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News Release

GABRIEL DUMONT’S WILD WEST SHOW - October 18-21, NAC Babs Asper Theatre

October 3, 2017

WORLD PREMIERE // NAC FRENCH THEATRE CO-PRODUCTION
(Presented in French only)

“My people will sleep for one hundred years, but when they awake, it will be the artists who give them back their spirit.”
—Louis Riel

OTTAWA (Canada), October 3, 2017 –– NAC French Theatre will open its 2017–18 season with a bold, large-scale new work: Gabriel Dumont’s Wild West Show, a flamboyant epic, constructed as a series of tableaux, about the struggles of the Métis in the Canadian West. A multilayered and entertaining saga, sparkling and imaginative, loosely based on Buffalo Bill’s legendary outdoor travelling show.

The work is a collective creation by 10 writers, including Jean Marc Dalpé, Alexis Martin and Yvette Nolan, performers and designers from across Canada, representing various French, English, First Nations and Métis communities.

In 1885, following the hanging of his friend Louis Riel, bison hunter Gabriel Dumont fled to the United States. There he was recruited by the legendary Buffalo Bill, founder of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, a gigantic outdoor travelling show that re-enacted life in the American West. It made a huge impression on Dumont, and he dreamed of putting together a similar show to tell the story of the struggle of Canada’s Métis to reclaim their rights. The creative team behind Gabriel Dumont’s Wild West Show brings Dumont’s dream to life in a captivating, joyously anachronistic saga.

Gabriel Dumont’s Wild West Show will premiere at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa from October 18 to 21 before heading to the cities of the show’s three partner-organizations:

  • MONTREAL – Oct. 31 to Nov. 18, 2017: Centre du Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui. Co-presented with Nouveau Théâtre Expérimental.
  • WINNIPEG – Feb. 17 to 21, 2018: Théâtre Cercle Molière, Pauline-Boutal Hall, Centre culturel franco-manitobain.
  • SASKATOON – Feb. 27 to Mar. 4, 2018: Persephone Theatre, Remai Arts Centre. Co-presented with La Troupe du Jour and Gordon Tootoosis Nīkānīwin Theatre.

“As I see it, this story provides a necessary counterpoint to the usual banal account of the construction of our Canadian national narrative: the genesis of this country (as of all countries!) includes some murky areas that cloud our vision to this day; our ‘present” always contains an element of a past that has never truly … passed!”
—Alexis Martin

For more information about Gabriel Dumont’s Wild West Show, including the creative team, artistic and historical background, etc., visit: wildwestshow.ca

Talk about the show on social media: #wildwestshow


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, Katrine Deniset, Gabriel Gosselin, Alexis Martin, Émilie Monnet, Krystle Pederson, Chancz Perry, Dominique Pétin and Andrina Turenne

Assistant director: Jean Gaudreau // Dramaturg: Maureen Labonté // Sets: David Granger // Lighting: Erwann Bernard // Music: Olaf Gundel and Benoît Morier // Video: Silent Partners // Costumes: Jeff Chief // Props: Madeleine Saint-Jacques // Stage manager: Elaine Normandeau

This work is coproduced by NAC French Theatre (Ottawa), Nouveau Théâtre Expérimental (Montreal), Théâtre Cercle Molière (Winnipeg) and La Troupe du Jour (Saskatoon).
(NAC French Theatre is the Executive Producer and the Centre du Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui [Montreal] is Creative Partner.)

This production was made possible through the support of the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter initiative, Secrétariat aux affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes du Québec and generous donors to the NAC Foundation’s Creation Campaign, including Donald T. Walcot.

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