The Denise-Pelletier Theater blows out its 60 candles for the 2023-2024 season with a program placed under the sign of youth that navigates between creation and repertoire.

The current artistic director, Claude Poissant, recalls how much the birth of the Nouvelle Compagnie Théâtrale, as it was called when it started out at the Gesù theatre, was born of the audacity of its three founders, Gilles Pelletier, Françoise Graton and Georges Groulx.

“It was the first time that students could fully participate in the theatrical and cultural richness of Quebec. Nothing existed for them before. It was very innovative. This is a unique moment in the history of theater here. »

For 60 years, thousands of teenagers have discovered the theatrical art on the seats of the Gesù and then of the former Granada cinema, which has become the Salle Denise-Pelletier. For this anniversary season, Claude Poissant wanted to remain faithful to the work of creation and the exploration of repertoire, which make up the two branches of the DNA of the theater on rue Sainte-Catherine Est.

“This desire to link the present time to the repertoire is blatant this year. In all the shows in the main hall, there is a character from youth who seeks to free himself, to take his destiny into his own hands. They all try to distance themselves from whatever binds them, be it family or a kingdom. »

Thus, the season opens on September 27 with Les Plouffe, a show co-produced with Le Trident which was presented with great success in Quebec City in January 2020. Renaud Lacelle-Bourdon plays Ovide Plouffe at the heart of a cast of 14 performers . Isabelle Hubert signs the adaptation of Roger Lemelin’s novel; Maryse Lapierre is in charge of the staging.

This will be followed in November by Le roi danse, inspired by the film of the same name. Mattis Savard-Verhoeven embodies Louis XIV, a being in love with beauty who befriends the composer Lully and the playwright Molière. “But is real friendship possible between these three larger-than-life figures? asks Claude Poissant. Director Michel-Maxime Legault directs this show adapted by author Emmanuelle Jimenez.

Another co-production from Quebec, Spring Awakening will launch the year 2024. The playwright David Paquet was inspired by the text of the German Frank Wedekind to write this text on the nascent desire in the era of multiplied loves which is ours. Olivier Artaud directs.

One of the masterpieces of American theatre, The Glass Menagerie, will close the season in the Great Hall. Director Alexia Bürger tackles this classic, translated by her accomplice Fanny Britt. The piece is back at Denise-Pelletier for the third time, after a hiatus of more than 35 years. “This play may seem realistic, but Tennessee Williams’ intelligence is such that the characters are surrounded by an area of ​​mystery. Each can unfold in an infinity of possibilities, “says the artistic director.

At Salle Fred-Barry, eight plays will be offered during the 23-24 season. “At Fred-Barry, we allow ourselves to live special adventures,” says Claude Poissant. “Some pieces veer into performance art, like Explosion. Others, like Vacarmes, take the form of an interdisciplinary show where a band comes to tell us stories. We even get a Nordic thriller in which the horrible meets the absurd with Slippery Ground! »

However, the season opens with the play L’amoure looks something like you, in which a non-binary person falls in love with a humpback whale lost near the port of Montreal. “Each evening, the play will be read by a different person from the LGBTQ community,” explains Claude Poissant. This is proof that we can take different paths and several liberties to face this 60th anniversary! »