Theatrical brainstorm

Profile illustration of a figure reminiscent of Shakespeare, holding a skeleton skull in one hand and a cell phone in the other.
© Gérard DuBois
  • In-person event

  • Français
  • Ages 14+

  • Approx. 2 hours
Performance options Start time Language Availability
Friday, April 25, 2025 10:30 am French Seats available

“Understanding our collective past ”

What is a classic? Why do some plays grace stages to this day, while others sleep beneath the thick blanket of Time? This piece is a joyous exchange of ideas, both eloquent and irreverent—brazen, some would say—about the works that make up what we now call the “canon.” Observe the unchanging Yesterday to understand the troubling Now.  

For a few brief moments, Mani Soleymanlou drops autobiographical fiction and questions of identity to study his preferred form of expression, theatre. He has asked the formidable thinker and playwright Fanny Britt, as well as a brilliant team of performers, musicians and designers, to shamelessly toy with this ostentatious subject matter. What is a classic? Is there a set formula for creating one? Is Tit-Coq a classic? What if the Honourable Steven Guilbeault was the Canadian Hamlet? 

The approach may be light-hearted, but the stakes are high. This play shows a real desire to give people today the luxury of stepping back and taking an earnest look at themselves. On stage, Phèdre, Andromaque and other ghosts of theatres past are invited to comment on the chaotic social, political, economic and artistic game that is being played right now in our world in disarray. 

This student matinee is only offered on condition of a minimal number of bookings.


  • Playwright and Director Mani Soleymanlou
  • Playwright Fanny Britt
  • Playwrights Fanny Britt et Mani Soleymanlou
  • Director Mani Soleymanlou
  • With Louise Cardinal, Martin Drainville, Kathleen Fortin, Julie Le Breton, Jean-Moïse Martin, Benoit McGinnis, Madeleine Sarr, Mani Soleymanlou, and musicians
  • Assistance à la mise en scène Jean Gaudreau
  • Scenic Designer Martin Labrecque and Mani Soleymanlou
  • Lighting Martin Labrecque
  • Music Philippe Brault
  • Costumes Cynthia St-Gelais
  • Makeup Amélie Bruneau-Longpré
  • Technical Director Jenny Huot
  • Production and Tour Manager Charlotte Ménard
  • Line Producer Xavier Inchauspé
  • Executive Producers Vanessa Beaupré et Marie-Laurence Rock
  • Production Orange Noyée
  • Co-production Théâtre du Nouveau Monde and NAC French Theatre
  • Co-presentation Le Diamant

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Learning and engagement at Canada’s National Arts Centre is made possible through the support of many generous individuals and organizations from across the country. Arts Alive is generously supported by the Azrieli Foundation, the Government of Nunavut, Canadian North, Calm Air, The River Philip Foundation, The Turnbull Family Community Building Foundation, and The Thomas Sill Foundation. Thank you also to Grant and Alice Burton, Canada Life, A Donor-Advised Fund at the Community Foundation of Ottawa, Friends of the NAC Orchestra, Donors to the NAC Foundation's Future Fund, The Janice and Earle O’Born Fund for Artistic Excellence, and the donors and sponsors of the NAC’s National Youth and Education Trust, the primary resource for youth and education funding at the National Arts Centre.