In Michel Tremblay’s classic play about identity in crisis, Claude leaves the conformity of small-town Quebec to realize a new life and a new persona among the drag queens and prostitutes of Montreal’s seedy “Main” – the boulevard that marks the division of the city’s anglophone and francophone neighbourhoods. Claude’s illusions about himself are shattered when, painstakingly remade as his idol Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra, he arrives at a costume party themed on “great women of history” and is mocked for his glamorous aspirations. Written during the social and political tumult of Quebec’s Quiet Revolution, Tremblay’s political allegory about the authenticity of self resonates ever more so today.
Cast of 2 men.
One of the most produced and the most prominent playwrights in the history of Canadian theatre, Michel Tremblay has received countless prestigious honours and accolades. His dramatic, literary and autobiographical works have long enjoyed remarkable international popularity, including translations of his plays that have achieved huge success in Europe, the Americas and the Middle East.
Awards and Recognition*
Prix du Grand (2009) La Traversée de la ville (Leméac Editeur Inc.)
Blue Metropolis International Literary Grand Prix (2006)
Globe and Mail Top 100 Books (2003) Birth of a Bookworm
Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play (2000) For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again
Chalmers Awards (1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1978, 1986, 1989, 2000)
Governor General’s Performing Arts Award (1999)
Molson Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts (1994)
Louis-Hémon Prize (1994)
Montreal Book Fair Grand Public Prize (1994)
Banff Centre National Award (1992)
Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters of France (1991)
Chevalier of the Order of Quebec (1990)
San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Festival Long-Standing Public Service Award (1989)
CBC Anik Prize (1988)
Athanase-David Lifetime Achievement Prize (1988)
Quebec-Paris Prize (1985)
Chevalier of Arts and Letters of France (1984)
John Van Burek
John Van Burek has been a practising theatre artist for over 20 years, in both French and English, throughout Canada. He has also worked in the fields of opera, film and television. He is also one of Canada’s leading translators for theatre, most notably of Michel Tremblay’s plays, including Les Belles-Soeurs (Talonbooks). Mr. Van Burek has received several awards and citations for his work, including the Toronto Drama Bench Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Canadian Theatre.
Born in Quebec, William Grant (“Bill”) Glassco was a Canadian theatre director, producer and founder of Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre. He then became the artistic director of the CentreStage Theatre Company which merged, in 1988, with the Toronto Free Theatre to become CanStage. In 1982, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.
“The writing is pure Tremblay – musical, breathtakingly beautiful, and layered with emotion.”
– Toronto Star
“Fluid, glitzy … immensely full of life.”
– Toronto Sun
“Written by a real playwright who can write poetic prose, handle literary technique, and create character.”
– New York Post
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