Take Me Back to Jefferson

The National Arts Centre is proud to present some of Canada’s most creative artists and arts organizations on its stages, and Theatre Smith-Gilmour is no exception. The highly acclaimed Toronto company has a 35-year history of producing highly engaging, award-winning works. Their production of Take Me Back to Jefferson, based on William Faulkner’s novel As I Lay Dying, is part of English Theatre’s season.

“What an honour it is for us to be invited to perform at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa,” said Co-Artistic Directors and co-creators Michele Smith and Dean Gilmour. “We want to thank Artistic Director Jillian Keiley from the bottom of our hearts.” The company performed Chekhov Longs at the 2003 Magnetic North Festival in the NAC Studio.

Called a “physical theatre tour-de-force,” Take Me Back to Jefferson has received rave reviews.

“We set out to mobilize the audience’s imagination,” Gilmour said. “So we use a bare stage on purpose, to put the focus on the actors and the actors’ ability to transform and communicate with the audience. For us, the text and the physicality are together, they are not separate, so the words of Faulkner happens in the audience’s imagination.”

Dean Gilmour and Michele Smith met at the School of Jacques Lecoq in Paris, France in 1978. Since 1980 Theatre Smith-Gilmour has created 33 shows,18 of which were original plays. They have toured across Canada several times and to 14 countries around the world. Their work has been nominated for 27 Dora Mavor Moore Awards (winning nine), as has been nominated twice for the Chalmers’ Best Canadian Play Award.

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