With her company Joe Jack and John, which she co-founded in 2003, Catherine Bourgeois shakes up the local theatre scene with playful and engaging shows featuring inclusive casts: some of the actors live with a disability or represent visible minorities. She first studied set design in Sainte-Thérèse and at UQAM, then flew to London, where she discovered collaborative directing. She came home with a desire to invent innovative forms of theatre where each performer contributes their unique creative imprint to the work. Her recent directing credits include Just Fake It (2011), AVALe (2014), and je ne veux pas marcher seul (2015).
Playwright in resonance
Autrice (female playwright) is the title she claims as a feminist nod to the word insidiously eradicated by the Académie française. Pénélope Bourque’s dramaturgical practice is rooted in her encounters with various communities. For her company Ce n’était pas du vin, she wrote Iseult & Evaelle – un beau conte d’amour et de mort (2016) in collaboration with teenagers, and Jaune et rouge brillent les étoiles (2018), inspired by an immersion experience in a seniors’ centre. She is the dramaturgical coordinator for Joe Jack et John, where she also helps with administration. Pénélope Bourque studied playwriting at the National Theatre School of Canada.