The biennial Zones Théâtrales announces its full program lineup for its 10th edition

Ottawa, June 6, 2023 - Zones Théâtrales is back for its 10th anniversary! This must-attend biennial event is hitting the stages of Ottawa from September 11 to 16, 2023. It’s a great opportunity to get together and showcase the best theatre that French Canada and Quebec’s regions have to offer. Artists from Moncton to Vancouver have once again prepared an array of theatre that will wow and amaze you. Don’t miss it! 


2023’s program tackles a number of trendy topics: space exploration, the housing market crisis, fake news, transgender identity, life after the pandemic and the evolution of our collective relationship to land and ecosystems. This vibrant event is a must for industry professionals, theatre lovers in the Ottawa/Gatineau region.  


“We’ve received lots of proposals this year,” said Zones Théâtrales Artistic Director Gilles Poulin-Denis. “For the 10th biennial event, I wanted the audience to rediscover artists and projects that we’ve presented before, as well as fresh new faces and never-before-seen creations. This Zones Théâtrales edition focuses heavily on memory, legacy, the things we leave behind — but also how our relationship to others, land and nature fills our minds.”


Featuring nine different shows and six workshop productions.  

On marronne ? (Si ça te dit, viens) kicks off the 10th Zones Théâtrales. This piece on Indigenous heritage will be presented at the NAC’s Azrieli Studio, September 11 and 12. Théâtre Cercle Molière, Théâtre de l’Entonnoir and the Alliance française de Ziguinchor have come together to convey the power of human nature that transcend borders, from French Guiana to Winnipeg to Senegal. 

Durant des années, a cross between contemporary drama and true crime podcasts, takes us back to the rural Quebec of 1999. Relevant to our times, this work from Théâtre du Trillium and Théâtre Catapulte uses AI-generated interactive stage design. The show speaks to a media-wary era, where journalistic integrity and fake news, truth and lies, all blend together. Making its world premiere at La Nouvelle Scène Gilles Desjardins’ Studio A, September 12 and 13.  


Young audiences (8 to 11) and seniors are invited to embark on a sensory journey with Cet été qui chantait from Franco-Manitoban author Marie-Ève Fontaine. Loosely based on the work of the same name by Gabrielle Roy, this deeply poetic world comes to life through puppet, shadow and object theatre. Performances at the University of Ottawa’s LabO, September 15 and 16. 


Full immersion into worlds of fiction 

The post-apocalyptic thriller Murs questions what remains of humanity when civilization collapses. In collaboration with Transistor Média, Créations In Vivo imagines a world turned upside down and ravaged by an epidemic. The protagonists, brother and sister Éric and Zoé, wander in search of their father and a better world on a long and perilous journey to the United States. Making its premiere at the University of Ottawa’s Academic Hall, September 13 and 14.


When the Voyager space probe was launched in 1977 a Golden Record was placed aboard. Céleste Godin’s Bouée tackles the question of what we would put in an interstellar time capsule to represent humanity today. Using science-fiction inspired visuals, gimmicks and scale models, the Satellite Théâtre company pulls out all the stops in its most technologically ambitious creation to date. Bouée will be presented at La Nouvelle Scène Gilles Desjardins’ Studio A, September 15 and 16. ;


Themes ripped from the headlines that paint a revealing picture of our society 

Crawlspace may be absurd and comical, but it’s hardly a stretch of the imagination. This piece takes an unflinching look at the brutal and ludicrous battleground of Toronto’s horrifying housing market. A true real-estate horror story of playwright Karen Hines and her lovely new home… that’s just riddled with defects. Performances at the University of Ottawa’s Studio Léonard Beaulne, September 12 and 13. 

La conquête du béluga runs alongside the banks of the Ottawa River at the Canadian Museum of History, September 14 and 15. Presented at sunset against the backdrop of Parliament Hill, Maryse Goudreau’s La conquête du beluga takes us through the history of the beluga whale in a gentle call to take action for the environment and change our attitude toward living things. 


Intimate narratives and touching true stories from the artists 

Brothers Joey and Michel struggled to be their true selves, growing up in the working-class Quebec of the 60s and 70s. The pair took to the art scene as a way to escape this harsh reality, with Joey becoming a successful actor in Vancouver and Michel dazzling the Montréal drag scene. Then came the ultimate moment of freedom: Michel became Michelle, the woman she had always been deep down. With Michel(le), Joey Lespérence paints a complex and nuanced portrait of a courageous existence on the fringes. Making its world premier at the Arts Court theatre, September 12 and 13. 


Ainsi passe la chair is an intimate autobiographical show written and performed by Sara Moisan that explores her relationship with the work of her father, the painter Gatien Moisan, who died of brain cancer in 2019. Through headphones, you’ll listen to a fictitious conversation, based on old recordings between the actor and her father. This precious work questions our relationship with death, the act of creation, and the traces we leave behind. At the University of Ottawa’s Studio Léonard-Beaulne, September 14 and 16. 

Zones Théâtrales strives to create a space for artists to play in and explore how far they can push their creativity. The event will feature a number of workshop productions and two installations.

Ça rime avec vinaigre by KaFé Productions Inc. is a workshop production that looks at lingering systemic inequalities in our society. In Créatures, L’eau du bain dreams up a space of women and girls, weaving together moments of affection, sharing, violence and humour. The author of Sainte-Johanne-des-Calvettes uses his caustic sense of humour and gritty, dreamlike language to examine the place of the distressed individual in an isolated community. Once again, Guillaume Saindon returns to the Zones Théâtrales stage with Vivances, a sensory experience that explores anxiety and depression as seen through the eyes of our loved ones. Vent à vendre is an in-progress work of documentary theatre that focuses on different points of view about energy projects. Finally, Guy Régis Jr., a prominent playwright and pillar of the Haitian theatre scene, will be showcasing Quel dernier grand conflit pour satisfaire la haine entre les humains, , which looks at the inherent causes of human conflict and the hateful and destructive urges that lie within us. This workshop production will be the result of an artistic residency that will span over the course of several weeks leading up to this performance at Zones Théâtrales.

Audiences can check out Towards Home, an artistic installation by Geronimo Inutiq, who is known for creations and performances that draw on his Inuit and Quebec roots. Finally, in addition to La conquête du Béluga, multidisciplinary artist Maryse Goudreau will be putting on the installation Dans le ventre de la baleine—an immersive sound and tactile experience that plunges you into the centre of a beluga whale nursery. Both installations will be at Club SAW, September 13 and 15. 


Industry professionals can enjoy Zones Théâtrales’ round tables, speed dating-style project presentations, fun roleplay and get togethers meant to grow the theatre community of French Canada and across Quebec. 


Check out the full program on June 6 at



Show tickets are $25 and workshop productions $10. Save 15% when you purchase three shows or more, or check out our various affordable price options. 



The Zones Théâtrales biennial event is produced by the National Arts Centre with support from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Department of Canadian Heritage.  

The Zones Théâtrales team would also like to thank its partners and venues: La Nouvelle Scène Gilles Desjardins, the SAW Gallery & l’AGAVF (Association des groupes en arts visuels francophones), Club SAW, the Canadian Museum of History, the University of Ottawa, the ATFC (Association des théâtres francophones du Canada), Théâtre Action, the Théâtre français de Toronto, the Théâtre du Trillium, Les Transfrontaliers, partner hotels the Ottawa Embassy Hotel & Suites, Cartier Place Suite Hotel and graphic designer Simon Guibord. 



The National Arts Centre is Canada’s bilingual, multi-disciplinary home for the performing arts. The NAC presents, creates, produces, and co-produces performing arts programming in various streams — the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre in collaboration with Black Theatre Workshop, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, and Popular Music and Variety — and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada. The NAC is located in the National Capital Region on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe.





Catherine Jones (she/her/elle)

Stratège Communications – Marketing

Communications – Marketing Strategist

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