French theatre presents : Traversée (Recommended for ages 9 and older)

Saturday, Nov. 25 and Sunday, Nov. 26 at 3 p.m., NAC Azrieli Studio

Suitable for Deaf and hearing-impaired patrons
(some but not all of the dialogue is in Quebec Sign Language)


“Traversée delivers a tightly focused story
in the form of a candid and touching personal account.”

Le Devoir, November 17, 2016 (Transl.)


OTTAWA, Canada, November 13, 2017 – Premiered at MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels) by Milena Buziak, a stage director now based in the Outaouais region, Traversée is a story of exile, subconscious legacies, inner journeys, separation and necessary reconstruction.

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.

On stage, one actress relates in words and another in sign language this touching and disturbing quest that reflects a very current reality. Like Nour, half the world’s migrants are children.


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 // Assistant director: Anne-Sophie Tougas // Sets: Laurence Boutin-Laperrière // Lighting and video integration: Hugo Dalphond // Sound: Diane Labrosse // Video images: Khadija Baker // Costumes: Manon Guiraud // Artistic consultants: Francine Alepin, Robert Faguy and Julie Vallée-Léger

Produced by Voyageurs immobiles, compagnie de création

Running time: 55 minutes



How did you discover this text? What did you think, how did you react when you first read it?

My first reading of the text was very emotional. I love stories, and this one has all the hooks: complex and engaging characters, simple but poetic language, a plot that avoids falling back on stereotypes, a point of view that allowed me to see the world I live in with fresh eyes. I read it in one sitting, and I was completely captivated from beginning to end. And at the end I smiled through my tears, I took a deep breath, and I said to myself, “That’s the story I want to tell. That’s the story we need to hear nowadays.”

Read the full interview on the show’s webpage


After a peripatetic year of performances in venues outside the National Arts Centre, the Enfance/jeunesse series returns to the beautiful new NAC for our 2017–18 season!

Returning alongside the Enfance/jeunesse series are our pre-show activities for young and old. Families will be pleased to rediscover our reading corner, created in partnership with the Ottawa Public Library and stocked with books related to the themes of the show.

Where: Studio Foyer
When: 45 minutes before each performance

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