December 13, 14, 18, 19, 2021
On YouTubeTICKETS Author : Sarah Berthiaume.
Translator : Iris Cronin.
Director : Sophie El Assaad.
Antigone : Cara Rebecca;
Inas : Nora Guerch;
Lily : Mona Maarabani;
H : Ismail Zourhlal.
Antioch is a tale of two women: a teenager, Lily, and her emotionally distant mother, Inas. Their pasts have put them at odds: Inas, unable to face her own anger, numbs herself with alcohol and television; Lily, utterly dissatisfied by Western ideology, refuses to join the "system". Yet both began by craving greater purpose and meaning--like Lily's 2500-year-old friend, Antigone. These women are stuck in their tragedies, each buried alive by their own rage. Can they find a way out?
Antigone, Inas and Lily eventually meet beyond the boundary of time, along the border of Syria, where the East meets the West--in Antioch. Lily and Inas face off in an ideological battle with their futures at stake. Antigone confronts her Olympian Gods. Finally, with their past and future laid before them, they see things from the other's perspective and accept the beauty in their fates.
This adaptation of Antioch brings to light the dangers of intergenerational trauma, the importance of sharing the history of your ancestors, and the value of communication, connection, and acceptance. The power of vulnerability can stop the wheel of fate and change its course.
Save the dates of December 13th to December 19th for our enhanced reading of Sarah Berthiaume's contemporary tragedy Antioch! Pay-what-you-can tickets are available from the link above.
Antioch is Talisman Theatre’s first produced-for-digital experience. We are thrilled to embark on this project with emerging director Sophie el Assaad. This well-rounded artist, known to the theatre community as an award-winning costume designer, brings all of her creative energy to her new role.
Designed to be broadcast to a virtual audience, Antioch seeks to live at the intersection of theater and digital art. We hope our investment in digital tools and technology has created something new and compelling for our audiences.
Artistic and Executive Director
Antioch is a tale of two women: Inas, unable to face her own anger, numbs herself with alcohol and television; Lily, utterly dissatisfied by Western ideology, refuses to join "the system". But both began by craving greater purpose and meaning—like Lily’s 2500-year-old friend, Antigone. Inas, Lily and Antigone eventually meet beyond the boundary of time, along the border of Syria, where East meets West—in Antioch. Lily and Inas face-off in an ideological battle as Antigone confronts her Olympian Gods.
L to R : Émilie Soussana, Cara Rebecca
L to R : Nora Guerch, Cara Rebecca and Mona Maarabani
In January we will rehearse and film Rachel Graton's The night of the 4th and 5th, the second of our series of enhanced readings. It tells the story of a young woman who was assaulted and fought back, who speaks rather than remain silent, who stands rather than remain prostrate. This is the evolution of a victim towards resilience and freedom.
La nuit du 4 et 5 earned Rachel the Prix Gratien-Gélinas (2017), the most important Canadian award given to emerging playwrights. It was translated by emerging Katherine Turnbull with translation dramaturgy by mentor Alexis Diamond.
L to R : Duy Nguyen, Rebecca Gibian, Nahka Bertrand, Marcel Jeannin, Victoria Barkoff.
L to R : Katherine Turnbull, Alexis Diamond.
November 30, Giving Tuesday, marks the beginning of our 2021 fundraising campaign. Remember, after Black Friday and Cyber Monday comes Giving Tuesday, the movement dedicated to giving back. You can find our Giving Tuesday page here.
"We have two days that are good for the economy. Now we have a day that is good for the community too."
"In directing, Sophie Gee overcomes the difficulties of distancing herself from the stage; her artistic direction is well served by the original costume design by Sophie El Assaad and the dynamic choreography by Claudia Chan Tak. The production also features performers Chadia Kikondjo, Aida Sabra, Lesly Velazquez and Emilee Veluz, who demonstrate an overwhelming energy, especially Sabra in the role of the old Arabic-speaking neighbor." --Thanks: Daphnée Bathalon, MonTheatre, 07 Déc 2020
Habibi's Angels: Commission Impossible highlights the fact that it is still difficult for a newcomer to integrate even though visible minority artists have become fashionable. While the play evokes the Law on State Secularism (Law 21), it does not claim to be a pamphleteer. It is just a tragicomic fable, a bit pungent, in which many female spectators and, why not, some male spectators will recognize themselves. --Thanks: Nathalie de Han, La Scena, 04 Déc 2020
"...Sophie Gee's staging is inventive despite the social distancing, the four performers--to which are added Chadia Kikondjo, Aida Sabra, and France Rolland (Habibi's voice)--, frankly energetic, the scenography, simple and effective, the choreography by Claudia Chan Tak, quality, the use of video, very welcome, and the costumes by Sophie El Assaad, delirious. Their fun mix of multicultural motifs fused with a comic book aesthetic in a 'superhero Power Rangers' style is worth mentioning." --Thanks: Mario Cloutier, JEU Revue de théâtre, 01 Dec 2020
"In a society where a Tokenist Quebec government--making symbolic efforts to include minority groups in order to escape accusations of discrimination--refuses to acknowledge the existence of systemic racism, Habibi sheds a refreshing light." --Thanks: Mario Cloutier, 26 Nov 2020
SOPHIE (Director) : "So here we have the Angels who are--you'll see from the video because I don't think we'll be able to perform it live in front of an audience--but they are a play on women of colour; they have super, super, super bright clothing on, and they are a visible minority, and they've been tasked as these superheroes by this unknown person, Habibi, to make a play, to capitalize on the fact that they are women of colour. ...And, actually, like, the character of Habibi is trying to get trauma porn." --Thanks: Sarah Dehaies, CKUT Upstage, 26 Nov 2020
"The voice of Hoda, whom I reached by phone on November 20, is joyful ... 'It's a meta-theatrical piece,' she sums up, at last. I immediately realize that, without realizing it, we were actually talking about the play throughout the interview. Because the show comes to ask the same question that nourished our exchanges: how to put forward alternative stories about Montreal, without art becoming number painting?" --Thanks: Sarah-Louise Pelletier-Morin, Spirale, 25 Nov 2020
"Sophie Gee, director of Habibi's Angels (Talisman Theatre), also takes things with perspective. ... 'I think we can all benefit from calming down, from living on a fallow land, from refocusing on processes rather than on their products. Let's use this time in the theatre as an additional residency, which is a great artistic luxury.'" --Thanks: Catherine Lalonde, LeDevoir, 21 Nov 2020
Lyne is a founder (with Emma Tibaldo) of Talisman Theatre. A graduate of the National Theatre School (2005), set design is Lyne's second career. Prior to this, she had worked as a professional engineer (McGill, 1987). Beginning as an Assistant Designer at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, and as an intern at Michael Curry Designs, Lyne has since designed for many theatre, dance, puppet, and opera productions in Montreal. She has designed sets and costumes for Talisman productions since 2005.To contact Lyne, click here.
Amélie holds a Master's degree in Visual Arts and a DESS in Management of Cultural Organizations from HEC Montréal. She has 10 years of experience in the Montreal cultural and artistic community, notably as coordinator of cultural activities at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and as project manager for a pan-Canadian forum "Le Pouvoir des arts" organized by the Michaëlle Jean Foundation. She is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Cultural Enterprise Management at HEC Montréal. She is in charge of philanthropic development at Cinéma Public and joined the Conversations philanthropiques en culture in 2020 to support the actions of the Board of Directors.
Chris served as Talisman's first President of the Board of Directors, recruiting Board members and establishing policies. He serves as a grant-writer, event organizer, and fundraiser--conducting prospect research and developing Talisman's case for support. Chris also serves as Talisman's digital communications consultant, establishing its web and social media presence. He implemented Talisman's CRM (Contact Relationship Management) system to manage communications in compliance with Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL).To contact Chris, click here.
Graduated in Business Administration specializing in marketing. Iria has experience in market research, strategic planning, marketing campaigns and event organization in Spain. She is enthusiastic, a hardworking person, with the initiative to solve problems efficiently and always with a positive attitude to face new challenges, this time being a part of Talisman Theatre.
Inés is a theatre director and cofounder of the theatre company Mundanal Ruido Teatro. For more than ten years, she has combined both artistic creation and education. She holds a degree in Theatre Direction from the Spain’s Royal School of Dramatic Art, a Master degree in Translation and a Certificate in Pedagogy. Currently, she is a teacher in the Master of Studies of Theatre at the International University of La Rioja. Her artistic production has been presented in Spain, Portugal and Dominican Republic. Currently, she is part of Talisman Theatre within the DémART program of the Conseil des arts de Montréal.
Masha Bashmakova is a Montreal-based theatre artist from Russia and the UAE, navigating the ways in which creative expression serves as a deep and necessary language in expressing interpersonal and social-political challenges, conflicts and empathies. Her current practice spans visual and performing arts, with a specific focus in performance, theatre directing and interdisciplinary creation. In the last few years, Masha graduated from Concordia University’s Performance Creation program and has been performing with RANT Theatre, a participatory social-intervention performance form, as well as working on other process-led works.
Naya is a queer Lebanese-Canadian interdisciplinary artist. She is now based in Tiohtiá:ke as an uninvited guest and is always in the process of disidentification. They are interested in exploring questions of hope, recovery and transformation in a violent, patriarchal and colonial world. Theatre and performance are central to her practice. In recent years, they have focused on creating work that centres on the climate crisis, tackling the subject with intersectionality, exploring the positions of capitalism, xenophobia, racism and sexism in the crisis.
Christine has been a member of the Talisman Theater Board of Directors since 2011. She holds a Master's degree in Business Administration and has extensive experience in information technology, having held various executive positions in the engineering, procurement and construction sectors.
A graduate of HEC Montreal and a member of the Order of CPA, Julie acts as an auditor for various organizations in Quebec's arts and literature landscape. This specialization and her extensive and deep knowledge of accounting have given her a great understanding of the financial and governance issues specific to this sector.
Paul Chambers is a visual artist and lighting/stage designer. From 2008 to 2013 Paul was the technical director of Tangente: Contemporary Movement Lab. His interest and collaboration in new projects has always stimulated his artistic journey. Since 2007, notably with studio 303, he leads pedagogical workshops for artists who would like to deepen their knowledge of lighting design. Paul is also a lecturer at Concordia University since 2015 in the Contemporary Dance department and a mentor at the National Theatre School of Canada.
Catherine Doyle holds a Bachelor of Journalism, with Combined Honours in Political Science, as well as a Bachelor of Arts, from Carleton University. She has experience in corporate communications, media relations, internal communications and government relations. She has worked in some of the most highly regulated industries, where she has managed public affairs campaigns, provided strategic advice and developed messaging on issues on ranging from anti-doping in sports, corporate transformation projects, and emerging regulations.
Maria is the North American IT Regional Director for a major Engineering and Construction firm. She has worked in the IT field for more than 20 years and has held various management positions both locally and internationally. She is ITIL expert certified with extensive experience in the Information technologies construction and engineering fields.
Holder of a law degree and a Master of Business Administration, Gérald Gauthier has extensive experience in public and corporate affairs, including regulatory affairs, mainly in the rail transportation sector. He worked in a private law firm specialized in civil and commercial law, before joining Canadian Pacific Railway, and later, the Railway Association of Canada, where he held several executive positions, including the presidency.
In the last ten years Michael's plays have been produced in translation in Avignon, Budapest, Germany, Hungary, Montreal, Ottawa, Prague, Quebec, Stuttgart, and Tel Aviv. He works with the Cirque de Soleil, Robert Lepage (ex machina). He is writer/director of The Baroness and the Pig (2003) and is director and co-writer of Adam's Wall (2008). He currently has three film projects funded for development by Telefilm and SODEC. Michael has a Ph.D in the Political Economy and History of Science. He lives in Montreal with his partner and two sons.
Emilie holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from McGill-HEC Montreal and a bachelor degree in biochemistry from Sherbrooke university. She has evolved in various industries over the past 20+ years, such as pharmaceutical, cosmetics and telecommunication and she has succeeded in managing different functions including business development, project management, marketing and fundraising. In the higher education field since 2016, she now acts as Director of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving.
Ada L. Sinacore, Ph.D. is the Chair of the Gender, Sexuality, Feminist, and Social Justice Studies Program in the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies, the Director of the Social Justice and Diversity Research Lab, and an Associate Professor in the Counselling Psychology Program at McGill University. Dr. Sinacore has over 20 years of experience working in the U.S., Canada, and abroad. Dr. Sinacore has received numerous honours and awards. She is a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association and received the Distinguished Member Award from the Section on Counselling Psychology of the Canadian Psychological Association. Most recently, she will be receiving the Faculty of Education Award for Distinguished Teaching at the 2017 Convocation.
Lyne is a founder (with Emma Tibaldo) of Talisman Theatre. A graduate of the National Theatre School (2005), set design is Lyne's second career. Prior to this, she had worked as a professional engineer (McGill, 1987). Beginning as an Assistant Designer at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, and as an intern at Michael Curry Designs, Lyne has since designed for many theatre, dance, puppet, and opera productions in Montreal. She has designed sets and costumes for Talisman productions since 2005.
Since its founding in 2005, Talisman Theatre has championed the same artistic mission: "To produce professional English-language premieres of contemporary Quebecois plays" in translation for the English stage.
Talisman's mission is one of interculturalisme: working with contemporary issues, we strive to build bridges between Montreal's two solitudes by making the Quebecois perspective accessible to non-francophones. Talisman speaks from the heart of an ever-evolving Quebecois culture directly to non-francophone audiences, by preserving the Quebecois 'edge' often blurred (anglicized) in the translation process.
Our goal is to educate as well as to entertain and to help open up the diversity of different cultures for younger minds. Talisman will continue to produce these high quality works and grow, by: expanding the number of productions from 1 to 2 each year; increasing the life of each theatre production by touring outside of Montreal; and, extending our outreach to young people, students and minorities, through sponsor-subsidised tickets.
Talisman Theatre is an award-winning, Montreal-based production company in its fifteenth season. It was founded in 2005 by Lyne Paquette Artistic and Executive Director of Talisman Theatre (a renowned Set Designer), and Emma Tibaldo, a Montreal director (now Artistic and Executive Director of Playwrights' Workshop Montreal). Lyne and Emma met as students at the National Theatre School.
Based on this relationship, Talisman has established a productive partnership with Playwrights’ Workshop, a Montreal institution, which contributes to the development and dramaturgy of contemporary translations, providing workshops for authors, the translators, designers, and actors.
All Talisman shows since 2005 have been produced with its core artistic team of professional designers. This firm foundation has allowed Talisman to develop its craft and vocabulary to make each Talisman production fully-integrated and culturally significant. The entire Talisman artistic team is bilingual and the Talisman process uses the Quebecois model for production development.
Denis Cöté's Vic and Flo saw a Bear (November 21- December 2nd, 2017), a gender-bending love/horror story between two queer women, fits perfectly into the niche we have established for ourselves with our previous productions:
That Woman (2006),
That Woman (2007 remount),
Down Dangerous Passes Road (2008),
Rock, Paper, Jackknife... (2009),
The Flood Thereafter (2010),
Coma Unplugged (2011),
The Medea Effect (2012),
The Aeneid (2013),
Billy (The Days of Howling) (2014),
The Medea Effect (2015 remount),
Me and You (2016),
Vic and Flo (2017),
Clean Slate (2018),
Habibi's Angels (2020).
Billy was nominated for a META in the Best Indie production categorie. Our 2014 production of The Aeneid won the META for ‘Outstanding Independent Production’, and was nominated in three other categories. The Medea Effect (2012) won the META for ‘Best Actress’ and ‘Best New Translation’ as well as being nominated in four other categories. Our 2011 production Coma Unplugged was nominated for ‘Best Set Design’ at the 2012 Cochon d’Or. The Flood Thereafter was nominated for MECCA awards in three categories. Talisman productions have been nominated for and won the Quebec Critics (AQCT) award for best English Production (2008, 2009), and our 2010 production. We have also collected testimonials from the media and educators on our website.
Talisman has received six CAM, six CALQ, and eight CCA production grants, as well as five CCA translation grants. Private financing has been obtained from the Cole Foundation, Power Corporation, The Foundation of Greater Montreal, The Zeller Family Foundation, and from private donors. In 2010 Talisman received a CCA Flying Squad grant to develop our first three-year Strategic Plan (2010-2013) with a Montreal-based theatre management consultant, Robert Gagné. We now have a full Board of directors and we have created our new (2016-2019) 3-year plan. Talisman received its first multi-year grant from CALQ in 2014, from CCA in 2015 and CAM in 2017.
Talisman Theatre has established strong links within Montreal’s French and English theatre communities. In 2015 we return to The Centaur Theatre with Province as part of the 2015 Brave New Looks. We had our first local tour, staging a remount of The Medea Effect (2012) at the Segal Center for the Arts Studio. We took Province to New Orleans in 2015 for a reading with view to a co-production with the Swine Palace Theatre at Louisiana State University. We have developed a partnership with Theatre La Licorne, a Montreal hub for Quebecois translations of contemporary Scottish and Irish works, with a reading of Billy (The Days of Howling) (2014) on their stage in 2013.
Over the years Talisman Theatre has become a landmark of Montreal's arts scene, receiving previews and reviews in the English media: blogs, print, radio, and television (CBC, CTV, Global). We have also been reviewed in the French media (Le Devoir, Voir). A recent article featuring Talisman Theatre appeared in the French journal JEU Revue de theatre, ‘Breaking Through the Language Barrier’: “When thinking about companies who popularize Quebecois drama, in English, the name at the top of the list is Talisman Theatre—this is exactly their mission.”—Philippe Couture and Christian Saint-Pierre December 2012.
Talisman Theatre operates with a ‘light infrastructure’ consisting of our Artistic and Executive Director (Lyne Paquette) who manages the day-to-day operations of the company, and what we refer to as our ‘theatre family’, consisting of our core team of designers, our invited directors, and translators. Our board members make invaluable contributions with their advice (legal and governance) and active participation (graphic arts, videography).
Talisman Theatre is active in the development of Montreal's English-Language Artistic community. We are proud to be part of The Group of 5+, a coalition of six professional theatre and dance-theatre companies in Montreal who are in the process of planning a permanent space for creation. In this we have the financial support of the three levels of government. This creative space will enable the cost-benefits of sharing of physical resources and services and will assist us all in raising our individual visibility. The Group of 5+ includes: Dulcinea Langfelder & Co.; Imago Theatre; Playwrights' Workshop Montreal; Geordie Production; and Talisman Theatre.
I'm the Artistic Director of Talisman Theatre and I'm asking you to support us by making a donation because I believe in Talisman's unique mission to produce English-language premieres of contemporary Quebec plays, and because I believe you feel the same.
Talisman Theatre builds bridges between Montreal's cultural minorities and the greater population by bringing them the full experience of living in or entering Quebec culture. Please help us to continue building bridges by visiting the links above and making your donation.
Yours with gratitude,
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