Theatre and Politics in Modern Québec

Theatre and Politics in Modern Québec

Theatre and Politics in Modern Québec

Theatre and Politics in Modern Québec

Excerpt

Theatre in today's Québec is varied and dynamic and francophone Québec playwrights have assumed a significant role in its development. Most of the major companies devote at least some of their programming to French-speaking Canadian playwrights while the majority of the Young Theatre groups perform exclusively Québècois material.

Thanks to a genuinely supportive educational system, indigenous playwrights are regularly and enthusiastically read, performed, and discussed by tens of thousands of Québec high school and university students. The names of many of the playwrights presented here are household words to these students for whom theatre represents a most appropriate form for the expression of their hopes, and fears, both as individuals and as members of Québec society.

Québec's dramaturgy has evolved from picturesque melodrama and simple comedy to high drama and provocative satire. It has changed while still maintaining a distinctly Québec flavour. Although it is difficult to say which comes first, the social or the dramatic, it is certain that the relationship between these two realities has been evident in Québec since the seventeenth century.

Sometimes, in fact, the political, social, or linguistic repercussions of the theatre attract more attention than the plays themselves. In 1970, for instance, there was much ado about the refusal of the Québec Ministry of Cultural Affairs to finance a Paris engagement for Michel Tremblay Les Belles-Soeurs because it was written not in acceptable, standard French but in joual, the popular, anglicized French spoken mainly in parts of Montréal.

On the other hand, from 1950 to 1980 in particular, artistic creation flourished in Québec at times of political and national crisis. The year of the Cross-Laporte kidnappings by members of the Front de Libération du Québec in October 1970, is a case in point. For this was also the year of the staging of such provocative plays as Médium saignant, La Duchesse de Langeais, and La Guerre, Yes Sir!

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.