Street closures around NAC during the Ottawa International Jazz Festival

26 lettres: An ABC of words that are losing their meaning

Olivier Choinière

Photo: Eugène Holtz

Approximately 2 hours with no intermission.

Twenty-six authors. Twenty-six letters. A reconstruction of language and meaning.

At the instigation of Quebec author Olivier Choinière, 26 playwrights, poets, writers, journalists, comedians, politicians from across the country explore 26 words connected to current events in 2017, words that are overused or losing their meaning. These words are rehabilitated through letters written to real people - either people the writers know personally or public figures. The writers read their letters aloud from the stage, and each in his or her own way probes our relationship with a world where vocabulary is steadily dwindling and words are increasingly mediatized, distorted, or stripped of their meaning.

The authors are:

Paul Wells, Jérôme Minière, Monia Mazigh, Marilou Craft, Brendan Healy, Marie-Hélène Poitras, Sook-Yin Lee, Alain Farah, Tanya Davis, Catherine Éthier, Lindsay « Eekwol » Knight, Pierre Lefebvre, Gabriel Robichaud, Mary Simon, Christian Lapointe, Daniel MacIvor, Steven McCarthy, Marie-Andrée Gill, Marcus Youssef, Fred Dubé, Michelle Latimer, Olivier Choinière, Brandon Wint, Françoise David, George Elliott Clarke and Marjolaine Beauchamp.

Since 2000, Olivier Choinière has been challenging theatrical convention through his creative platform, L’ACTIVITÉ. The recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Siminovitch Prize, Choinière is interested in, among other things, the spectator’s role in performance and the foibles of our era. Three previous editions of 26 lettres have been presented, each featuring a different set of words: the first in 2013, at Montreal’s Théâtre Aux Écuries as part of the Festival du Jamais Lu; the second in 2014, at Montreal’s Centre du Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui; and the third in Mons, Belgium, at the 2015 Ailleurs en folie multidisciplinary avant-garde arts festival.

26 lettres will be presented with SURTITLES™ in both French and English.

Presented in association with the Ottawa International Writer’s Festival.

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