NAC French Theatre

2016-2017 SEASON

Mélanie DUMONT Associate artistic director, Enfance/jeunesse

Dreaming better

Everything is upside down
The sky is on the ground
Clouds drift through the streets
Far below, the moon shines bright
SLUMBERLAND

Feet up, head down! Funny position, unless you’re the bat-boy from Slumberland. This peculiar character straight out of a fantasy tale spends most of his days hanging upside down, watching people as they go about their business in the city. His unique perspective makes familiar things look strange and different. Take his room, for instance: new patterns bloom before his eyes as he gazes at the bedsheets or the wallpaper. Nothing has moved, yet everything has changed. This inverted reflection has a subtle beauty that he’d so like to share…

That child’s distinctive way of observing the world reminds me of the way things appear in theatre. On stage, reality often takes on unexpected qualities; suddenly we see things through a shimmering prism. After all, doesn’t theatre have the power to magnify life, the capacity to enrich it with dreams and imagination? For just a moment, doesn’t it expand the canvas of existence? For me, every minute spent in a darkened theatre has the potential to multiply the possible and spark myriad points of view. Those points of view proliferate gleefully, alongside our everyday lives where things seem so contained and compliant. That’s because the artists in charge like to shake things up: they like to defy convention and challenge accepted ideas. And just like the bat-boy, the creators featured in our season find some unconventional angles as they investigate their surroundings. With tenderness, with imagination, with a shout of laughter, they entice us with what is and what could be, and construct a space where things appear in a completely different light.

Like them, I believe that there is incredible power in our ability to dream and imagine, and that it’s possible to reshape the present through desire, inventiveness and curiosity. That is what theatre heightens, sharpens and inspires in our lives if we let it. And while we’re at it, why not reinvest our world with a little magic?

To the theatre, then! To your observation posts!

P.S. Our theatre for young audiences is on the move! This season, follow us beyond the NAC on a delightful journey around the city. Each show will be presented in a different venue. Are you ready for adventure?

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