TUESDAY NOVEMBER 8, 7:30 pm
AT THE CULTURAL CENTER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF SHERBROOKE
On stage, five figures condense the voices of hundreds of veterans, military men and women and their loved ones: five life lines as many stories testifying to the daily life of these people, affected in different ways by operational stress injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Artistic director : Angèle Séguin
THE CHAPLAIN | Armed Forces Chaplain and veteran Albert Kwan
THE MILITARY WOMAN | Regular Force woman and veteran Emmanuelle Laroche
THE REGULAR FORCE MAN Sébastien Rajotte
THE RESERVER | Male Reserve Force Veteran Étienne D'Anjou
THE SPOUSE | She also speaks for her family Ann-Catherine Choquette
Co-authors: Angèle Séguin and Amélie Bergeron
Dramaturgical advisor: Paul Lefebvre
Director: Amélie Bergeron
Assistant Director: Rose-Lilas Bastien-Turgeon
Lighting design: Andréanne Deschênes
Costume design: Sébastien Dionne
Music design: Maxime Racicot
Production Manager : Andrée-Anne Pellerin
Technical director: Patrice Daigneault
Cultural mediation and poster design: Frédérique Giguère
Development Officer: Marie-Soleil Beaupré-Savard
Communications Officer: Mégane Lortie
Media relations manager: Marie-Anne O'Reilly
Visual design: Strass
Angèle Séguin is an author, director, lecturer, lecturer, graduate of the ex-option theater of the University of Sherbrooke, founding member and artistic director of the Théâtre des Petites Lanternes in Sherbrooke. Inspired by co-creation approaches, in 2006 she created and developed the creative process of La Grande Cueillette des Mots, whose show emerged from the raw words of citizens collected in the Carnets de paroles and with which she implemented a series of artistic collaborations and co-creations on national and international stages. La Grande Cueillette des mots traveled on four continents, with six shows: from Sherbrooke to Hong Kong, from England to Brazil, from Haiti to Congo-Kinshasa, and then back to Canada. From one country to another, inspired by the context, the artists and the words of the writers, the formula has undergone transformations. In addition to her creations in the Eastern Townships for over thirty years, she has offered workshops and conferences on various continents about her creative process and her vision of the arts. Her accomplishments have earned her many recognitions here and abroad. Member of various working committees, including the Conseil Québécois du Théâtre and the Evaluation Committee of the Arts Councils in Quebec, Canada and New Brunswick, she has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Conseil de la Culture de l'Estrie for many years, was president of its Theatre Commission and initiated and presided over the Estrie Arts and Culture Estates General Assembly, between 2011 and 2016, which led to the Estrie Cultural Strategy.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND CO-AUTHOR
Monarques is a Canada-wide, bilingual theatre project that gives a voice to veterans, military families and their loved ones. The project explores operational and post-traumatic stress injuries, marginalization and the countless impact that veterans, military families and their loved ones suffer from as well as the brunt on society itself.
Monarques is the story of those who make the difficult transition from one world to another, the story of those we live side-by-side with, yet at a distance, and the story of those who, imprisoned by mutism, seek disparate paths to seek respite and an end to the unbearable.
The Théâtre des Petites Lanternes (TPL) creates projects that deal with sensitive, complex and current issues that are addressed in public in order to provoke dialogue.
Initially, we received an e-mail by Gilles Viger, suggesting we explore the subject matter. Then, in a first meeting with him, Gilles Samson and Robert Groulx: where we were left floored by a series of intimate and thought-provoking comments. Our prejudices and perceptions of the military world were quickly challenged and we never imagined that we would find ourselves creating a piece of work on issues related to post-operational stress. We found ourselves confronted with a conflict of values, between the isolation and suffering of a human being and our rejection of war, and that even, of the soldier.
"If you've never worn the boots, you don’t know how it feels."
Faced with this sensitive, complex and emotional issue, what could we do, as a theatre company?
Confronted with this human drama, we realised that it was not time nor place for us to form an opinion on the relevance of war or the army. Our work was to ensure that we could help “unlock” the words of those who dare not speak. Starting from the intimate sharing of thoughts by the individual, we are creating an artistic show that explores and dwells on what unites us.
To enable us to create on subjects as complex as Monarques and to fully embody our mission and values, Angèle Séguin, co-author and director of the Théâtre des Petites Lanternes, developed with the organization a singular and inclusive creative process of citizen participation: the Great Harvest of Words (GHW).
Through the GHW we have created a series of intimate and engaged theatre projects that have taken place around the world and have received a
awards and recognitions. It is this creative approach, which lends itself perfectly to the complexity of the subject, that we are using for Monarques.
The CMG's creative process is based on a robust yet flexible structure that includes several carefully and artistically sequenced steps. It was through this process that even in the context of COVID-19, the Monarchs Project was able to reach out to over 200 individuals, veterans, and military families, inviting them to write freely, voluntarily, and completely anonymously in a Word Book. More than 2,000 pages of words revealing stories and unspoken words were collected. A raw material from which the theatrical work will be drawn.
Strength in Numbers
To carry out a project of such scope and sensitivity, Angèle Séguin, the TPL’s Artistic Director, has surrounded herself with experienced and well-meaning teams all taking on different roles; steering, artistic, networking and workshops, documentation, research as well as the company’s actual staff members.
In the winter of 2021, if the situation allows, the Monarques project will be meeting people across Canada. With the help of the Steering Committee, the writing workshops will be taking place in different provinces and targeted regions, allowing us to engage with an important number of veterans, military families and their loved ones. To facilitate the writing workshops, we have bilingual resources who will be travelling with materials available in both languages.
Monarques and COVID-19
In the context of the COVID-19 sanitary crisis, we will be ensuring that security measures will be put in place for all gatherings. At no time will the health of our teams or the public be put at risk.
All the activities on the Calendar adhere to the criteria issued by public authorities regarding the health measures surrounding gatherings, including those issued by the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST).
Taking into account the public authorities’ criteria that are in place, each of the planned activities will be validated on an ongoing basis together with our partners.
REMINDER: In the context of COVID-19, if we were unable to host the meetings or the writing workshops in person in Canada, the materials have been developed in such a way as to carry out the project remotely and/or in a hybrid fashion. We will work closely with the different organizations to make them available and facilitate the writing process when the time comes.
Former Minister Marie Malavoy, and Brigadier-General (Ret) Richard Giguère, join us as co-spokespersons for the Monarchs Project.
The notoriety that they are granted in their respective circles, in addition to the great human qualities that define them,
will certainly serve to increase awareness and understanding of the fragile and complex issue of mental health,
and the role that the arts can play in opening a dialogue between the civilian and military worlds.
Life has its share of wounds. Each of us carries our own. Sometimes the scars have faded with time. Sometimes they are still visible to the naked eye. Sometimes they still take up all the space in the way we look at ourselves. They end up blurring the view and prevent you from living. One can then remain confined in the pain. If no one around you really understands it, this confinement becomes a prison. But if we can share it with others, open a breach in this pain, then it can become the ground for a new life
Former Minister, member of the Women's Committee and Politics
"You're good at sports but your grades are not good, you lack discipline, you don't have much purpose in life, so go to the army recruiting center, they'll get you back on the right track, plus there are lots of benefits. In my youth, we sometimes heard this kind of comment...
Former General of the Canadian Armed Forces