2016-17 NAC French Theatre Season Launch

What would life be like without theatre?


Ottawa, 31 March 2016 – 2016-2017 marks the fifth season with Brigitte Haentjens as artistic director of the NAC’s Théâtre français. In keeping with her previous seasons she pursues theatre that engages with society, that takes risks, actively promoting women creators and the art of theatre, theatre that confounds, disturbs and surprises.  

During the upcoming 2016-17 season spectators will be privy to the extremely penetrating language of two writers, Nelly Arcan (author of Putain and Folle) and Marta Hillers (author of A Woman in Berlin), both of whom led remarkable lives and shared similar concerns, although they expressed their ideas in very different ways. The audience will also follow the evolution of certain characters, virtual archetypes that are very much a part of the literary or theatrical repertoire, such as Shen Té in the famous Brecht musical The Good Woman of Setzuan.

The Théâtre français seeks to present powerful, playful and original works by artists who believe in theatre and its capacity to create a unique communal experience. Many of the artists featured next season benefit from the NAC’s ongoing support and commitment to their artistic approach, as is the case with Mani Soleymanlou, Gilles Poulin-Denis – whose work will be featured twice next season –  Marie Brassard and Lorraine Pintal. With these artists as well as the musician Thomas Hellman and the theatre group les Chiens de Navarre (one of the rare companies that still functions as a troupe), creativity is more than ever front and centre.

“Theatre is life, sometimes even better.”
 - Brigitte Haentjens -

Next season the public might be bothered somewhat by the ongoing renovations at the NAC, but the only concessions to the imperatives of the construction work will be a slightly streamlined program – eight shows for general audiences at the Studio and Theatre, and three for young audiences that will take spectators beyond the walls of the NAC.

Theatre on the Move

Follow us this season on a delightful stroll through the city. Movies and song will take over the night thanks to the wild imaginations of the two Belgian artists of Zonzo Compagnie, who’ll be back in Ottawa. The perpetual networkers Les Incomplètes also make a comforting return with the soothing sounds of traditional songs and electro-acoustic waves. As for the choreographer Hélène Langevin, a master creator of movement, she will make the entire alphabet get up and dance.

Each performance is an invitation to discover a different venue: La Nouvelle Scène in Ottawa, the University of Ottawa’s Academic Hall and the AXENÉO7 gallery in Gatineau. This nomadic season will make its way back to the NAC in June for the Fête à carreaux, an atypical picnic open to all. A jubilant return to the fold!

“I persist in believing that our ability to dream and to imagine is a wellspring of power; that it is possible to remake the present by means of desire, invention and curiosity. That is what theatre kindles, stimulates and inspires in our hearts once we take the plunge.”

- Mélanie Dumont -


Great Flexibility

The Théâtre français offers flexible subscription formulas. You get access to good seats at great prices and, if need be, you can exchange your tickets for another performance at no extra cost. You'll save up to 15% on the purchase of additional tickets for our selection of plays, dance performances and music concerts at the NAC, and will benefit from exclusive offers and discount parking rates. If you subscribe by May 13, you’ll enjoy an additional 10%* discount on the subscription price.

*Does not apply to subscriptions for students, nor to the purchase of additional tickets.