Going off the beaten path means stepping out of our comfort zone… momentarily leaving behind everything we know so well, in order to move towards something as yet unknown

In programming my second season, I was drawn to works outside the scope of the usual, off the beaten path so to speak. Whether through their irreverence, their multidisciplinary nature, their imaginative power, or their hybridity, they invite us to rethink our habits and preconceptions, both at the theatre and in daily life.

The season begins with Baby-Sitter, a freewheeling comedy that delights in ripping up the labels we put on men and women. With ferocious humour, Québec playwright Catherine Léger turns the question of feminism upside-down and inside-out, the better to display all of its multiple aspects and layers. This is a massively entertaining play… and at the same time, you will come out of it with your convictions a little less solid than they were before.

Next up, Théâtre la Seizième makes a rare foray into international presentation. In Chotto Desh, artist Akram Khan combines theatre and dance in an autobiographical tale that crosses continents, eras, and disciplines. Supported by stunningprojections, this show depicts the childhood of a first-generation Bangladeshi immigrant… a point of view rarely seen in the theatre.

With Le Soulier, our Artist-in- Residence David Paquet jailbreaks us from realism. True to his unique artistic vision, the author of Porc-Épic (presented by us in 2012) has created characters who are equal parts lovable and awkward, in a universe that strains against the leash of the natural world. Our whole team fell hard for this hilarious and very moving play, and this winter, you’ll to see why!

We celebrate the arrival of spring by taking you outside the walls of the theatre with Ce qu’on attend de moi by Philippe Cyr and Gilles Poulin-Denis. Every night, one of you will be chosen (with your permission) to become the lead actor of a movie filmed live, and live-projected onto an outdoor screen in the heart of Granville Island. Beyond the originality of its form, this show’s power lies in its ability to reveal the beauty inside all of us.

Finally, our young audiences will meet two heroes determined to change the world. In Simon a toujours aimé danser, a play for teens by Simon Boulerice, a young man explores all kinds of performance in order to transcend his humdrum life. For children, we present Paula Humby’s Élise contre l’extinction totale, in which a little girl tries to save the environment, one science project at a time.

I absolutely cannot wait to share this season, which is so close to my heart, with all of you. Going off the beaten path means stepping out of our comfort zone… momentarily leaving behind everything we know so well, in order to move towards something as yet unknown. Choosing to do so always involves risk, but also certainty: the certainty that we will discover something about ourselves or others. And isn’t that one of the most beautiful things we can do with the time that we are given?

I look forward to welcoming you to the theatre!

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