CYCLORAMA : A foray into the history of Montreal theatre on both sides of the language divide

Author, director and actress Laurence Dauphinais uses the form of the cyclorama as inspiration to create a documentary comedy in three locations about Montreal’s cultural duality.

Working regularly with anglophone artists, the francophone creator asks herself : why do these two communities seem to know so little about each other? Thanks to rigorous research and with the help of collaborators on both sides of the linguistic divide, she plunges into the history of Montreal theatre to shine a spotlight on the stories we weave that make us who we are.

is a theatrical experience in three places. The audience starts at Centaur Theatre (453 Saint-François-Xavier) for Act 1. Act 2, is a guided bus tour through the streets of the city, and Act 3 takes place at the Centre du Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui (3900 Saint-Denis).

Acts 1 and 3 are approximately one hour long, and the bus tour is about 30 minutes. The total time of the show is estimated at 2 hours 30 minutes but could be longer depending on traffic. Because of the changes in locations, seats are not assigned.

Walking distance from Centaur Theatre to the buses is approximately 350 metres (1150 feet). Please check the weather forecast and dress accordingly. It’s an imaginative and original journey through time, space, and the city.

“I am a francophone Quebecker who has been immersed since childhood in a very specific construct of stories around language, identity, oppression, territory and survival. I grew up during a period of Quebec’s history where, if you were francophone, speaking English was easily seen as an act of self- alienation. With Cyclorama, I wanted to dig into this discomfort in the hopes of dissolving it. I wanted to use Montreal’s theatre world, so profoundly divided linguistically and culturally, to study the concrete effects of history on the practice of a shared art form. To bring together audiences who each knew nothing about the other. To air our extended family’s dirty laundry. Most of all, I wanted to make all these points of view heard simultaneously, to understand which stories they took root in and why they persisted. I wanted to give ourselves the chance to rewrite History and its stories in the present moment, over the time of a theatrical presentation.” – Laurence Dauphinais

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