In homage to the legendary Jack Kerouac, the Nouveau Théâtre Expérimental (NTE) presents Kerouac, 100 ans sur la go!, an explosive and interdisciplinary happening that will occupy the entire Théâtre Espace Libre building. Cabaret-show, translation-printing workshop, exhibition, films and other “nomadic performances”, a fun and festive program. Like the author of On the road.
If he had not killed himself slowly with alcohol, the American writer, associated in spite of himself with the Beat Generation, would have been 100 years old on March 12, 2022. To mark the anniversary, Jean-Marc Dalpé and Guillaume Martel LaSalle asked the co-directors of the NTE, Daniel Brière and Alexis Martin, to create with them a festive event, around a printing project and a cabaret-show. Pandemic obliges, the organizers have postponed the event to this spring.
“Basically, the idea is to reclaim the translation of Jack Kerouac’s work that was done in France,” explains Alexis Martin. And to restore the original territorial authenticity of the voice of Kerouac. For those who, like Dalpé, a Franco-Ontarian, do not recognize themselves in the Franco-French translations of Kerouac. We therefore invite people to come to workshops to translate excerpts from his books. These translations will be printed in situ on an old craft press and brought together in a book at the end. »
The organizers have also prepared a radio program in the afternoon. The CJAK station will broadcast through the theater music, readings, performances and also the words of philosophers and specialists invited to speak, for example, of the “phenomenon of nomadism and Francophone migration in North America”.
In revisiting Kerouac, Daniel Brière and Alexis Martin were caught up in the fate of French Canadians who migrated to the United States at the start of the 20th century. “There were several ‘Little Canadas’ on the East Coast. Francophone communities that reproduced our French-Canadian parishes and formed micro-societies, with their schools, their churches, their clubs, their theaters… We are very Quebec-centric these days. We forget the French-speaking diaspora. There is a whole geography of French-speaking exile in America,” note the two actors.
In addition to an ambulatory course during the day, the Espace Libre will house a nighttime cabaret, hosted by Joanie Guérin and Didier Lucien, featuring a house orchestra and several artists from various styles and backgrounds; from Jean-Paul Daoust to Ariane Moffatt, including Salomé Corbo, Jérôme Minière, Joe Bocan, Évelyne de la Chenelière, Maxime Catellier… “It’s going to be the party!” says Briere. With a very free program, which will make room for improvisation and will offer unreleased songs: for example, Ariane Moffatt has composed a song inspired by Kerouac for the show. »
The co-directors of the NTE are happy to be able to “stage the Free Space” in its entirety, allowing the public to visit and circulate through the floors and corners of the theater. There will also be something to eat and drink…
After Montreal, the Kerouac event will travel across the country in redesigned versions depending on the cities and host companies. The translation workshop will also accompany a show presented at La Charpente des Fauves, as part of the Carrefour de théâtre de Québec, from June 2 to 4.
The playwright Sarah Berthiaume signs this text with magical realism featuring an author named Marie who multiplies miscarriages. Hoping to shed light on her infertility, she keeps her tiny fetuses in the freezer. One stormy evening, Mary assembles these fetuses into a living baby… What if the creature grows larger than its creator? Edith Patenaude signs the staging of this show carried by three performers, including Ève Pressault.
Director Gaétan Paré stayed away from the stage for seven years. He’s back at the Prospero’s intimate room with Fists. This “powerful, lucid and complex” text by the French Pauline Peyrade tells the meeting between a woman and a man one evening at a rave. However, the love dream quickly turns into a nightmare. Everyday violence and toxic domination play out out of sight. This show, which is aimed at an informed public because of the themes addressed, brings together three performers on stage.
Abenaki filmmaker-documentary maker Kim O’bomsawin acts as curator for this sixth edition of the Scriptarium, which gives teenagers a voice. The latter participated in the writing of this show where it is particularly question of identity and heritage. The Commissioner thus asked 1,500 young people from all over Quebec to write about the traces left by their lineage in their lives and the struggles that their predecessors waged. In the batch, 24 texts were chosen and assembled in one piece by the author Marianne Dansereau and the director Myriam Fugère. At the Salle Fred-Barry of the Théâtre Denise-Pelletier.
Camille Paré-Poirier pulled a very moving podcast (entitled Someone Immortal) from four years of exchanges with her grandmother Pauline. Here is the author and performer adapting this material for the stage with the help of the director Nicolas Michon. We discover here Camille at the age of 22 when she moved to Montreal. At the same time, Pauline, 91, finds herself in a CHSLD. Noting this uprooting experienced in parallel, the young woman religiously recorded the discussions with her grandmother, where the two women together tame the inevitable.
Still at the Prospero – but in the main hall this time – comes the play The Employees, directed and set by Cédric Delorme-Bouchard. Inspired by the science fiction novel by Danish author Olga Ravn and set in the distant future, the text tells the fate of employees working in a space exploration vessel millions of kilometers from Earth. The latter are led by “similars”, born adults, whose function is purely technical. But the cohabitation between the two clans will end up cracking. How to save the mission under these conditions?