Saison 21-22

Théâtre français de Toronto and Théâtre du Nouvel Ontario present

Le Club des éphémères (The Shadflies Club)

Cast

Esther Beauchemin, Hélène Dallaire, Marie-Hélène Fontaine, Geneviève Langlois, Diane Losier

Creative Team

Playwright Alain Doom
Direction Dillon Orr
Dramaturg Joël Beddows
Set Design Marie-Pierre Proulx
Costume design Mélanie McNeill
Lighting design & Technical Direction Michael Brunet
Soundscape Daniel Bédard
Direction Assistant & Stage Manager Jeff Soucy
Stage Manager Assistant Céline Lepage
Production Manager Natalie Gisele & Christina Leblanc-McHenry
Technical Direction Ivan Pitre
Wigs Alice Norton
Head Seamstress Farnoosh Talebpour
Set Builder Chris Shelswell
Set Design Assistant Gabrielle Noël de Tilly
Direction Assistant Simon Paquette
Set Design Assistant Juliette Tardit Wagner
Surtitles Nina Okens (translation) and Natalie Gisèle (Operations)

TfT
Théâtre du Nouvel Ontario
Publicités
Publicité Publicité

Synopsis

Five residents in a retirement home are being interviewed for a documentary on the dreadful swarms of Lake Nipissing shadflies—called “éphémères” in French—that engulf North Bay every summer. Disappointed by the topic, these women would much rather discuss something closer to their hearts: the Dionne quintuplets. Playing it up for the camera, they share their individual stories but, in so doing, each end up revealing a sordid page of their past. At times tender and piercing, this dramatic comedy reminds us that life is… ephemeral.

TRIGGER WARNING: This play tackles themes of emotional and sexual abuse.

Artistic Director’s Word

Karine Ricard

Karine Ricard

Alain Doom’s Le Club des éphémères (The Shadflies Club) is the culmination of a writing residency, spanning several years, and led by Joël Beddows as dramaturgic advisor. This co-production between Sudbury's Théâtre du Nouvel Ontario and TfT brings together creators of unparalleled talent and highlights the robust and prolific collaboration between the two companies. Originally scheduled to open in April 2020, this funny, violent and touching play aptly juxtaposes themes of loneliness, aging and our responsibility to nurturing our collective memory; themes all the more relevant today, as the veil is lifted on our relationship with our elders and more specifically on those living in isolation. It is with great joy that we finally present this play, skillfully directed by Dillon Orr and featuring an outstanding cast.

Enjoy the show!

Word from the Director

Dillon Orr

Dillon Orr

Don’t step out of the dressing room leading with your right foot? Never peek at the audience from behind the curtain. Put on make-up with a rabbit’s foot. Don’t knit backstage.

In theatre, we are extremely superstitious. These are important relics of the rich history accompanying the performing arts, reminding us that creating for the stage is also participating in one of the oldest human traditions.

The embargo on whistling in the theatre began when stagehand positions were filled by moonlighting sailors who used coded whistles to communicate, and thus an untimely whistle could result in a piece of scenery crashing down on your head. Real plants are forbidden on stage, real jewelry interferes with the lighting design, not to mention green costumes, which are absolutely forbidden.

Perhaps theatre also shares its strangeness and mystery with the occult to remind us that it is, indeed, a form of witchcraft.

Let’s face it. The line between theatre and magic is blurry.

The instruction manual, The Discouerie of witchcraft, wherein the lewde dealing of witches and witchmongers is notablie detected, in sixteen books by Reginald Scotus (1584), rightly points out that in theatre, actresses and illusionists are performers, and not witches.

Although, part of a witch’s arsenal is obviously her ability to create good theatre...

If the stage is a mirror held up to society and mirrors are the most magical of objects, perhaps we should consider listening to witches and believing in superstitions, which adhere to the smallest of veils between the world of the surreal: the stage curtain.

Do you know the Malleus Maleficarum? No? How strange. It is a religious treatise published in Strasbourg in 1486 or 1487. The Malleus Malficarum even accuses witches of having the power to steal the male organ from his body. It goes on to give accounts of witches commenting on these crimes. Now, you didn’t hear this from me...

Welcome to The Shadflies Club.

Biographies

Text

Alain Doom

Alain Doom

Alain Doom is an actor and playwright, and was until recently the Theatre Program Director at Laurentian University. His first script, Un neurinome sur une balançoire (Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario), premiered in the fall of 2015, directed by Joël Beddows. This monologue, winner of the AAOF’s Émergence Award and finalist for the 2016 Trillium Award, was presented in Ottawa (ZT), Montreal (Licorne), Sudbury (TNO) and Toronto (TfT). His second play, Un quai entre deux mondes, a finalist for the 2019 Trillium Award, was read at the Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario (Salon du livre de Sudbury), the NAC’s Zones Théâtrales and the Alliance française de Toronto, the result of a first collaboration between Théâtre la Tangente and TfT. His third play, Le Club des Éphémères, was produced in the spring of 2020 at TNO before being cancelled due to the pandemic. Alain Doom’s plays are all published by Éditions Prise de parole. A prolific and award-winning actor, Alain Doom has also appeared in Michel Ouellette’s Frères d’hiver at Théâtre la Catapulte (directed by Joël Beddows), Molière’s L’École des Femmes at TfT (directed by Diana Leblanc) and Patrice Desbiens’ Du pépin à la Fissure at Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario (directed by André Perrier).

Mise en scène

Dillon Orr

Dillon Orr

Originally from the Detroit River Region, Dillon Orr is a Franco-Ontarian stage director. He is a graduate of the Department of Theatre from the University of Ottawa, and the Artistic Residency program at the National Theatre School of Canada. Strongly interested in the development and production of new dramaturgies, Dillon is the recipient of the Paulette-Gagnon (2016) and National Excellence RBC (2019) awards, awarded by the Foundation for the Advancement of Francophone Theater in Canada, as well as the Pauline McGibbon Award (2021) from the Ontario Arts Council. His work and theatrical point of view, characterized by its passion fueled approach to cringe, are exciting new forms of popular entertainment. Anchored in humour and accessibility, Dillon’s unique approach to live art is representative of an intrinsically Franco-Ontarian theatre aesthetic. His many creations include Le club des éphémères (Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario, Théâtre français de Toronto), Ceci n’est pas une lettre d’adieu… (Théâtre Catapulte), Toutou (Vox Théâtre), Jeff Koons (Théâtre du Trillium, Center Phi) and Vaches, The Musical (Creations In Vivo).

Cast

Esther Beauchemin

Esther Beauchemin

(Cécile)

Originally from Montreal, Esther co-founded the Théâtre à l'Ouvrage in 1978 and worked there for five years. After completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at UQAM, she moved to Ottawa in 1988, where she performed for the main theatres in the region, particularly for La Vieille 17 (La machine à beauté, Le Nez, Mentire). She then tried her hand at writing and created Maïta, La Meute, Terre d'accueil, and Quand la mer..., all of which were produced and published.

Performed for nearly ten years in Quebec, Canada and Mexico in its French, English and Spanish versions, Maïta won the Prix du Salon du livre de Toronto 2002 (Toronto Book Fair Prize).

In 2016, she returned to the stage to perform in the young audience show Et voilà un beau dimanche de passé ! which had a third run in the spring of 2019.

Esther has been Artistic Director of Théâtre de la Vieille 17 since September 2006.

Hélène Dallaire

Hélène Dallaire

(Annette)

Hélène Dallaire is a retired theatre teacher, director, actor, author, workshop leader and, until recently, lecturer in the Theatre Program at Laurentian University. Committed to the pursuit of excellence in theatre, at the school and community level, she has been active in the Sudbury theatre community since 1986.

At Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario, she has directed more than 15 shows, including Le malade imaginaire, Don Quichotte, Le Dîner de cons, Huit femmes, Bonbons assortis, Silence en coulisse, Thérèse et Pierrette à l’école des Saints-Anges and As is (Tel Quel). Many remember her student productions with the Macdonald-Cartier High School troupe, Les Draveurs.

As an actress, she has appeared on the small screen in Météo+, Les Bleus de Ramville and Amélie et compagnie, and on the silver screen, she appeared in Pour vivre ici by Bernard Émond and Noël en boîte by Jocelyn Forgues.

She was awarded Theatre Ontario’s Michael Spence Award for her achievements in theatre. She has also received two Théâtre Action Awards for Excellence and the Hélène Gravel Award. She was awarded the Marcel-Lanoue Community Leadership Award and the Franco-Ontarian Artist Award at the 26th Jeux franco-ontariens. She also received the prestigious Mérite franco-ontarien for excellence in teaching, awarded by AEFO.

Hélène studied theatre at the University of Ottawa and the Université du Québec à Montréal.

Marie-Hélène Fontaine

Marie-Hélène Fontaine

(Émilie)

A veteran actress based in Toronto for the past thirty years, Marie-Hélène has appeared in numerous productions, including Plan B at Tarragon Theatre, for which she was nominated for a Dora Award, and La Passagère, a Théâtre La Tangente production. Marie-Hélène appeared at Théâtre français de Toronto in Le Collier d’Hélène, which was nominated for a Dora Award, as well as in Le Mariage forcé and La Critique de L’École des femmes, Le Faucon, Le Gars de Québec, Eddy, Bonbons assortis, À toi, pour toujours, ta Marie-Lou and Albertine en cinq temps. Marie-Hélène also played in the English version of Bonbons assortis (Assorted Candies), directed by Diana Leblanc, with Viola Léger. Her television credits include Adrienne Clarkson Presents on CBC, Top Cops on Alliance and Les Belles-soeurs on TVOntario. She played the role of Gratienne Desrosiers in Météo+ for TFO and starred in the film I Am Yours directed by Leonard Farlinger where she plays The Mother. Marie-Hélène is, additionally, a visual artist.

Geneviève Langlois

Geneviève Langlois

(Yvonne)

Originally from Montreal, Geneviève graduated from St-Hyacinthe’s Theatre Program in 1986.

At Théâtre français de Toronto, she played in L’invitation au Château, Les précieuses ridicules, Tartuffe, La critique de l’école des femmes, Feu de la mère Madame and Portrait chinois d’une imposteure. She has also appeared in Tout comme elle (Brigitte Haentjens, Sibyllines), Orange mécanique (Tandem, Montreal), Serpent Kills (Crow’s Theatre), Dali (Crow’s Theatre), Flowers (Grand théâtre), Fou (Michael Kennard and John Turner) Ionesco’s La Cantatrice Chauve, directed by Chanda Legroulx, and more recently in Flush by Marie-Claire Marcotte.

On television, she has appeared in Caleb’s Daughters, L’Or du temps, La femme Nikita, Side Effects, Charlotte’s World, Virginie, Lobby, Unité 9, Kung fu, Jean Duceppe, Brimstone, La courte échelle and Friday the 13th.

Geneviève was also part of the series Eaux Turbulentes, directed by Lyne Charlebois, which aired on Radio-Canada in April 2020.

Diane Losier

Diane Losier

(Marie)

For nearly 35 years, Diane has worked as a host and actress on stage and on television.

On stage, she has played some thirty roles, including Visage de feu, Les muses orphelines, Valentine and the musical Louis Mailloux.

In the Fall of 2019, she directed her first production at Théâtre populaire d’Acadie, Robert Thomas’ detective story Huit femmes. Recently, she played Glenda Thibodeau, the narrator of the rock opera Viens avec moi by Les Hôtesses d’Hilaire.

On the silver screen, she appeared in Camion, Exils and Pour mieux t’aimer. On the small screen, she has played in a dozen television series, including: Le Siège, Le Clan and Samuel et la mer and Newbies on TV5 Unis.

This is her first collaboration with Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario and Théâtre français de Toronto.

Creative Team

Joël Beddows

Joël Beddows

Dramaturg

Director, dramaturg and artistic director Joël Beddows has spent two decades cultivating artistic experiences where symbolism, poetry and social commentary meet. Whether creating new works or directing repertory theatre or theatre for young audiences, Beddows treats each project as a laboratory where he seeks to question the reference points and clichés of our contemporary existence; real vs aesthetic; historical vs memorial. This is demonstrated in such productions as Happy Days by Samuel Beckett (2010), Frères d’hiver by Michel Ouellette (2011), East of Berlin by Hannah Moscovitch (2012), À tu et à moi by Sarah Migneron (2013), Visage de feu by Marius von Mayenburg (2013), Avant l’archipel by Emily Pearlman (2015), Dom Juan by Molière (2016), Le Dire de Di by Michel Ouellette (2017) and Le Menteur by Corneille (2017), Exercice de l’oubli by Emma Haché (2019) and Solstice d’hiver by Roland Schimmelpfennig (2022).

Marie-Pierre Proulx

(Set Design)

Originally from Hearst, Marie-Pierre Proulx is a multi-talented artist who works primarily as a set designer and author. She has designed sets for various Franco-Ontarian companies including, Ceci n’est pas une lettre d’Adieu (Théâtre la Catapulte), Vie et mort d’un char boiteux (Créations In Vivo), Le Gars qui voulait se faire Phénix (Théâtre du Trillium/La Bibitte poétique), Cinéma (Théâtre la Catapulte/Théâtre Belvédère) and Jack (TNO), of which she was also the playwright. In 2018, Marie-Pierre received the Jeanne Sabourin Professional Award from Théâtre Action for Jack, and in 2015, she received the RBC National Emerging Artist Award from the FATFC. After a career as a project manager and executive assistant at Théâtre de la Vieille 17, Marie-Pierre moved to Sudbury in 2017 to join the TNO team as Artistic Director.

Melanie McNeill

(Costume Design)

Melanie is a Toronto-based set and costume designer who has worked extensively with the Théâtre français de Toronto, Eldritch Theatre and Videocabaret, among others. She is also the Artistic Director for UnisTV’s Échappe-toi si tu peux. Melanie has received 3 Dora Awards (plus 7 other nominations), a Rideau Award, and a 2015 Artistic Excellence Award nomination. Melanie is a graduate of Ryerson Theatre School and a member of Associated Designers of Canada.

Michael Brunet

(Lighting Design and Technical Direction)

Michael Brunet is a theatre-maker with over 30 years of experience both on stage and behind the scenes. Trained in acting, he made his name in Outaouais region primarily as a Lighting Designer in the nineties—well known for his innovative concepts for the National Arts Centre, Théâtre de la Vieille 17, Théâtre du Trillium, Vox Théâtre, and other local companies of the time. He toured the world as a puppeteer with Théâtre de la Dame de Coeur (TDC) and Cirque du Soleil, and, again, as a Lighting Designer for Go-On Productions and TDC before moving to Toronto to pursue an acting career in television and film. For TNO, Mr. Brunet designed the lighting for Jack (2018) and L’Homme effacé (1997); and, for TfT, he designed Les Zinspirés 3D (2014), Les Zinspirés 5 sur 5 (2016), Dom Juan (2017) and Exercice de l’oubli (2019).

Dan Bédard

(Sound Design)

Daniel Bédard has been dancing with the TNO since 1983, when he created the soundscape for Au Pays de Ti-Jean. Since then, he has had several collaborations with them, such as Univers; Du pépin à la fissure (winner of the Masque de la production franco-canadienne in 2003 and 2001, respectively) and Parmi les éclats in March 2018. He has also had the great pleasure of working on projects with several poets, such as Robert Dickson—la cuisine de la poésie présente (Prise de Parole 1985) and Michel Dallaire—le pays intime (Prise de Parole and SRC), which won the Trille Or—Best Album: Poetry category, 2001.

Thanks

Lynn Boissonnault, Denis Constantineau, the Centre de santé communautaire du Grand Sudbury, Collège Boréal, Théâtre Action and the actors who participated in the development of the script: Lina Blais, Diana Leblanc, Louise Naubert, Carline Zamar and Jocelyne Zucco, Vincent Kolcz and Kevin Steeper of Production Canada and Louis Tanguay

In Images

Le Club des éphémères
Le Club des éphémères
Le Club des éphémères
Le Club des éphémères
Le Club des éphémères

Denys Tremblay