About the NAC French Theatre

The direction of the Théâtre français is entrusted to artists renowned for their remarkable professional careers, creative drive and contributions to the promotion of the arts. 

The Théâtre français… 

… is a place for artistic freedom.

Where artists get support and resources to reach their dreams.

… supports promising artistic projects.

The TF serves as a springboard for performances presented in its venue. The TF sees its role as a driving force, a catalyst, a stimulus for artists from Quebec and from French-speaking regions all across Canada.

… contributes to developing works of theatre.

These works make their début at the NAC and, insofar as possible, helps promote presentations of such plays abroad.

… actively supports new works.

We are lucky to have in Quebec and in French Canada a rich, diverse, intense and ongoing cultural scene. 

… places great importance on programming for children and adolescents.

Young spectators are viewed as an audience in their own right, in all their intelligence, verve, vigour and sensitivity, and the TF presents them with artists and wide-ranging works that are rich in meaning and sensations, each one outdoing the other in daring and invention.

… works to create a relationship to art that extends beyond the performance itself.

The TF wants to enrich the artistic experience of its audience, regardless of their age. Through various activities and initiatives, the team enlightens spectators as to the artistic approach and creative process of featured artists, helping to broaden and deepen their encounters with the works presented.

… brings Canadian audiences into contact with exceptional works of art from other countries.

Hosting foreign works bring new and stimulating perspectives, forms and ideas to the Canadian stage.

… is a focal point for the French-speaking community and a source of delight for Francophiles.

The TF is a dedicated defender of the French language which is viewed as an essential expression of  cultural identity. 

The French Theatre under the direction of Brigitte Haentjens

Under the direction of Brigitte Haentjens, the theatre reaches out to its audience with a program of plays remarkably diverse in form and in emotional response. Each season features works rich in writing, highly original styles and brilliant stagings, presented by committed artists who speak their minds, who charm, provoke or deeply touch the spectator, but who leave no one indifferent.

Brigitte Haentjens supports emerging artists who deserve access to major stages both here and elsewhere. 

Youth Programming under the direction of Mélanie Dumont

Mélanie Dumont seeks to cultivate the curiosity and imaginations of children by promoting the pleasure of discovery and the unexpected. The emphasis is thus on supporting the development and effervescence of singular voices in the theatre for young audiences (TYA) sphere. This is achieved by presenting works that surprise due to their atypical form or structure, and by supporting emerging artists, some of whom are making their first foray into the TYA scene.

Adolescents also receive special attention at the Théâtre français. The challenge is to create for this group a different rapport to theatre and to the NAC, a place they are familiar with because of school outings, and to give them a significant experience that goes beyond “consumption” of a performance.

Thus, regardless of the spectator’s age, the entire youth audience is taken seriously. Shows, projects and related activities reflect trust in the curiosity, insight and creativity of young spectators. The idea of audacious, inventive theatre that is constantly rejuvenated and that allows them to explore and rediscover reality, is the concept guiding our choices and actions. 

More than just a play

  • Post-show talkbacks

    The Thursday evening performance has just ended and the air is still electric with emotion. Moments later, the actors return to the stage for a 30-minute Q&A with the audience.

    On Saturday afternoons, children and their adults are invited to stay after the matinee performance for a 20‑minute “meet and greet” with the creators of the show they’ve just seen. Host: Mélanie Dumont.

  • Complementary activities

    To enrich your theatre experience, French Theatre organizes various activities throughout the season to complement the plays being presented: discussions, round tables, lectures, workshops, pre-show activities for children (arts and crafts, reading corner), film screening and more. Don’t miss out: sign up for our e-newsletter at cna-nac.ca/infolettre.

  • Groupe des dix

    You love theatre and you’re planning to buy a subscription? Become an ambassador by joining French Theatre’s new Groupe des dix and participating in a program of cultural activities related to the shows in the season. Join this intergenerational group of ten theatregoers who examine, debate and discuss contemporary theatre through encounters with creative teams, meetings with artists, and sharing of experiences. The program will be developed with input from the selected participants.

    How to apply
    Send a short message of interest (including your name, contact information and age) to the following address: theatrefrancais@nac-cna.ca, to the attention of Guy Warin, Assistant Artistic Director and Project Manager. Please attach a photo of yourself.

  • Cahiers du Théâtre français

    In the Cahiers du Théâtre français, you’ll discover a wide range of content (biographical profiles, personal stories, essays and interviews) related to the plays in the French Theatre season. Published twice a year (in fall and winter), the Cahiers are intended as companion and reference works: a platform for artists and theatre lovers, a forum where they can express their ideas about art. Pick up a printed copy in the lobby at every French Theatre performance, or access PDF versions via French Theatre’s welcome page: nac-cna.ca/FrenchTheatre.

  • Our uncertainties

    The purpose of this series of conversations is to connect with young people by getting in tune with what moves and excites them.

    Using issues raised by one of our shows as a starting point, we give teenagers the floor so that they can participate in engaged discussion about how they relate to the world, others and themselves. Their conversations about the present can help them shape the future. Our Uncertainties is an atypical panel discussion that draws upon the energy of teenagers who feel an urgent need to speak out and take action.

  • In orbit in the Philosphere

    If you’ve ever wondered about the hidden meaning of a show or play, and where precisely you might be able to find it, we’d like to let you in on a secret:  every work of art is meaningful in many ways! Looking inward and having discussions with others might just give you food for thought and lead to some brilliant ideas…

    At French Theatre we know that plays stimulate critical and creative thinking. So come and join us after one of our Children and Youth presentations!  Stéphanie Boyer will guide you through the big issues of life in the Philosphere, a unique space for freedom of thought that launches ideas into orbit!

  • House programs

    For every show in the season, French Theatre produces a house program containing information about the play and the creative team, and articles by some of the featured artists. The program is handed out to audience members before every performance; a digital version is also posted in advance on the show page on our website.

  • Podcasts

    Throughout the season, listen to / download French Theatre podcasts from nacpodcasts.ca. To complement some of the plays in the season, artists chat informally with host Julien Morissette. Their discussion ranges from the creative process and theatre in general to topics of current interest. The podcasts are opportunities to learn more about the artistic vision and personality of the featured artists. The podcasts are recorded in the NAC’s Hexagon Studio. nac-cna.ca/podcasts

  • Comments

    To reach French Theatre or provide feedback about a performance, please contact Guy Warin at 613-947-7000, ext. 581 or guy.warin@cna-nac.ca.

NAC French Theatre Team