To all lord, all honor: it is through Michel Tremblay that The story of my theater inaugurates its series of four meetings with Quebec playwrights. The first edition of the event, inspired by the success of The story of my songs, will present interviews conducted by actress Guylaine Tremblay on the stage of the Théâtre Jean-Duceppe.

The celebrated author, who made it through the pandemic year writing as always – he even signed a short piece for the virtual benefit event of the Théâtre du Rideau-Vert, Coronavarius, giving the floor to a couple of nonagenarians separated by COVID-19, considers the idea excellent. He anticipates the pleasure of this “chatting with Guylaine”, as he calls it, because it takes the form of a conversation. An interesting opportunity to broaden the discussion, the interviews with the artists usually focusing on the new work. “There, we’ll have an hour and a half to talk about everything. Pieces that have worked like those that haven’t, pieces that have fallen into oblivion. “

Performers (here Anne-Marie Cadieux, Nathalie Mallette, Henri Chassé and Isabelle Drainville) will also play six extracts. Michel Tremblay insisted with the director of the reading, Michel Poirier – who had had the same idea -, so that he chooses scenes drawn also from less known plays. “We all have favorite children, and they are often children who are not very loved. »Texts which were less appreciated, or which corresponded to their time. “There are pieces that are very useful when they are made, scathing. ” As L’impromptu from Outremont, which was “very important in 1980, because it was created during the campaign of the first referendum. This room contains very beautiful things. But I understand that a firebrand did not come up. “

Me, what turns me on the most about writing, every morning when I sit at my desk in front of what I call my Catholic screen, is not knowing how it’s going to come out. It is an excitement, an anguish at the same time, which never passes. An absolutely unstoppable pleasure-suffering.

Alongside undisputed flagships like Yours, forever, your Marie-Lou and Albertine in five times, we will also find The Hanging House, which, when it was created in 1990, “had been the greatest success of the Duceppe company until then and which has never been repeated”. In this story of “revelations”, three generations of his invented family live together on stage without seeing each other. “I find it to be a beautifully structured piece in form. I was pretty good in the structure of my pieces at the time, he said with a laugh in his voice. And the scene we are going to read is the only meeting that there was between Albertine and the Duchess of Langeais. “

This founding playwright admits not having known “big big flops”, but texts less well received, there were. “ Solemn mass for a summer full moon, which is, in my opinion, one of my best plays, had been very coldly received. I would like to see her again one day. “

For the author, who confides generously, it is sometimes difficult to know why certain works have not been reassembled. He quotes Present imperative (2003), which nevertheless had success at the Quat’Sous. “It’s as if there are pieces that work well, but that we forget. It is very difficult to explain. “Now, for a playwright,” there is nothing more extraordinary than a cover, he recalls, because everything changes. Except one thing: the text. Everywhere I went in the world to see my plays, everything had changed. The truth world? who just played at Rideau Vert, was totally different from 30 years ago. “

Tremblay therefore believes that The story from my theater will allow spectators to (re) discover texts, to learn elements they do not know about him and the other guest writers on the following evenings. Like the fact that Michel Marc Bouchard is now the most performed Quebec playwright abroad. “He’s been past me for a year or two. It is important that the public know how much it is played everywhere. “


Whoever writes, excuse the little, for six decades, continues to create annually. “Sometimes I leave for Key West with no clear idea of ​​what I want to do. And there, I have a flash that I am developing. If I had nothing to say, I would have, I think, the humility to keep quiet. This year I have no idea if I’m going to work or not [l’hiver prochain]. But I don’t worry. I was worried about it when I was younger, because I had things to prove. “

And the fun is intact. “Me, what turns me on the most about writing, every morning when I sit at my desk in front of what I call my Catholic screen, is not knowing how it’s going to come out. It is an excitement, an anguish at the same time, which never passes. An absolutely unstoppable pleasure-suffering. “

Inspiration emerges above all in a literary, romantic form for several years. “I gave up the theater a bit, because I lost the anger I had when I was young,” he recalls. To write theater, you have to be enraged, that you point the finger, that your characters express their resentment. There are things that still shock me, obviously. But it’s as if I couldn’t find the anger anymore, the way to express it. As you get older, it’s like you stop judging others and do more introspection. We ask ourselves questions instead of accusing. “

However, there will be a new theatrical creation next year (not yet announced). In addition to the publication of a fourth book of his delightful autobiographical series devoted to the arts: Musical childhood, in autumn. “It was great to write, funny and touching memories, about the importance of music in my life. “

At the end of 53 years of career, the one who sees his works coming back to life in other forms (Albertine soon in opera) has not yet finished with the fear of being overwhelmed – a theme he addressed in the recent The heart slung. The image he has always had of the aging artist is that of this train for Quebec, which is packed halfway to let a rapid convoy of goods slip away. “The fear that you will be put on the sidings, telling you: you wrote very beautiful things, well done, we will always love you, but let the others pass. I have always been passionate about what young writers do. But the fear that we will forget you, that we will forget to leave the train again, I think it is normal. “

It never happened to him. Michel Tremblay seems well placed to follow the model of his two great idols: Giuseppe Verdi, who has delivered “his two masterpieces”, Othello and Falstaff, at 78 and 80, and Julien Green, who published his final triptych between 90 and 92 years old. With humor, he remarks: “Last year, at 78, I published Victory, of which I am very proud. Now I have to wait 10 years to write my last triptych… ”

Heaven at the end of your days

The story of my theater: Michel Tremblay

A production by Martin Leclerc. At the Jean-Duceppe Theater, July 31. Then Marie Laberge (1is August), Louis Saia and Claude Meunier (August 2) and Michel Marc Bouchard (August 3).

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