Playwright-long course

Photo: Pedro Ruiz The Duty
The author Carole Fréchette welcomed The “Duty” to her home, in her magnificent lair of the Plateau.

It covers nearly three decades, snaps a fortnight of plays translated into 17 languages and is acclaimed by prestigious awards. This, however, is that by January 2018 that will be published a first study book devoted to the theatre solo of Carole Fréchette. Great opportunity for a meeting with the author, who welcomes us to her home, in her magnificent lair of the Plateau.


The playwright says it is grateful for this interest (” This puts concepts on things that I do intuitively, even if she read a few theoretical works, in order to protect his or her approach is instinctive. A theatre on the alert, scanning the length and breadth of his ” unique voice “. His theatre room ” between the introspection and the world, between the intimate and the social, the game and the conscience of the game “, summarizes the author. In a middle ground that reflects the nature, nuanced Carole Fréchette, well away from the current trend to certainties polarized, which drives them to despair.


Its two pieces of draft (with her friend the author Lise Vaillancourt, it also work to transform excerpts of their correspondence in a small show, which would involve a concrete consideration on the writing), engage in a dialogue ” with the radicalism, entrenched positions “. In Ismene, a short monologue written for the festival of readings in Paris to women in January 2016, it gives the word to the sister moderate the radical Antigone, the heroine of Sophocles admired for his bravery. “Is it that there is a courage in the compromise ?” asks she in this text that it is working to develop more extensively.


The other piece in the process of writing, Nassara (” white woman “in the language of moreh), is born from a “big shock” for the emotional as Carole Fréchette has felt during two trips to Burkina Faso. And the violence of the real world was invited in spite of her in his intimate account. “The challenges of the world are all the time in my head, but I addressed always by the small end of the telescope. “His latest creation montreal, I think of Yu (modern Theatre in 2012), was already demonstrating the tension between frame personal and politico-social.


“It’s funny because I don’t feel at all competent, in some way, to talk about the world. I think it is very feminine : it never feels competent enough to talk about the big issues. “Having a big sister who has been vice-secretary general of the UN (Louise Frechette) does not help…” I am very interested in politics, but to me, it is necessary for it to pass by my sensitivity. “


Here, not as elsewhere


A japanese version of John and Beatrice to a Necklace of Helen played in East Jerusalem by Palestinians (an event that was very emotional), the universal nature of his fables never ceases yet to win. “I have to touch something fundamental in human relations. I don’t know how to explain it other than by the fact that my parts to address all of the difficulties of living. “

It’s funny because I don’t feel at all competent, in some way, to talk about the world. I think it is very feminine : it never feels competent enough to talk about major issues
Carole Fréchette

In France, she notes, its dramaturgy ” penetrates everywhere “. In the theatres (including two new productions of The skin of Elisa in the near future, at the Manufacture des Abbesses and the Avignon Festival) of course, but also in the schools, and many in the network of amateur theatre. “This is not very valued, but it makes me extremely happy. “A proof that his work is significant for the people.


This makes it all the more incomprehensible its dissemination in Quebec : its parts have been “very little” climbs in the capital and have not been the subject of any recovery in Montreal. In addition, Fréchette still waiting for a local production of his recent Small Talk, created in 2014 for the Theatre of the People, in the Vosges.


“It’s a difficult subject for me. Since the beginning, I wonder what is going on. Am I not in line with my company ? “The author of the quatre morts de Marie, which leads to a good career, doesn’t seem to be complaining, but this is clearly an injury. “The reception of my theatre here, this is what matters to me the most. “


Boldness and strength


The researcher Gilbert David, who runs the book dedicated to his théâtrographie, advance as an explanatory hypothesis the “resistance” to a form which, under appearances that are accessible, reveals a complexity. “It is true that I do a concrete theatre, but not realistic, which is not so obvious to embody. “His work, which contains few identity markers québécois visible, stands out may be a tradition of theatre that is more anchored.


She also wondered if her choice, radical, from joining for seven years for the collective response Théâtre des Cuisines, in 1973, has not planted immediately in a position of” outsider “. The origins of the feminist which, during the following decades, ” it was not necessary to talk too much. Myself, I very much wanted to make my way out of it. Sometimes I say : that’s because you’re a woman that you can’t play your pieces, and it is as if I didn’t want to even discuss this possibility. “


Today, noting with some pride that it is one of the elder dramatists quebec assets, Carole Fréchette welcomed the abundance of female voices and the pressure exerted by the group Women’s equity in theatre on the programming. “I find it amazing the audacity of these women, who are invading the territories of all the ways. It took a long time… “

Carole Fréchette, playwright. A theatre on the alert

Under the direction of Gilbert David, Nota Bene, coll. “Cultural studies “. In bookstores January 8.