French-language theater across the country shines once again this year
Let's celebrate together the 10th edition of Zones Théâtrales
Ottawa - September 5, 2023 - Let the countdown begin! The biennial Zones Théâtrales kicks off on Monday, September 11, and runs until Saturday, September 16. Come see us on stages across Ottawa and outside the Canadian Museum of History for a week of festivities. On the program for this 10th edition: nine original shows, six workshop productions and tons of different free events. Whether you work in theatre, are a theatre buff or just want to learn more, there’s something for everyone. It’s the perfect way to start this cultural season.
Since 2005, the pride and prosperity of French theatre has taken centre stage at Zones Théâtrales, an event with the primary goal of bringing people together and showcasing the incredible originality of new works hailing from the Franco-Canadian scenes and regions of Quebec. Zones Théâtrales is a creative engine for artists working in French, setting the tone for local theatrical pieces and helping to promote national and international French theatre.
“Here’s to the 10th edition!” - Gilles Poulin-Denis, artistic director of Zones Théâtrales. “May it stoke our imaginations and our memories, so that we might say ‘I was there that night when…’ And though the future is still unwritten, one thing is clear: creativity thrives here, enough so that I see another 10 editions!”
This year, the biennial is tackling today’s popular topics, with some of our shows asking audiences to reflect on the evolution of our relationship to land and to the environment as a society.
● WINNIPEG │ KOUROU │ ZIGUINCHOR Our opening show On marronne ? (Si ça te dit, viens) will be making its world premiere at NAC’s Azrieli Studio onSeptember 11 and 12. Indigenous artist Marie-Josée Dandeneau’s soundscape immerses us in the midst of a forest, in a play written by Gustave Akakpo and dramaturgy by Tomson Highway. At the crossroads of nature and resilience, artists from three territories ponder the history that needs to be rectified and the future that remains to be written.
● CARLETON-SUR-MER │La conquête du béluga is presented on 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. Other works try to redefine creativity with the help of new technology.
● OTTAWA │In the vein of true crime podcasts, Durant des années transports us back to 1999 in rural Quebec, in the middle of the Ottawa River, where a teen’s murder has shrouded residents in silence. Relevant to our times, this work from Théâtre du Trillium and Théâtre Catapulte uses AI-generated interactive stage design. Making its world premiere at La Nouvelle Scène Gilles Desjardins’ Studio A, September 12 and 13.
● MONCTON │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. Between existential questions and interstellar ambitions, this show asks life’s biggest questions and reflects on its absurdities in the time an interstellar trip takes – with Katrine Noël of Les Hay Babies. Bouée will be presented at La Nouvelle Scène Gilles Desjardins’ Studio A, September 15 and 16.Two shows take us on journeys to explore the world.
● OTTAWA │In the aftermath of a deadly epidemic, a brother and sister undertake a perilous journey to the United States in search of their father. The post-apocalyptic thriller Murs questions what remains of humanity when civilization collapses. Making its premiere at the University of Ottawa’s Academic Hall, September 13 and 14.
● MANITOBA │Young audiences (8 to 11) and seniors are invited to embark on a sensory journey with Cet été qui chantait by 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 play and object theatre. Performances at the University of Ottawa’s LabO, September 15 and 16. Meanwhile, Crawlspace brings us back to reality with a real estate horror story.
● TORONTO │Crawlspace paints the funny, tear-inducing absurdity of the Toronto real estate market. Join the play’s protagonist as she finds—not without a sense of humour—disaster after disaster under the bricks and boards of her new home. Performances at the University of Ottawa’s Studio Léonard Beaulne, September 12 and 13. Last but not least, some works examine the notions of memory and inheritance,while paying tribute to loved ones.
● VANCOUVER │In 1960s Quebec, Michel makes a name as a drag queen before becoming Michelle. In Michel(le), a powerful autobiographical solo, Joey Lespérence questions the roles that society forces upon us all. Making its world premiere at the Arts Court theatre, September 12 and 13.
● CHICOUTIMI │Ainsi passe la chair is a love letter from Sara Moisan. Through headphones, you’ll listen to a fictitious conversation, based on old recordings between her and her father. This deeply personal 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 is also an opportunity to discover works in progress.
The biennial gives space to upcoming creations by helping to build a bridge between creators and the public, but also to artistic directors who might be interested in presenting these works to their audiences.
This year, the works in progress presented at the Zones Théâtrales are:
TORONTO │ Ça rime avec vinaigre by KaFé Productions Inc
CHELSEA │Créatures by L’eau du bain
SHERBROOKE │Sainte-Johanne-des-Calvettes by Traces et Souvenances
OTTAWA │Vivances by Guillaume Saindon
CARAQUET │Vent à vendre by Théâtre Populaire de l’Acadie
OTTAWA, PORT-AU PRINCE AND TORONTO │Quel dernier grand conflit pour
satisfaire la haine entre les humains by Guy Régis Jr
Industry professionals can enjoy Zones Théâtrales’ round tables, speed dating-style project
presentations, a fun roleplay game and get-togethers meant to grow and to support the
theatre community from French Canada and across Quebec.
Two free exhibits and several other events are also open to the general public.
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 background. On September 14 at 10 p.m., a performance and DJ set will showcase Geronimo Inutiq and local DJs. Finally, in addition to La conquête du Béluga, multidisciplinary artist Maryse Goudreau will be showcasing her installation Dans le ventre de la baleine—an immersive sound and tactile experience that plunges you into the center of a beluga whale nursery. Both installations are being held continuously at Club SAW, from September 13 to September 15. Zones Théâtrales is offering more than just theatre, livening things up with happy hours and festive evenings. Plus, new this year—a drag night hosted by show-stopping drag queens (Chiquita Mére, Sami Landri and Ruby Foxglove). Audiences and artists alike can celebrate together at these events. On Saturday, September 16, a very special literary cabaret will close out the week, looking back at the ten biennials from 2005 to 2023.
Check out the full program at : https://nac-cna.ca/en/zonestheatrales
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’Association des groupes en arts visuels francophones (AGAVF), Club SAW, the Canadian Museum of History, the University of Ottawa, the Association des théâtres francophones du Canada (ATFC), 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.
ABOUT THE NAC
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.
Don’t miss out on Zones Théâtrales
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Catherine Jones (she/her/elle)
Stratège en communications-marketing