May you be illuminated by the new season!

Brigitte Haentjens, Artistic Director of the National Arts Centre (NAC) French Theatre and recent recipient of a 2017 Governor General’s Performing Arts Award (GGPAA) for lifetime artistic achievement, invites you to discover powerful and luminous works both poetic and political, created in a multiplicity of forms by artists with a talent for challenging, disrupting and enlightening … Creators for a modern age whose practice is firmly rooted in the here and now. Lucid dreamers who believe in theatre as a living, vibrant art. Passionate awakeners who transform theatre into a place of revelation.

The NAC recently reaffirmed its confidence in Brigitte Haentjens by extending her mandate as Artistic Director for a third term, until 2021. During the coming season we will also reconnect with some of her favourite artists, including her associates Jean Marc Dalpé, Sébastien Ricard and Mani Soleymanlou; her protégée Catherine Vidal (one of five young creators among whom Ms. Haentjens shared the cash prize accompanying her GGPAA); one of her preferred playwrights, Bernard‑Marie Koltès; and Belgian theatre company tg STAN.

Once again this year, Brigitte Haentjens is pleased to entrust the Enfance/jeunesse series (youth programming) to Associate Artistic Director Mélanie Dumont. After an itinerant season of shows presented in various venues in Ottawa and Gatineau, the Enfance/jeunesse series returns to the newly renovated NAC with an 8‑play season. As well, local teens will have an opportunity to participate in the season: there will be a casting call for the play Impatience, and a new edition of the hugely popular De plain-pied collective event will invade the NAC next spring!


Highlights of the NAC French Theatre 2017–18 season:

  • 17 shows
  • Two original creations
  • Three coproductions and joint projects
  • One cross-Canada tour
  • Two productions directed by Brigitte Haentjens
  • Two shows in exclusive Canadian engagements
  • The return to the NAC of the Enfance/jeunesse series with a full season lineup



“Theatre is an encounter, and it can be intense. An encounter with the other,
the unfamiliar; with ourselves, perhaps, or the part of ourselves
that we keep hidden, and that is revealed through words and images,
through bodies alive with human expression.”

Artistic Director


Gabriel Dumont’s Wild West Show

October 18–21, 2017 – NAC Theatre
Written by Jean Marc Dalpé, David Granger, Laura Lussier, Alexis Martin, Andrea Menard, Yvette Nolan, Gilles Poulin‑Denis, Paula‑Jean Prudat, Mansel Robinson and Kenneth T. Williams // Directed by Mani Soleymanlou // With Charles Bender, Jean Marc Dalpé, Katerine Deniset, Gabriel Gosselin, Alexis Martin, Émilie Monnet, Krystle Pederson, Chancz Perry, Dominique Pétin and Andrina Turenne // Coproduced by NAC French Theatre, Nouveau Théâtre Expérimental (Montréal), Théâtre Cercle Molière (Winnipeg) and La Troupe du Jour (Saskatoon) // Creative partner: Centre du Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui

An anachronistic and flamboyant epic, constructed as a series of tableaux, about the struggles of the Métis in the Canadian West. A multilayered and entertaining saga with a rodeo vibe, loosely based on Buffalo Bill’s legendary outdoor travelling show.


Je disparais

November 1–4, 2017 – NAC Studio
Written by Arne Lygre // Translated by Guillaume Corbeil // Directed by Catherine Vidal // With Larissa Corriveau, James Hyndman, Marie‑France Lambert, Marie‑Claude Langlois and Macha Limonchik // Produced by Le Groupe de la Veillée

In this enigmatic chamber piece, ordinary people overwhelmed by their fears slip outside of themselves, duplicate themselves, invent fantastical identities. A breathtaking reflection on absence and the fragility of the human connection.


L’état de siège

November 15–18, 2017 – NAC Theatre
Written by Albert Camus // Directed by Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota // With Jauris Casanova, Valérie Dashwood, Philippe Demarle, Matthieu Dessertine, Sandra Faure, Sarah Karbasnikoff, Hannah Levin Seiderman, Alain Libolt, Serge Maggiani, Gérald Maillet, Walter N’Guyen, Hugues Quester and Pascal Vuillemot // Produced by Théâtre de la Ville (Paris) // Coproduced by Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Théâtre national de Bretagne (Rennes) and BAM (New York)

A dizzying allegory, tinged with fantasy, about totalitarian and corrupt regimes. A modern myth invented by Camus and similar in theme to his novel The Plague. An immersive and compelling work performed by the renowned Théâtre de la Ville company in Paris.


La bibliothèque-interdite

December 6–9, 2017 – NAC Studio
Text and music by Denis Plante // Directed by Brigitte Haentjens and Sébastien Ricard // With Matthieu Léveillé (guitar), Francis Palma (double bass), Denis Plante (bandoneon) and Sébastien Ricard // Produced by Sibyllines

An intimate and lyrical opera–tango. A thriller set in the universe of Borges, where stories and songs overlap and mingle in the caustic, enveloping atmosphere of magic realism so beloved in Argentinian culture.


Le dire de Di

January 31–February 3, 2018 – NAC Studio
Written by Michel Ouellette // Directed by Joël Beddows // With Marie‑Ève Fontaine // Produced by Théâtre français de Toronto // Coproduced by Théâtre la Catapulte

A tale of endless love told by a dreamy child–woman, fragile, as quick as a leaf, head filled with swirling thoughts. A spiralling scenic poem, funny and poignant. A lively, colourful language fuelled by earth and air.


Dans la solitude des champs de coton

February 21–24, 2018 – NAC Theatre
Written by Bernard‑Marie Koltès // Directed by Brigitte Haentjens // With Hugues Frenette and Sébastien Ricard // Produced by Sibyllines

An astonishing verbal sparring match between a dealer and a client, in which poetic flashes alternate and intersect with mere trivialities. An intense exchange, a struggle of power and desire. A ferocious encounter between dog and wolf.


Tapage et autres bruits sourds

A celebration of World Theatre Day
March 27–28, 2018 – NAC Studio
Written by (collage) Les Poids Plumes // Original concept: Annie Cloutier, Lisa L’Heureux and Louis‑Philippe Roy // With a group of performers to be announced // Produced by NAC French Theatre

An explosive happening sizzling with life, a communal composition of words and whispers in celebration of World Theatre Day. A free zone for the words and sounds of a captivating collective of emerging playwrights from the Ottawa-Gatineau region.


La cerisaie (The Cherry Orchard)

April 11–14, 2018 – NAC Theatre
Written by Anton Tchekhov // Directed by tg STAN // With Evelien Bosmans, Evgenia Brendes, Robby Cleiren, Jolente De Keersmaeker, Lukas De Wolf, Bert Haelvoet, Minke Kruyver, Scarlet Tummers, Rosa Van Leeuwen, Stijn Van Opstal and Frank Vercruyssen // Produced by tg STAN (Antwerp) // Coproduced by Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Festival d’Automne (Paris), La Colline (Paris), TnBA (Bordeaux), Le Bateau Feu (Dunkirk), Théâtre Garonne (Toulouse) and Théâtre de Nîmes

A Cerisaie full of charm, zest and youth, created and confidently performed by the effervescent Belgian company tg STAN. A Cerisaie peppered with jokes and asides that speaks to each of us, here and now, and moves right along!


Fendre les lacs

May 9–12, 2018 – NAC Studio
Written and directed by Steve Gagnon // With Marie‑Josée Bastien, Pierre‑Luc Brillant, Véronique Côté, Steve Gagnon, Karine Gonthier‑Hyndman, Frédéric Lemay, Guillaume Perreault and Claudiane Ruelland // Produced by Théâtre Jésus, Shakespeare and Caroline

A raw and spellbinding Chekhovian psychological drama set in a forest, about an isolated community of savage women and men, all burning with the desire to shake things up. A fertile exploration of the storms and impulses of life.




“Let’s embrace this beacon–theatre, this vibrant life, these eager and sensitive souls who forge courageously ahead, who defy history in order to reinvent it, who paint with mud or talk to the birds,
when they’re not conversing with a barking egg. So that the light flickering deep within, at the core of the treasure that is childhood, may shine out and illuminate our world.”

Associate Artistic Director, Youth Programming


Ma petite boule d’amour

October 28–29, 2017 – NAC Pavillon – Ages 3 to 6
Written by Jasmine Dubé // Directed by Jasmine Dubé and Jean‑François Guilbault // With Jasmine Dubé and Pablo Bonacina // Produced by Théâtre Bouches Décousues

The storyteller and her guitar-playing friend welcome the audience into a warm and cozy milieu, and when everyone has settled in, the story begins. It’s the tale of a gruff and solitary bear, and an irritating little fly that buzzes around him … One day, our furry hero has a dream: a pure white bear cub is calling to him. It’s the start of a journey under vast northern skies.



November 25–26, 2017 – NAC Studio – Ages 9 to 14
Written by Estelle Savasta // Translated into Quebec Sign Language (QSL) by Marie‑Hélène Hamel // Directed by Milena Buziak // With Florence Blain Mbaye and Hodan Youssouf // Produced by Voyageurs Immobiles, compagnie de création

Nour takes us through the perilous crossing that has brought her here, drawn by the promise of a better place to live. She recalls the dangers of the voyage, and most of all the pain of separation: how can she bear to leave Youmna, the deaf woman who loves her like a daughter? The young girl tears herself away, taking nothing with her but a mysterious little box.


Histoires à plumes et à poils

December 16–17, 2017 – NAC Studio – Ages 3 to 8
Written by Marie‑Hélène Larose‑Truchon, David Paquet and Érika Tremblay‑Roy // Directed by Érika Tremblay‑Roy // With Ludger Côté and Emmanuelle Laroche // Produced by Le Petit Théâtre de Sherbrooke

An egg. Fallen from the nest. She and He will find the most absurd and complicated way to put it back: they’ll have to invent some kind of machine. But what kind of egg is it? Hard to say: it’s making strange noises, and it keeps changing shape and colour. As the story unfolds, we meet some unusual creatures: a depressed turkey, two gentlemen porcupines, and even a whale that lives on land! A joyous imaginary bestiary dreamed up by three ingenious authors. What kind of egg is it again? An egg of endless possibilities, that’s for sure.


Comment j’ai appris à parler aux oiseaux

February 10–11, 2018 – NAC Studio – Ages 5 to 9
Conceived, written, directed and performed by D. Kimm // Produced by Les Filles électriques // Creative partner: NAC French Theatre

Isn’t it better to be a bird? Humans are so hard to figure out! That’s what Mademoiselle Mouche thinks, anyway. So she goes to the gym to take flight training, and she learns to speak bird. One day, surely, she’ll soar into the air.


Magie lente

March 10–11, 2018 – NAC Studio – Ages 18 months to 5 years
Conceived and written by Nathalie Derome and Steeve Dumais // With Nathalie Derome, Steeve Dumais and Anne‑Françoise Jacques // Produced by Des mots d’la dynamite

They’re covered in it! Mud from toes to crown! From this raw material, earth, the characters fashion clay islands and landscapes of shifting ground. Believe me, by the end of it, the stage is all turned around! What do you think? Is it just for fun? Not at all! The question they ask is very serious: Where does the world come from?


Et si Roméo & Juliette…

April 7–8, 2018 – NAC Studio – Ages 8 to 14
Adapted, written and directed by Jacqueline Gosselin // With Marie Fanny Guay, Marc‑André Poliquin, Catherine St‑Martin and 1 other performer // Produced by DynamO Théâtre with support from L’Espace Théâtre Muni-Spec (Mont-Laurier), La TOHU, La Maison de la culture Mercier and Théâtre de la Ville (Longueuil)

Falling in love: so love is a fall? Sometimes. And it can be fatal! Think of Roméo and Juliette: two warring families pitted against two determined teenagers with loving hearts.
DynamO Théâtre shakes up the classic tale, incorporating acrobatics, swordfights, juggling, and a rotating set. Four actors play all the parts and comment on the action; Shakespeare himself is invited to speak. Can the inevitable be avoided? All we know is that if we’re going to reinvent the story, we have to find a way to overcome the power of hate.



May 19, 2018 – NAC Studio – Ages 14 +
Conceived by Anne‑Marie Ouellet and Thomas Sinou // With Philippe Racine, Sara Simard and three local teenagers // Produced by L’eau du bain in association with Usine C

An empty white space; bright light. We could be in a museum gallery, but the works on display here are teenagers and adults wearing headsets. Little by little they reveal themselves, through their tentative presence, through their disturbing or amusing statements. They talk about everything: themselves, their family, their future; they play Truth or Consequences, they exchange pieces of clothing. What’s real in all of this? The performance is different in every host city, depending on the local young people cast in the show. A meaningful and vibrant portrait of life captured in the moment.


Romanzo d’infanzia

May 26–27, 2018 – NAC Studio – Ages 6 to 12
Written by Bruno Stori // Dramaturgs and directors: Letizia Quintavalla and Bruno Stori // Choregraphed and performed by Michele Abbondanza and Antonella Bertoni // Produced by Quintavalla - Stori - Compagnia Abbondanza/Bertoni // Coproduced by Teatro Testoni Ragazzi

Hooray, the Italians are coming! At long last we get to see this little gem of a dance theatre piece that has been presented everywhere (else) on the planet!
Two dazzling performers move easily between the roles of parents and children as they relate Nina and Tommaso’s wild adventure. The inseparable siblings share a bond that’s stronger than anything: stronger than beatings, stronger than fire, stronger even than distance. Childhood is a treasure, and our zany heroes have created a bubble, a crazy imaginary world. They invite us in, and for the next hour or so, we’re all 10 years old!


De plain-pied

May 19, 2018 – NAC – Ages 14 +

It starts with a group of teenagers, a creation unit. Their mission: to find, through art and action, other ways to collectively inhabit reality, appropriate it, and even transform it! With youthful enthusiasm, they’ll take over a space within the new and improved NAC. Installation piece, performance, ephemeral poetry, subversive karaoke, metaphysical bingo… What form will their creation take? WE HAVE NO IDEA! And that’s what makes it so interesting!




  • April 26, 2017: 2016-2017 Create Your Own and Enfance/jeunesse subscribers will be able to renew. New subscriptions to Enfance/jeunesse packages will also be available.
  • May 23, 2017: New subscriptions to all packages will be available.
  • Early September, 2017: Single tickets for most of the shows will be available



613 947-7000 x620
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Satellite Box Office
54 Elgin Street, Ottawa
Monday to Friday, 9 am to 9 pm
Saturday, 10 am to 9 pm

Service charges apply for Ticketmaster transactions.

Box Office Kiosk
1 Elgin Street, Ottawa
Located at the reception desk in the NAC lobby

The Box Office Kiosk will open only on event days, from 2 hours prior to the first show start time until 15 minutes after the last show start time. The Kiosk is reserved for last-minute day-of-show transactions such as pickups and walk-up purchases.


For detailed season information, visit NAC-CNA.CA/TF


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