The upcoming NAC French Theatre season promises to get off to a strong start. To launch his first season as Artistic Director of French Theatre, Mani Soleymanlou has surrounded himself with some 40 Francophone performers from across Canada to revisit his plays Un, Deux and Trois, which he has brought together in a single show entitled Un. Deux. Trois.
It’s no secret: Mani Soleymanlou loves numbers. After presenting plays ranging from the solo Un to the podcast Probablement Onze—by way of Zéro—, he returns to Un. Deux. Trois., his great symphony of identity. Presented in Montréal in 2014 and Paris in 2017, the show, which has previously delved into the Quebecois and then the French identity, will this time focus on Francophones across the country. Together with an all-new cast from various backgrounds, the actor and director is building a choral, poignant and festive work.
Forty solitudes. Forty outstretched hands. Forty lives to amplify the voice of Canada today. A show that tackles all this, without speeches or placards, without rhetoric or empty phrases. To revisit our heritage, question what we will pass on in our turn, and move beyond clichés. To give resonance to a multi-accented language. To move forward together and build bridges across the widening gulfs.
In short, to put the “I” at the service of the “WE.” Because ultimately, what does it mean to be Francophone in Canada?
“I’ve always wanted to work collectively, to engage in dialogue, to reach out. I want to make the NAC a meeting place, to create a sense of a national theatre community. Un. Deux. Trois. is all of these things at once; it’s the community taking its place on stage. We never are, we are only becoming, and I want us to become together.”
—Mani Soleymanlou, Artistic Director, NAC French Theatre
The show is written and directed by Mani Soleymanlou. He will appear onstage with Emmanuel Schwartz, Olivier Arteau, Caroline Bélisle, Florence Brunet, Jean Marc Dalpé, Katrine Deniset, Ziad Ek, Nadia Girard Eddahia, Israël Gamache, Cory Haas, France Huot, John Gislain Kibaga, Anna-Laure Koop, Danielle Le Saux-Farmer, Jean-Christophe Leblanc, Lionel Lehouillier, Meilie Ng, Dillon Orr, Anaïs Pellin, France Perras, Dominique Pétin, Eric Plamondon, Marco Poulin, Caroline Raynaud, Gabriel Robichaud, Marie-Madeleine Sarr, Manon St-Jules, Ines Talbi, Elkahna Talbi, Chloé Thériault, Xavier Yuvens, Jean‑Charles Weka and Anais West.
At the helm of NAC French Theatre since September 2021, Mani Soleymanlou is eager to reach out to audiences, to reconnect with them and to get to know them better, especially after two challenging years for the performing arts community. His first-ever program for French Theatre will showcase a wide range of creators, and this year he will once again give pride of place to family programming, with the help of Mélanie Dumont, Associate Artistic Director, Youth Programs.
Besides the plays, there are also a number of new projects ahead for the NAC French Theatre team and Francophone audiences in the Ottawa–Gatineau region. Complete programming will be announced shortly.
UN. DEUX. TROIS. ON THE ROAD
The production will premiere in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre from September 28 to October 1, 2022. Tickets will go on sale shortly. The show will then tour to Sudbury, Toronto, Montréal, Quebec City, Caraquet, Moncton, Vancouver and Winnipeg.
Orange Noyée, the theatre company founded by Mani Soleymanlou, has partnered with theatres across Canada, including NAC French Theatre, Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario, Théâtre français de Toronto, DUCEPPE, Théâtre du Trident, Théâtre l’Escaouette, Théâtre populaire d’Acadie, Théâtre la Seizième, and Théâtre Cercle Molière, to present the show across the country in 2022–2023.
September 28 to October 1, 2022, National Arts Centre, Ottawa
Week of October 3, Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario, Sudbury
Week of October 10, Théâtre français de Toronto, Toronto
Week of October 17, DUCEPPE, Montréal
Week of October 24, Théâtre du Trident, Québec
Week of October 31, Théâtre populaire d’Acadie, Caraquet and Théâtre l’Escaouette, Moncton
Week of November 7, Théâtre la Seizième, Vancouver
Week of November 14, Théâtre Cercle Molière, Winnipeg
THANK YOU TO OUR PARTNERS
Un. Deux. Trois. is also made possible thanks to the support from The Jenepher Hooper Fund for Theatre at the National Arts Centre Foundation, established as a result of a generous gift from the estate of Jenepher Margaret Hooper. The project is also supported by the NAC’s National Creation Fund, the Cole Foundation, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts de Montréal.