epicentre of French-language theatrical creation in Canada. It’s where most of the shows are created, and it is home to a deep pool of theatre artists. Performing in Montréal is an opportunity to show our work to our peers and to enter into dialogue with them in a different way. Montréal audiences have the reputation of being demanding. Every season, they can see many shows. We are a bit nervous about this upcoming encounter, but we have faith in Straight Jacket Winter. We have had the good fortune to perform this play more than 30 times across the country and, each time, it moved the audience and initiated a conversation about isolation and life as an expat.

3- Most performances of Straight Jacket Winter in Montréal have sold out for several weeks, despite the scheduling of two additional performances. That must feel good?

Yes! We are, of course, thrilled that we’ll get to play for nice packed houses! Word of mouth got going with our previous tours, and it looks like it made it all the way to Montréal. I think the connections we are making with Réjean Ducharme’s novel L’hiver de force during the show have probably helped generate interest. Montreal has a special fascination for this unclassifiable author who passed away recently. We should also mention that La Licorne (home of Théâtre de la Manufacture) is a venue that has a fantastic reputation. Its shows are in great demand! Needless to say, we are very excited…

4- After Montréal, you go further east for a quick stop in New Brunswick, at the other end of the country (literally). How was this tour organized?

More than two years ago, we workshopped Straight Jacket Winter in front of an audience at Zones théâtrales, in Ottawa. Maurice Arsenault, the artistic director of the Théâtre populaire d’Acadie, in Caraquet, was in the hall. He really liked the show and decided he wanted to present it, even though he did not approve of the English title! [laughter] Marcia Babineau, the artistic director of Théâtre l’Escaouette, in Moncton, joined in, making it possible for us to put together a nice tour in Eastern Canada. These two theatres are known for the unparalleled way in which they treat the artists, and we are really looking forward to dropping by!

Consider the gift of theatre this season !

Are you looking for an original gift for your friends and family but can’t make your mind up ? Too many choices… Fear of picking the wrong one which will end up in the attic… What about offering theatre ? A gift certificate, a ticket, a souper-théâtre…these may be the solutions to that Christmas gift giving nightmare. Here are plenty of good reasons to put culture under the tree !

Call us at 604.736.2616 to purchase your gift certificates, or visit our online box ofice for tickets.

Happy Holidays!

A word from the director Philippe Ducros

Photo: David Ospina

As the Earth revolves, parts of its population move ahead of it, crossing borders, arriving in a precarious “elsewhere” they must now call home. People talk about it a lot, these days. They create charters, they try to identify differences, they apprehensively scrutinize the unavoidable metamorphosis of host societies caused by the arrival of these “migrants”. We often forget, or we prefer to overlook, that these migrations are in great part the result of upheavals that Western societies have given rise to and still cause, during the eras of colonialism, the cold war, the war against terrorism, and globalization.

Who are these people arriving on our land? What are they carrying within themselves? With Bibish de Kinshasa, we invite you to discover what one of them is carrying in her luggage. As always, it’s a whole world that opens up, a complex universe, made of moments of life buried deep within.

Bibish, Gisèle and Papy have left what the author calls the “mining scandal” that is their country. They now live here, in Canada. I hope this show will confirm, in them as well as in us, their host society, the feeling that this is “home” here and they are part of “us”. I thank them with all my heart for their trust and their friendship.

Teaser Bibish de Kinshasa

Is there a better way to fight the grey skies of November than a journey to Africa? This is what Bibish de Kinshasa offers you. Friendly and atypical, the show takes you directly to the sunny streets of Kinshasa. It shines the spotlight on its population, its traditions, and its challenges. At the same time, the director and the author are talking about music, fashion, beer, and politics while cooking a meal to be shared while all. It’s going to be a noisy, lively, vibrant and fragrant night… a true reflection of Kinshasa.

Some evenings are almost sold out, book your tickets soon!

Meet Philippe Cyr, Emilie Leclerc and Manon Veldhuis

One week before the opening night of Unité Modèle, we asked the show creators four questions. What are the challenges presented by Guillaume Corbeil’s text? How did they prepare for this project? To what extent are the subjects discussed in Unité Modèle dear to them? What would they say to a potential audience member who has not yet decided to come see it? Discover three different approaches, three stage jobs.

1) To what extent do the subjects discussed in Unité Modèle (gentrification, access to property, consumer society, obsession with image, manipulation, …) touch you as citizens and city dwellers of the 21st century?

Philippe – I would say that, as artists, we often think we chose a trade that lies outside of the world. We soon realize that we are subject to the same diktat in terms of performance and success, minus the material benefits, undoubtedly. We want to make Pinterest boards out of our lives, but ugliness is unavoidable. Why are we putting so much effort into concealing it? To be authentic would mean to agree to share some aspects of ourselves that are less pretty. This text makes me look at the city in a special way. All the real estate projects, the rows of high-end furniture stores, the beautiful luxurious cars… The city seems to be overflowing with wealth. There is something violent in this abundance. Maybe it is because it can at once seduce us and sicken us.

Emilie – All these themes resonate with me, and with most people who will read these words, I imagine. Unless we live in a log cabin deep in the forest or under a rock, we are all consumers and we are all being (more or less) manipulated by those who try to sell us something: a dream, an image, an object, the promise of an improved self. But we too manipulate our own image in one way or another by choosing, for example, what we will be wearing in the morning, and by writing posts on Facebook! As is the case in many parts of Vancouver, there is an attempt at gentrifying my neighbourhood on the east side of the city, and I also dream of owning my own place in this city where it takes too much money for someone to achieve this. So, all these topics speak to me and will, I believe, speak to our audience.

Manon – Especially the Instagramification of daily life and wanting/not wanting to keep up with this is something that can feel exhausting. One way or another I am participating. It attracts me and it makes me want to move away from it at the same time.


2) As a stage director, actor, designer, what are the challenges that Guillaume Corbeil’s text presents? How did you prepare for this project?

Philippe –The challenge is that there is an impressive number of ruptures. The text uses numerous narrative devices and plays with the traditional codes of performance. I prepared by identifying the different stages of the story, but also by preparing the creation work in such a way that each element would be as versatile as possible.

Emilie – I read the play several times to better understand all the underlying layers of the text. I also wanted a better grasp of the relationship between the two realtors, and between the audience and the performance. This piece is like an onion: it has several layers and sublayers. Aside from that, I have become more aware of my own behaviours as a consumer and of all the advertisements that surround me every day.

Manon – To create a set and costumes that relate to a ‘’perfect world’ and can become something else. When creating a set and costumes, I rely a lot on the initial feeling that I get from reading the script, this I turn into a concept. From there I start designing spaces and matching this up with materials that represent that initial feeling.


3) Why, in your opinion, is Unité Modèle a high point of the beginning of this fall’s cultural season, and what would you say to a potential audience member who has not yet decided to come see it?

Philippe – As a member of the team, it would be quite arrogant of me to say that Unité Modèle is a high point of the season. We’ll wait and see how people like it… To the undecided, this challenging performance is a must-see. Corbeil’s text is a gem: it’s extremely well-constructed, and the author takes a sharp look at our society.

Emilie – The real question is: why go to the theatre when you can be comfortably at home watching Netflix and eating popcorn? For me, the theatre remains a meeting place, and it gives the audience the opportunity to have a unique and immersive experience. To come to life, Unité Modèle needs the audience! This encounter between the audience and the performance is at the heart of the play, especially when the fourth wall completely disappears during some segments. Aside from entertaining while allowing the audience to live intense emotions, Philippe’s staging and Guillaume’s words really have the potential to make the people in the audience think and question, and gives them the opportunity to experience something different at the theatre. So, come see it!

Manon – It’s a very interesting story with a lot of layers and opportunities to connect it to living in the 21st century. It’s especially interesting for what is going on in Vancouver (as well as in Amsterdam), the future of young people and how this affects daily life, choices and mindsets. Besides that, I think it’s a very interesting group of creators coming together that makes this an exciting play!


4) Two words to describe the play?

Philippe – Sweet and sticky

Emilie – Dream and reality

Manon – Exhaustingly exciting



7 Fun Facts about Unité Modèle

1. The last part of a trilogy

Guillaume Corbeil, who graduated from the National Theatre School of Canada in playwriting in 2011, is the author of a trilogy on the theme of the image, Unité Modèle is the closing chapter. In 2012, he published Nous voir nous (Cinq visages pour Camille Brunelle), the Michel Tremblay award, the Best Original Text Award of the AQCT (Quebec Theatre Reviewers’ Association), and the Audience’s Choice Award at the Primeur contemporary playwriting festival in Saarbrücken, Germany. A hit with critics and audiences alike, this play brought Guillaume a fair amount of fame while revealing his unique writing style. It was followed by Tu iras la chercher, in 2014, performed at the Espace Go theatre in Montréal during the FTA (Festival TransAmériques), and then by Unité Modèle.

Photo : Jeremie Battaglia

2. An experienced duo

The play brings together on stage two actors well known to Vancouver audiences: Vincent Leblanc-Beaudoin and Emilie Leclerc. For the third time, these two friends in life as well as on stage, perform together in a production by Théâtre la Seizième. They both won a Jessie Award in 2016 for their performance in Mathieu Mathématiques, and you may have seen them last year in Michel Tremblay’s Bonjour, là, bonjour.

3. A play that travels

Unité Modèle was premiered at the Centre du Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui, in Montréal, in 2016, in a production directed by Sylvain Bélanger. The text was then adapted for Théâtre Poche, in Geneva (Switzerland), by director Manon Krüttli, in a lighter form, with singing and dancing, and with actors dressed in zany costumes. And now, it is in Vancouver—where housing costs are prohibitive and where the author’s message is bound to resonate strongly—that the play will be produced by a young and dynamic team with diverse backgrounds.

Photo : Samue Rubio

4. A friendship that translates into text

Anita Rochon and Guillaume Corbeil studied together at the National Theatre School of Canada and are good friends. It seemed only natural to entrust her with the translation to be used for the English surtitles!

5. A Dutch set designer

Manon Veldhuis is a space designer who works in theatre, exhibitions and interior design. She has collaborated on various projects with Toneelgroep Amsterdam (as assistant set designer for adaptations of Shakespeare and Woody Allen), the Nederlands Dans Theater, the Dutch Ministry of Culture and the City of Amsterdam. She has worked on projects by renowned designers Theun Mosk and Julien Thomas, the latter being based in Vancouver. It is her first project in Vancouver and we are thrilled to have her on the team.

6. The conditional mood

The “conditionnel” in French, corresponds to the conditional mood (the “would” form) in English, and is used for hypothetical situations. It is not the most common of verb forms. In French, it can at times seem a bit outdated, its pronunciation tricky, its spelling convoluted… This play is peppered with it! “Vous desserreriez votre cravate” (you would loosen your tie), “vous lui enverriez votre plus beau sourire” (you would beam her your most beautiful smile”). The text of the play is surprising in its form. You will notice that this feature does not impede understanding at all, and that it is perfectly suited to the subject (hypothetical circumstances, a fantasized life). It just requires a bit of diction gymnastics from the actors!

7. A humorous show

Based on the theme, it seems unlikely at first glance, but this is a spirited play! With dance, eclectic music, different beats and variety in the acting, we can guarantee that you won’t be bored. You will laugh (sometimes on the other side of your face), you will go through a wide range of emotions, and you will look at your place with a fresh perspective when you get home from the theatre. Unité Modèle, in its Vancouver incarnation, is a fanciful production, carried along by a team of people who took pleasure in putting it together, and who, above all, really had fun in the process!

Photo : Gaetan Nerincx


Industry Night

We are inviting theatre artists, volunteers and administrators to join us for our industry night on Thursday, October 19, 2017, when tickets for Unité Modèle will be half price for those who work in the theatre community. 

If you’ve never been to Théâtre la Seizième and want to discover the work of francophone artists and our English surtitles, this is your chance! To get the promo code, please contact us at 604-736-2616 or by email, briefly explaining what is your involvement in the theatre industry. Please note, tickets at that price are available in limited quantity.

Spread the word among your staff, artists and volunteers! We can’t wait to see you at our theatre.