One of Mani Soleymanlou’s first initiatives as artistic director of French Theatre is to open up a horizon for the next generation of performers. He wants to offer them hope, but above all a genuine work opportunity, by mounting an annual production steered by top-level creators.
You who want to perform, embody, interpret. You who carry within you an instinct, an idea, an intuition. Who trained for or pursued your theatrical vocation in the midst of a pandemic. Who are now facing a wall of postponed productions, struggling companies and overcrowded touring schedules. Welcome to French Theatre.
With the help of the Théâtre du Rideau Vert, the oldest professional French-language theatre in North America, French Theatre intends to produce and present a play featuring recent graduates of theatre training programs in Quebec and Canada. For 2022-2023, the show will be directed by the great Marie Brassard. The creation she will sign with the first collective will be presented at the NAC at the beginning of the 2023-2024 season.
A special recurring project initiated by Mani Soleymanlou, the French Theatre Residency allows us to welcome a creator over a two-year period. Two full seasons to explore a particular approach or style, to hone their skills or just let them soar.
For the 2022–2023 and 2023–2024 seasons, French Theatre will host Catherine Vidal, a researcher of wide-ranging culture, inexhaustible curiosity and keen intelligence. Her goal? To build a dramaturgical and scenic notebook that will lay the foundation for an investigation of Chekhov’s La mouette (The Seagull). With that in mind, she will gather texts, echoes, images, music and atmospheres, and test them out on the performers’ bodies. In the spring of 2024, a show will be produced by the company Coeur battant, in co-production with NAC French Theatre and in collaboration with Prospero.
Audiences will have unique opportunities to follow the project’s evolution.
Yes, that’s right: the French Theatre Labs are back!
You who want to create shows, develop your vision, strengthen your artistic work. You who founded your own company, who thirst for rich exchanges and inspiring strategies. We invite you to join us for a brand new laboratory.
While creation remains the foundation of any artistic project, many other factors come into play to ensure that a work reaches the hearts, minds and bodies of the audience. How do you bring art back to the centre of a theatre company’s process? How do you put your ideas into practice and convey your vision of the world? And above all, how do you learn to follow your instincts while being aware of your blind spots?
This new laboratory is part of a long tradition of intensive exchanges around the professions related to the stage.
Full details of the 2023 edition will be announced at a later date.