The Monarques Project was launched on Thursday the 20th of August 2020. This unique project explores the topic of operational and post-traumatic stress injuries, marginalization as well as the countless impacts that veterans, military families, their loved ones and their community experience.
“If you’ve never worn the boots, you don’t know how it feels.”
Above all, the Monarques Project is a heartfelt cry from veterans and military families who called for the creation of a theatrical project that would give a voice to former military members, to those men and women who are struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder and whom could also happen to be our parents, our spouses, our children, our friends or our neighbours.
While some of them are diagnosed during their service, others experience symptoms only upon returning, finding themselves isolated, silenced, not knowing how to work through this or even refusing to accept their condition. Many witness the collapse of their relationship or family. Others also start to see suicide as the only way to overcome their ordeal.
The Creative Process
How to bring to the stage the words of those who prefer to remain silent? Faced with this dilemma, the Théâtre des Petites Lanternes (TPL) has chosen to open up a conversation on this sensitive subject in the public space. To achieve this, the TPL will be using the Great Harvest of Words approach as the best vehicle to put together a theatrical production to tackle this sensitive and complex subject.
The Monarques Project is a bilingual creative process that will first take place in Quebec and Ontario. Between January and April 2021, 800 veterans and military families, will be invited to write freely, voluntarily and anonymously in their Citizen Notebooks during guided writing workshops. The Citizen Notebook is a revealer of stories, of “raw” words, of unspoken and unheard voices, of pleas coming straight from the heart and the soul that will become the primary material of creation. 5,600 pages of text will be compiled. Amongst those pages, hundreds of sentences will be retained, giving birth to a script and inspiring the text, the characters and the design.
Great Harvest of Words projects are larger than life. We find fragments of the human soul in these Notebooks. It is our responsibility, as artists, to receive these words with care and respect. In order to find the right tone, we need to treat them with intelligence and sensitivity.
“Each new project invites me into a new and unknown world. By confronting myself with this, I am left exposed me to my own vulnerability as well as that of others. It is a journey into the unknown, into the most intimate aspects of the human being.” —Angèle Séguin, Artistic Director of the Théâtre des Petites Lanternes, director of the Monarques Project and co-author.
There will be many other milestones to be shared before the final show is presented on the 8th of November 2022, at the Centre Culturel de l’Université de Sherbrooke. To learn more about the Monarques Project and its developments, we invite you to visit our website and Facebook page.