A Dazzling Season Indeed!
On May 23, the 2014-15 NAC Théâtre français season concluded with the Robert Lepage masterpiece Les aiguilles et l’opium, with all five performances sold out.
A brief recap of our theatre season:
This season the NAC audience discovered two major works directed by Brigitte Haentjens. Alone onstage in Molly Bloom, Anne-Marie Cadieux gave a magnificent performance of this dizzying monologue written by James Joyce and translated by Jean-Marc Dalpé, finding just the right tone for the sensual, hilarious and subversive Molly. This was followed by a Richard III who, under Brigitte’s direction, became a nuanced character, brilliant despite his perversity. Propelled by spectacular fire and drive, Sébastien Ricard brilliantly brought to life the infamous and implacable Duke of Gloucester, and was ably assisted by an impressive cast. From Molly to Richard, from Joyce to Shakespeare, from a solo to a play with 20 actors, it was an exceptional opportunity to discover in a single season the wide-ranging artistic sensibility of the Théâtre français artistic director.
The Théâtre français played an active role this year producing or co-producing five productions (Richard III, Le long voyage de Pierre-Guy B., Phèdre, S’appartenir, Ce qui nous relie?). For Brigitte Haentjens, supporting the creation of theatre is essential. It is important to take risks and to provide assistance to artists, including those who perhaps have not had the chance to present their work on major stages. In 2015-16, the Théâtre français will be an active participant involved in creating no less than eight shows!
In 2014-15 the Théâtre français presented 18 shows for a general audience, including works for children and for adolescents, pieces that often took on highly original and varied forms (Kiss & Cry, Cinq visages pour Camille Brunelle, Listen to the silence). These included both plays by imaginative young artists (Le projet bocal, Deux, Les grand-mères mortes) and exciting reworkings of classics (Richard III, Phèdre). More than ever, the Théätre français is a veritable house of welcome showcasing the sparkling diversity of creative artists.
Some 900 spectators took over the NAC during the De plain-pied event from May 14 to 16. A festive and effervescent get-together, this happening was an opportunity for young people aged 14 to 20 to take over the public space of the NAC. Over a three-day period, spectators were able to attend two impressive performances featuring teens from the Ottawa-Gatineau region – Album de finissants and Ce qui nous relie? – and to participate in all sorts of activities conceived by a group of adolescents with unbridled imaginations. A second edition is scheduled for next year!
1908 people attended post-performance discussions at the Théâtre français. These Thursday evening talkback sessions are a unique opportunity for spectators to chat with the artists who made the stage come alive throughout the season. These casual and often passionate get-togethers led to lively discussions appreciated by artists and audiences alike. The series will continue again next season.
This year 5616 children and adolescents attended school matinées at the Théâtre français, which provides an essential introduction to the performing arts for many. Artists also offered workshops and presentations in the classroom to prepare young audiences for the shows they were about to see (Listen to the Silence, Les grand-mères mortes and Album de finissants).
The total number of spectators who attended shows at the Théâtre français this season was 23,951, an attendance rate of 86%! This is clearly an enthusiastic response to the programs proposed by Brigitte Haentjens and Mélanie Dumont.
The entire Théâtre français team wishes to extend its sincere thanks to all the spectators who came to our performances this season. The enthusiastic presence of loyal subscribers, as well as those coming to our venue for the first time, gives real meaning to our artistic project. We hope to see you in even greater numbers in 2015-16 for a season that is shaping up, once again, to be exceptional.