The Transformative Power of Angélique

Jenny Brizard © Sonia Bazar | Philip Malizia

On Thursday March 21, the first full day of spring, director Mike Payette spoke to NAC supporters about the play Angélique, a play that invites its audience to look deep within and emerge anew.

Mike gave NAC supporters an overview of the challenging play by the late Lorena Gale that they were about to see. Angélique, he said, was based on the real events that occurred in 18th Century Nouvelle-France involving an enslaved Black woman, Marie-Joseph Angélique. She was charged with arson following a fire that leveled Montréal's merchants' quarter.

Mike revealed that the setting is in a world where “now is then and then is now”, a concept reflected throughout the play’s costuming and dialogue. This collapse of time creates a universality that only stories can. Angélique was a beacon, who fought against injustice.

During the question and answer period, one audience member asked a striking question: “If we could learn one thing from this play, what would it be?” For such an encompassing play, Mike had a number of inspiring answers: “Understand the history of slavery in Canada; the abilities of our own power; and the ability to change.” Mike stated that Angélique took what she had and found peace. No matter where we are from we share this life and we leave “muck”… but we all have the potential for power.

Riveted by Mike’s talk, NAC supporters entered the Babs Asper Theatre, prepared to be transfixed and transformed by the story of one woman, which is really the story of us all.

This NAC English Theatre Presentation is a Black Theatre Workshop (Montreal, QC) and Tableau D’Hôte Theatre (Montréal, QC) Co-production.

A special thank you to our Open Rehearsal and Preview Sponsor, Rob Marland, Royal LePage Performance Realty who makes these chats possible for NAC Foundation donors.

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