A Théâtre français de Toronto New original Play

Les Filles du roi
(The King’s Daughters)

Duration

1h40

Distribution

Mathieu Bourassa, Manon Bourgeois, Hannah Forest Briand, Geneviève Langlois, Vincent Leblanc-Beaudoin, Gloria Mampuya, Caroline Raynaud and Mélie. B. Rondeau

Creative Team

  • Text Sébastien Bertrand
  • Director Karine Ricard
  • Writing consultant Marie-Claire Marcotte
  • Stage Management Christoph Ibrahim
  • Set, lighting and props Glenn Davidson
  • Set and props assistant Natalia Dlugosz
  • Composition and transition choreography Geneviève Cholette
  • Sound Design Ben Gibson
  • Costume design Sophie Duguin
  • Surtitles translation Nina Okens
  • Surtitle manipulation Sean Baker
Special Thanks

David Rayfield (Head Scenic Painter), Jacob Beecher (Scenic Painter), Stephen Guy-McGrath, Wulf Higgins, Canadian Opera Company, Shaftesbury Films, Sydney Desnoyers

Show Patrons

Ann Atkinson, Claudia Lebeuf, Naomi Azrieli and François Blanc

Sponsors
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Synopsis

France, 1673. Louis XIV admits it himself. New France is struggling to develop. The math is unforgiving: there are too many men; not enough women. A recruitment campaign to find young girls to marry is launched.

Armande, Martine, Dorimène, Marianne, Angélique and Agnès (mythical characters from Molière’s comedies) are all appointed “Filles du roi” (King’s Daughters) and board a sailboat bound for these new horizons. Their mission: to give birth to a new generation of citizens. In reality, however, the young women are motivated by a variety of reasons, some of which conceal… dark secrets.

A Word from the Author

Sébastien Bertrand

Crossing the Atlantic in the 17th century was a daring adventure fraught with peril. Travel conditions were generally harsh, the food was horrendously bad, and people were cramped and uncomfortable. In addition to the risks associated with storms, many suffered from seasickness, scurvy and other fatal diseases.

And yet, more than 800 women have chosen to face the unknown by courageously embarking on this migratory adventure, their reasons as varied and complex as each other.

I wanted to explore these reasons with Les Filles du roi.

In the majority of his plays, Molière tackles the themes of women’s place in society, lack of culture, marriage of interest, the importance of money and the discrepancy between social classes, to name but a few. I wanted to revisit Molière’s comedies and pay homage to the source of inspiration while weaving new plots with contemporary themes and sensibilities through the narrative, and filling in the gaps in the stories and characters; the result being a brand-new comedy-drama that brings to light female characters who are often marginalized, vilified or overlooked.

Leaving and never coming back. To have the irresistible urge to abandon everything.

The King’s Daughters certainly weren’t the first to come up with the idea. The difference is that they actually did it. With no guarantee of success, they chose to risk everything. Whatever their circumstances, they understood that happiness, or at least the promise of a better life, lay elsewhere; hope being their only beacon in the dark.

Enjoy the show!

SÉBASTIEN BERTRAND

A Word from the Artistic Director

Karine Ricard

Leave without looking back. Restart from scratch. Venture into the unknown. Cultivating the hope of a new experience. These are the themes that resonate deeply in this play, and that caught my attention from the very first reading.

In this journey, the characters abandon their land to colonize New France, but their true motivation is quite different. These Filles du roi (King’s Daughters) are thirsty for a new existence, in a larger, more innovative world. They leave behind their pasts to escape the conventions and norms that restrict them. It’s a first step towards freedom, a decision that’s 100% theirs, and not determined by their feminine condition, the legacy of a patriarchal society. They are sailing towards a new world.

I also wanted to draw a parallel with what we’re experiencing on a global scale right now. The world has changed since the pandemic. We may not dare admit it, but nothing is the same. We’ve crossed a new threshold, and now everything has to be rethought and reinvented. We’re in the middle of this journey, destined to rebuild our future societies on new foundations, because we’ve become aware of what no longer works. The pandemic has shaken us, and we are now seeking to establish a better, healthier and more inclusive balance of life. This is where I find my inspiration and motivation to continue creating theatre.I hope to inspire you to leave the old world behind and welcome the new with open arms.

Enjoy the show!

KARINE RICARD

Distribution

Mathieu Bourassa

Mathieu Bourassa

Alceste

Mathieu is very proud to be back at TfT with this wonderful team. Last year he appeared in the web series Les Liaisons dangereuses : Correspondances inédites, and before that in two editions of the show Les Zinspiré.e.s. His stage career developed in Calgary, where he worked with several companies including Alberta Theatre Projects, Vertigo Theatre, Sage Theatre and Downstage, as well as being a member of the Major Matt Mason theatre collective. In 2014 he received the Betty Mitchell Award for ‘Best Actor in a Supporting Role’ in George Rideout’s play Michel & Ti-Jean. In front of the camera, he has appeared in such shows as Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Mayday, Eaux Turbulentes, Designated Survivor, Frankie Drake and Murdoch Mysteries. Mathieu would like to thank his parents for all their support, and Kescha for all her love.

Manon Bourgeois

Manon Bourgeois

Angélique

Manon Bourgeois is an actress and multidisciplinary artist based in Toronto. A recent graduate of the Performance Acting program at Metropolitan Toronto University and an alumna of the Theatre concentration at the Ontario Centre for Artistic Excellence, Manon works in both French and English, for both stage and screen. While completing her studies, she worked on projects such as antigone lives* (TMU x Why Not Theatre); The Division (TMU x Tarragon); Zik (TFO); and Insert Clown Here (Terra Firma Festival). For the past two years, she has also played the character of Rosalie in the Franco-Ontarian show Amandine et Rosalie (D.M.C. Productions), which resumes its school tour in spring 2024. In parallel with her projects as an artist, she has held the position of Marketing Assistant at Théâtre français de Toronto since 2021, and works as a photographer, video editor and graphic artist within the company and elsewhere. She is thrilled to be making her TfT debut as a performer in Les Filles du roi. She is grateful and proud to be working on this play, which tells the story of her own ancestors, surrounded by such a wonderful team!

Hannah Forest Briand

Hannah Forest Briand

Mariane

Hannah Forest Briand is a queer artist who trained at Toronto’s George Brown Theatre School. Her soul pulsates in dance studios, theatre rehearsal rooms and even in small cafés where her imagination unfolds in writing. Her screen credits include a lead role in Les Liaisons Dangereuses (TfT), a recurring role in Échec & Moi (TFO), and a starring role in the feature film Camping Trip (Productions Fuica). Hannah’s recent credits include Les Zinspiré.e.s and Flush at TfT, and Darkest Dark at Young People’s Theatre. As a Quebec artist, she’s proud to represent French-language works across Canada, while maintaining a thriving career in English.

Geneviève Langlois

Geneviève Langlois

Dorimène

Geneviève is a native of Montreal and a graduate of the St-Hyacinthe theatre option. Her TfT credits include La Cantatrice Chauve, Les Éphémères and Flush. On television, she played police chief Jeanne Leroux in the series Eaux Turbulentes (seasons 1 and 2) and will also be seen this fall in Radio-Canada’s Avant le Crash (season 2). On the big screen, she is part of the cast of Lyne Charlebois’ magnificent film Dis-moi pourquoi ces choses sont si belles, scheduled for release in 2024. Geneviève is currently working on post-production for her first documentary, Zone Grise, which will air on Radio-Canada in March 2024.

Vincent Leblanc-beaudoin

Vincent Leblanc-beaudoin

Cléante/Clémentine

Vincent is a Franco-Ontarian performer, creator and clown dedicated to physical and immersive theatre. A two-time Jessie Award winner and multiple Doras Award nominee, Vincent works in both French and English. He holds an Honours B.A. in Theatre from the University of Ottawa, is a graduate of Studio 58, and has completed the Clown Intensive at the Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance.

He has performed in theatres across the country, including productions by Canadian Stage, Corpus, Théâtre français de Toronto, Dusk Dances, BoucharDanse, DopoLavoro Teatrale, Talk is Free Theatre, Théâtre la Seizième and Rumble Theatre. Vincent was recently awarded the RBC National Award of Excellence for an Emerging Artist from the Fondation pour l’avancement du théâtre francophone au Canada.

His work as Clo can also be seen in Makinium Saison 1-4 (Radio-Canada), Zik (TFO), the web series Abigaëlle et le date coaching (TV5), La malédiction de Jonathan Plourde (Super Écran), Flippons 2020 (TFO), and Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce (Bravo). www.vincentleblancbeaudoin.com
Photo Credit: Catherine Tétreault

Gloria Mampuya

Gloria Mampuya

Martine

Gloria Mampuya is a bilingual actress of Cameroonian and Congolese origin. Raised in Ktinékétolékouac (Sherbrooke, Quebec), she is now based in Tkaron:to (Toronto). She is looking forward to collaborating again with Théâtre français de Toronto. Her other credits include Intimate Apparel (Thousand Island Playhouse), Crawlspace, and Les Zinspiré.e.s : Dixjoncté.e.s (Théâtre français de Toronto), The First Stone (New Harlem Productions/GCTC), Pipeline (Black Theatre Workshop/Théâtre la Licorne).

As we embark on this journey where women’s voices come to the fore, it is imperative that we continue to seek to listen to the voices of communities and individuals who are systematically ignored. Gloria would therefore like to remind and encourage the public and herself to approach people with curiosity, love, and respect. It is through sincere and genuine openness that we can perceive the suffering of others and act to build a better future where we share the earth harmoniously.

Caroline Raynaud

Caroline Raynaud

Agnès

Caroline began her career in France. As an actress, she starred with Marion Cotillard in Olivier Dahan’s Oscar-winning film La vie en Rose. Five years ago, she moved to Canada to pursue her passion. She played the Marquise de Merteuil in the web-series Les Liaisons dangereuses : Correspondance inédite (Karine Ricard). She sang in the feature film Some Other Woman (Joel David Moore - Avatar), at this year’s Mammoth Festival. She is currently starring in The Baker (Jonathan Sobol - The Art of the Steal) alongside Ron Perlman. In the theatre, she trained in France at the Conservatoire d’art dramatique du XVIème arr. de Paris, at the Théâtre de la Tête Noire (Orléans), and in workshops with the Théâtre De La Colline (Paris); she has also been involved in various projects in Sudbury with the Théâtre du Nouvel Ontario, and played in Mani Soleymanlou’s latest opus “1.2.3.” a play questioning community identity which toured across Canada in autumn 2022. At the same time, the need to write and share was born. The “Les feuilles vives” festival supported her research, and now it’s TNO’s turn to welcome her for a public workshop next February (2024).

Mélie. B. Rondeau

Mélie. B. Rondeau

Armande

Born in Granby, Québec, Mélie B. Rondeau moved to Toronto in 2016 to pursue her passion for acting shortly after landing a non-speaking role in Robin Aubert’s Les Affamés, winner of the Best Canadian Film award at TIFF 2017. Her affinity with the horror genre proved to be fruitful. A few years later, she lent the role of Lisa Harris, a possessed young woman who comes back to life in Godforsaken (Tubi), her first feature film. Most recently, she played Sofia Rousseau in Dream Job, a new web series available on Reveel. Since performing in Toronto the Good (Buddies in Bad Times) in 2018, Mélie has been dreaming to get back on the stage. After giving life to the Présidente de Tourvel in the web series Les Liaisons Dangereuses: Correspondances Inédites (2022), Mélie is delighted, once again, to be given the opportunity to work with the Théâtre français de Toronto. Instagram: melie_br

Creative Team

Sébastien Bertrand

Sébastien Bertrand

Text

Sébastien Bertrand is a versatile artist, working as a writer, actor, and screenwriter. In television, he has recently worked as a screenwriter on projects such as 1001 Nights, Makinium, La Vie Compliquée de Léa Olivier and Mehdi et Val. The latter two series were nominated for Kidscreen Awards and Prix Gémeaux.

Sébastien’s theatre credits include La Cantatrice chauve, Le Malade imaginaire and Les Précieuses ridicules, all produced by Théâtre français de Toronto. As a bilingual actor, he has also taken part in plays such as Vimy at Soulpepper and The Language of the Heart at Théâtre Passe Muraille. As a director, his play Les Zinspirés Puissance 4 was critically acclaimed, winning Best Direction at the Dora Awards in 2016. His television credits include Murdoch Mysteries, Less Than Kind and Mégallô.

Recently, Sébastien wrote Les Liaisons Dangereuses: Correspondances Inédites, an eight-episode web series produced by TfT with support from the Canada Council for the Arts. The series has received critical acclaim, winning Best Web Series at the Montreal Independent Film Festival (2022) and the Toronto International Women’s Film Festival (2023).

Karine Ricard

Karine Ricard

Direction

Originally from Montreal, Karine has been based in Toronto for over 18 years and is firmly rooted in the Franco-Ontarian and Toronto artistic communities. An accomplished actress, she performs in both theatre and television. Karine was also heavily involved with TfT, before assuming the position of Artistic Director in 2021, not only as an actress (Le Misanthrope; La Seconde surprise de l’amour; Ici, les arbres s’enracinent dans l’eau; Voies.x ouvertes : Convictions), but also as dramaturgical advisor for the Les Zinspiré.e.s writing competition, and as writer, producer and director. Karine directed eight episodes of the TfT web series Les Liaisons dangereuses : Correspondances inédites, and recently played the role of Karen Hines in Crawlspace : Une vraie de vraie histoire d’horreur immobilière, a play that will begin a national tour next year.

Glenn Davidson

Glenn Davidson

Set, Lighting and Accessories

Glenn Davidson is delighted to return to TfT. He designed the set and lighting for the 2015 and 2018 editions of Les Zinspiré.e.s, and other TfT productions such as La Soirée Tchekhov, Lettres d’amour, Cœur de Chien, À toi pour toujours, Ta Marie-Lou, Albertine en cinq temps, La Cantatrice chauve, Les Zinspiré.e.s : Dix-Joncté.e.s, and Crawlspace: Une vraie de vraie histoire vécue d’horreur immobilière. Previous projects include Undercover (Tarragon Theatre), Bombers (4th Line Theatre), Freud’s Last Session (Harold Green Jewish Theatre) and Tale of Two Cities (Tafelmusik). His work has won two Dora Mavor Moore Awards, and he is the recipient of the Pauline McGibbon Award.

Natalia Dlugosz

Natalia Dlugosz

Set and Props Assistant

Originally from Poland, Natalia is a jack-of-all-trades, with a passion for theatre and design.

After graduating from architecture school in France, she decided to devote herself to the art of storytelling in a variety of ways. Museum, cinema and theatre, her career path reflects her curiosity and her taste for travel, which is constantly renewed.

An adventurer in her spare time, Natalia arrived in Canada last January. Her drive? New artistic territories to explore.

Geneviève Cholette

Geneviève Cholette

Composition and Transition Choreography

Geneviève Cholette has been involved in musical comedy and theatre for over 25 years, touring across Canada and France. In addition to performing hundreds of shows with Les Chiclettes, she has choreographed, co-directed and written lyrics for many of their songs. With three albums to their credit, Les Chiclettes have won several Trilles Or awards (Best Group, Discovery, Jazz Group) and Réseau Ontario awards (Coup de foudre, ROSEQ, RADARTS, Franco-Fête de Toronto & Réseau des grands espaces). - LesChiclettes.com

She has performed several leading roles, including: Maria - West Side Story (m.e.s. Phillip Nero), Luisa - The Fantasticks (M.e.s. Douglas Campbell), Maria - Twelfth Night, designated one of the five best shows of the year by Montreal’s The Gazette, (m.e.s. Moira Wiley) and Da Vinci-Ado - Da Vinci, at the famous Casino de Paris theatre.

A graduate of Sheridan College, (Musical Theatre Performance), Geneviève has choreographed and directed such plays as: The Sound Of Music (with Georges Masswolh-Come from Away), Grease, Annie, Anne Of Green Gables, Somewhere In The World/Spirit Of A Nation at Roy Thomson Hall (with 750 young artists) as well as the Vaches-The Musical showcase (winner of 4 Contact Ontarois awards). In 2009, she founded Studio Unio (a French-language musical theatre company), where she has directed over 5,000 emerging artists. UNIO.CA

Ben Gibson

Ben Gibson

Sound Design

Benjamin Gibson is a multi-instrumentalist/composer/producer based in Hamilton, Canada. He works with acoustic and electronic textures in various genres, including dance, hip-hop, experimental classical and ambient music. After composing scores and sound design as a film student at Ryerson University, Ben moved to Europe to work on music, doing stints in Amsterdam and Paris. His band, Marienbad, was a live electronic duo that composed and performed disco and house music. He has performed at numerous venues in Toronto, including Mod Club, Lee’s Palace and Sneaky Dee’s. In recent years, Ben has turned to composing and sound design for live theatre. Ben’s musical influences include John Coltrane, Erik Satie, Madonna, Sonic Youth, M.I.A., DJ Screw, Brian Eno, and Aphex Twin.

Sophie Duguin

Sophie Duguin

Costume Design

After studying theatre at the University of Ottawa, where she discovered her passion for costume design, Sophie spent the next few years working in film and television. She distinguishes herself by working on a wide variety of genres and styles, from modern to classic, and from comedy to horror. She has worked as a costume designer on many projects, including Killer High and Paris Paris 2nd season. It’s with great pleasure that she now rediscovers the theatre scene, where her love of costume was born. Many thanks to her exceptional collaborators/costume designers: Emily Kowalik and Jenni Lee.

Christoph Ibrahim

Christoph Ibrahim

Stage Manager

Christoph is thrilled to be part of the King’s Daughters team. A Toronto-based actor, singer, stage manager and educator, Christoph graduated from York University’s theatre program with a double major in Devised Theatre and Design. After graduating, Christoph immersed himself in the world of stage management, parallel to his performing career, he continues to work in theatre, both on and off stage, often wearing many hats. Christoph is passionate about creating and developing new work, and although he has worked mainly in musical theatre in recent years, he is delighted to return to the world of site-specific theatre with this original piece! When he’s not in the theatre, he can be found singing with the Juno Award-winning Toronto Mass Choir. Some favorite stage credits include: Something Rotten, The Lightning Thief, The Drowsy Chaperone, Drama 101 (2017 and 2019 at Toronto Fringe), Legally Blonde, Newsies (Bravo Academy for the Performing Arts), Forever Plaid (Starvox Entertainment), Hansel & Gretel, The Crack of Doom (Yellow Door Theatre Project) and recently Le Concierge (Vincent Leblanc-Beaudoin, TfT, Dopolavoro Teatrale) @Christophib

Mathieu Taillardas

Mathieu Taillardas

Production Manager

With a degree in social work and education, Mathieu’s early professional life revolved around his profession as a specialized educator, while at the same time pursuing a career as a musician. Following a retraining in the administrative world, he left France in 2020 to move to Toronto. As life is all about meeting new people and sharing experiences, he was hired at the end of 2021 as Assistant General Manager of the Théâtre français de Toronto. This was his first exposure to the world of culture and entertainment. There, he discovered the incredible richness of the French-speaking community and wanted to become a player in safeguarding, growing, and developing this beautiful family. Thanks to his commitment and motivation, he was trained by Théâtre Action to become TfT’s new production manager.

In images

Les Filles du roi

Photo: Mathieu Taillardas

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