Théâtre la Seizième is the only French language professional theatre company in BC. Every year, Théâtre la Seizième presents a mainstage season, a young audiences season, a series of drama workshops and a training and dramaturgical development program for local artists. By continuing to produce, present, and commission engaging Canadian works, Théâtre la Seizième is a dynamic leader in Western Canadians’ cultural and artistic life. Over the years, the company has positioned itself as a major creation and presentation centre on the national cultural landscape.

Season brochure cover

Last week, the Théâtre unveiled its 2011-2012 season. Five plays, all different but sensitive, funny, and insightful, will take an honest look at subjects dealing with current affairs.

In addition to receiving three critically acclaimed productions from Montreal and Ottawa, Théâtre la Seizième will produce two works from its dramatic development program. These plays will premiere at Studio 16 and are created entirely by local artists.

Here’s a quick run down of the plays, broken down into the Mainstage Season and Theatre for Young Audiences.

Mainstage Season

Au champ de mars
[Au champ de mars. Photo credit: Rolline Laporte]

Au champ de mars
November 16 to 19, 2011
The season will begin with Au champ de Mars, a satirical comedy by our long-time partner in Montreal, Théâtre de la Manufacture. This play centers around a discussion about Canadian participation in overseas conflicts and its aftermath through the eyes of four characters that have been changed inexorably by the war in Afghanistan. Playwright Pierre-Michel Tremblay (Coma Unplugged) tackles a difficult subject with crushing realism but always with compassion and great humour.

Mona Lisa
[Traces’ Mona Lisa. Photo credit: Fabrice Grover]

Presented in French with English subtitles
January 31 to February 11, 2012
In this latest creation, Vancouver artists Craig Holzschuh and Anita Rochon take the audience on a memorable multidisciplinary and interactive journey encamped within the walls of a deserted museum. While an unusual hit exhibition gives life to the institution, its two curators will be brought to the extreme limits of their practice and their values. The play is an examination of the perceptions, the memory and the commercialization of intimacy. Traces humourously explores the tenuous barriers that separate fact from fiction, art as a product and how personal space can exist within a medium.

La liste
[La liste. Photo credit: S. O’Neill]

La liste
March 28 to 31, 2012
La liste, produced by le Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui (Montreal), will close the mainstage season. In this moving and masterfully crafted tour-de-force interpreted by Quebecois stage personality Sylvie Drapeau, a woman invites the audience into her kitchen. Her neighbour Caroline is dead. Is she guilty of this tragedy? The woman, who prides herself on never letting anything slip by, has overlooked an item on her list. The show is a riveting tale of everyday to-do lists in which the essential and the ordinary are inextricably entwined. Astounding and simple, the Governor General’s Award jury called The List “absolutely inspired”, adding that “Jennifer Tremblay achieves the universal with economy and lucidity”.

Theatre for Young Audiences

Le portrait Gooble (for elementary school audiences)
March 9 to May 25, 2012
After the death of their father, a brother and sister find themselves in a competition to find out who is the better painter. Over the course of the various events, the competition intensifies and soon their emotions are thrown into turmoil. Will Lydia and Denver be able to put their rivalry aside before another tragedy befalls their family? Written and brought to the stage by a team of young talented Vancouver artists, Le portrait Gooble is a story about fraternity, paintbrushes and ghosts, which colourfully examines the respect of personal differences and self-actualization.

Afghanistan (for teen audiences)
April 24 to May 11, 2012
A true Canadian success story, this Théâtre la Catapulte production addresses the pivotal moment when, upon leaving school, young adults must make crucial choices about their future. Eight months after they first met, Axelle and Jim find each other again in a bowling alley. While they slowly bring down their protective barriers, the two teens reveal their positions. Unable to communicate their distress and their unspoken love, the two adolescents perceive the military life as an exit door. Their future, and the future of the child Axelle is carrying, is linked to Afghanistan, a country they know nothing about.

Subscriptions are available either by phoning the box office at 604.736.2616 or via the website’s tickets section.

Although the website is in French, you can sign up to receive email updates in English as well.

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