Le Théâtre catapulte presents

Manman la mer

Distribution

Djennie Laguerre

Creative Team

  • Written and performed by Djennie Laguerre
  • Direction Kamana Ntibarikure
  • Music, performance and creative support Sara Rénélik
  • Sound design Elena Stoodley
  • Set design Benoît Brunet-Poirier
  • Lighting and projections Shawn Henry
  • Costume design Isabelle Bélisle
  • Direction assistance and stage management (original run) Katie Rochford
  • Production management (original run) Kyle Ahluwalia
  • 2022 remount oversight Danielle Le Saux-Famer
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Synopsis

TO APPEASE HER MOTHER, MARJOLAINE HIDES HER GIFT OF CLAIRVOYANCE TO HER FAMILY… but twenty-six years later, she is struck by a mysterious illness that modern medicine is unable to treat. With no other options, Marjolaine travels to Haiti to seek the healing powers of her grandmother, Manman La Mer … Performed by Djennie Laguerre with great sensibility, Manman La Mer puts Caribbean women and spirituality in the spotlight and explores with humour and authenticity the sometimes complicated relationships between mothers and daughters.

A Word from the Author

Djennie Laguerre

Manman la mer is a story that flowed from my pen at a time when I didn’t think I had another story to share onstage, in spite of being asked for ten years following my previous tale, Rendez- vous Lakay.
Manman la mer: a story that was brought to light through the character “Manman la Mè” who is neither magical nor mystical… until these talented and visionary artists, on the wings of the “sweet and wise” Catapulte, stage this love story that envelops three generations of women.

We tell you the story under the direction “of the Ancestors and with the charms of a Haitian storyteller.” AYIBOBO ASHE

Dedicated to my mother: a COURAGEOUS woman, a woman with heart.

Djennie Laguerre,
Author and storyteller, Manman la mer

A Word from TfT’s Artistic Director

Karine Ricard

Dear audience,

After having previously presented Espoir/Espwa and Rendez-vous with Home at TfT, we’re now very excited to welcome Manman La Mer, Djennie Laguerre’s most recent work. Author, storyteller, artist, mother, she continues to share with us love stories and characters inspired by her own life experiences.

In her Haitian oral tradition, she delves into her relationship with her mother and describes what both separates and brings them together. Regardless of our culture of origin, we can easily recognize ourselves in this multigenerational relationship and these characters anchored in everyday life. It is indeed our mothers, our daughters, our colleagues and our families who leave a mark on our lives; who reconcile us with our past and guide our present and future.

Every time I hear one of Djennie’s original works, I listen attentively to her magical way of demystifying the sacred, breaking the fourth wall, and taking us, with humour, into a universe that touches our hearts.

Karine Ricard

A Word from the Artistic Director

Danielle Le-Saux Farmer

Kamana. Sara. Djennie. Shawn. Isabelle. Katie. Elena.
Women of courage
Women of faith
Women of heart and conviction
Women of wonder

When a group of exceptional artists and women come together, something unexpected and magical happens.

****

When I became artistic director of Théâtre Catapulte in June 2017, I made a secret wish, a dream goal that I kept to myself, to one day work with Djennie Laguerre. This actor-storyteller is such a keen, brilliant virtuoso. At the reading of a few pages of the exquisite Manman la mer, her fiery and vivid world, the constellation of female characters grappling with displacement and loss of self, instantly grabbed me. And the stars aligned: Djennie agreed to develop her script with us.

Next, the project Manman la mer quite unexpectedly became an amazing, rich convergence of a team of creators of all backgrounds driven by a desire to create a warm and transformative theatrical event. You will find some find some very precious parts of each one of them in the tale that we will tell you tonight.

For me, this story seeks to ratify a slow but sure reconciliation with our roots and the divinity that lives in each one of us, if we are there to listen.

And what remains at the end of this process, and at the start of the offering of this tale to the audience, is a deep feeling of gratitude.

Thank you to you, dear artists, for your generosity. You are vast like the sea.

Danielle Le-Saux Farmer
Artistic Director, Théâtre Catapulte

Principal Artists Biographies

Djennie Laguerre

Djennie Laguerre

Author and Performer

Djennie Laguerre is a graduate of the Stella Adler Acting Conservatory, New York, and the University of Ottawa (B.A., Theatre). Onstage, Djennie has been part of the production and tour of Rendez-vous with Home/ Rendez-vous Lakay by Black Theatre Workshops; Espoir/Espwa, Le malade imaginaire, Les Zinspirés and Les Zinspirés 3D (Théâtre français de Toronto); Seventeen (Anonymous) Women (Infintheatre); REZ SISTERS (Factory Theatre).

She wrote and starred in Rendez-vous with Home/Rendez-vous Lakay (SummerWorks Festival, 2008, and Théâtre français de Toronto), also presented in several storytelling festivals such as Les Contes nomades (CNA, Café) and Festival le loup de Lafontaine. She is proud of its ambitious two-version tour (English and French) with the iconic Black Theatre Workshop (Montréal, 2018).

META nomination for Best Actress for Rendez-vous with Home/ Rendez-vous Lakay (BTW 2018 production & also toured November 2019). Film/TV: Madame Bonheur on MiniTFO; Flashpoint; Degrassi Junior High. Rendez-vous with Home won the Spotlight Performance Award at the SummerWorks Theatre Festival. She has received several nominations: Dora for Outstanding Performance- Ensemble for Les Zinspirés (2012), Outstanding Performance by an Individual and Outstanding Performance by Ensemble for Les ZINSPIRÉS 3D. In development, her next show Taking care of ‘Maman’ produced by Roseneath Theatre is scheduled to tour within schools.

Kamana Ntibarikure

Kamana Ntibarikure

Direction and Set Design

Kamana Ntibarikure is a multifaceted, trilingual artist. Acting, movement, and music have always been her preferred mediums of creative expression, and she uses them to build bridges between the two solitudes. She played the lead role of Dolorès Van Cartier in the musical comedy Sister Act at the Just for Laughs Festival. Past artistic director of the CETM (the Centre for Education and Theatre in Montréal), she organized the 8th edition of the Festival Nouvelle Vague (Next Wave) which celebrates new musical theatre.

Notable recent directing credits include the play Rendez-Vous with Home (Black Theatre Workshop) for which she received a META (Montréal English Theatre Awards) nomination in the Outstanding Direction category. She also directed an historic collaboration between Black Theatre Workshop and Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui: the presentation of the play Angélique by Lorena Gale in translation, in Montréal last December.

With Manman la mer, Kamana is delighted to mark her first collaboration with Théâtre Catapulte.

Sara Rénélik

Sara Rénélik

Composer, Musician, and Creative Consultant

A singer-songwriter, choreographer, and dancer, Sara Rénélik has worked onstage internationally for several years. After having participated in multiple projects (singer and backup for Eval Manigat & Tchaka, Emeline Michel, Luck Mervil, Yaya Diallo, Erol Josué, and the renowned Azor as well as choreographer/dancer for Céline Dion, Cirque du Soleil, and Line One, among others), she launched her album Aube in 2006 to great success. She then relocated to the island of her ancestors, Quisqueya (the island comprising Haïti and the Dominican Republic) and collaborated on multiple projects promoting Haitian culture in the Caribbean and Central America, notably with the Embassies of Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Panama; the Canadian Embassy in the Dominican Republic; the Zile Foundation, ACNURR; and the European Union through the Haïti-Dominican Republic Binational Cooperation Program. After this extended sojourn full of learning and adventures, she shares both her experience and part of her new repertoire inspired by Haiti’s rasin style and traditional rhythms, Taino culture, and contemporary styles such as folk, rock and blues.

Gallery

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Sibylle Berger