In reflecting on our 2019-20 season, I’ve realised that there is a common thread tying all of our shows together… although, on the surface, they could hardly be more different. The thematic link between these stories is time: the past, on whose foundations we build; the present, which we must always question; and the future, which we need to imagine. For our 45th season, I invite you to fly with us on the wings of Chronos!
Our point of departure is Vichy France, 1942. In Adieu, Monsieur Haffmann, the Nazis sound very much like certain modern-day leaders in their attitudes toward refugees and migrants. This French production––winner of four prestigious Prix Molières––helps us to remember one of the darkest episodes of our shared past, so that we are not condemned to repeat it. Above all, it illuminates the courage and solidarity that existed even in the midst of that darkness.
Gamètes depicts a formidable battle of wits between Aude and Lou, lifelong BFFs whose worldviews collide when Aude discovers that she is carrying a child with Down Syndrome. Self-fulfillment, motherhood, professional success, and ideals of feminine beauty are all up for passionate debate. The author skilfully intersperses the women’s verbal jousting with flashbacks. By going back in time, she is able to show us the evolution of Aude and Lou’s beliefs, identities, and abiding friendship.
The idea that “Time is money!” is put to the test in Le NoShow Vancouver. In asking you to name your own price for the very show they are performing for you, the artists question their own value and the value of the time they invest in their art. Le NoShow was a major hit in both Québec and Europe, having had more than 100 performances since its premiere in 2013. We have invited its creators to adapt the play for a Vancouver context, with the help of seven young local performers whom we are very excited to introduce to you.
Our final destination: Israel, nearly 75 years after its creation. Two artists––one Israeli, one Arab––are attempting to co-create a show about brotherhood. Their awkward, fraught, meaningful encounter sheds light on the cultural and historical baggage that we all carry with us. Only through honesty, reconciliation, and true collaboration can we build a better future. I first fell under the spell of this funny and intelligent piece three years ago, and, in a partnership with the Dance Centre, I am extremely pleased to be sharing it with you at last.
For our young audiences, we are presenting two plays inspired by the fables and legends that have enchanted us over the centuries. Princesse de personne examines the role of fairy-tales in constructing our ideas about gender relations, while Le Merveilleux voyage d’Inès de l’Ouest invites us into a world of mischievous elves and talking animals.
Just like our society itself, theatre is constantly transforming, diversifying, and growing more sophisticated. Our 2019-2020 season for the general public offers you a bird’s eye view of that evolution. From a classically-structured European jewel we move on to cutting-edge Québecois playwriting, followed by playful contemporary performance, and finishing up with an Israeli work that exists on the border between dance and theatre.
This multiplicity of approaches and voices seems, to me, both rich and essential. It allows us to reflect the times we live in, from many angles. These times are not remotely homogenous. They are full of people with widely different accents, origins, trajectories, and sensibilities. I wanted our 2019-20 programming to be as vibrant and various as the people who inhabit our century… and are all around our theatre.
Whether you are one of the faithful subscribers who have loved us for decades; a curious first-timer in search of new experiences; or an expat, putting down your suitcases for a while or for good: welcome! I’m confident that there is something in our theatre season that will be well worth your time.
I look forward to welcoming you all to the theatre!