The Canadian Premiere of 

Prayer for the French Republic

The Segal Centre for Performing Arts is proud to present the Canadian Premiere of Prayer for the French Republic by Joshua Harmon, writer of the smash hit play Bad Jews, and directed by Segal Centre Artistic and Executive Director Lisa Rubin. Taking home the top prize at both the 2022 Drama Desk Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award, Prayer for the French Republic will be in the Sylvan Adams Theatre from April 23 to May 14, 2023. For the first time, this production will also be performed with French surtitles at every performance.

“★★★★★. Brave, articulate, moving and necessary new play.” – New York Stage Review

In this latest play from multi-award-winning playwright Joshua Harmon, a Jewish couple in 1944 Paris faces the impact of the Holocaust and awaits news of their family. More than 70 years later in 2016, their great-grandchildren’s lives are upended by a rise in antisemitic attacks near their home and they find themselves facing the same question as their ancestors: “Are we safe?”

Rife with Harmon’s signature biting dialogue and cutting wit, Prayer for the French Republic is a sweeping look at history, home, and the effects of an ancient hatred.

“Future generations will study Joshua Harmon’s works the way we do Mordecai Richler and Leonard Cohen for his white-hot commentary on contemporary Jewish lives. If you loved Bad Jews, this play is a must-see!” said Artistic and Executive Director Lisa Rubin.

“Ambitious and maddening, thought-provoking and schematic.’’ – The New York Times

The star-studded ensemble cast includes Jeff Seymour who originated his role Off-Broadway, along with Montreal darlings Ellen David (Dracula: A Comedy of Terrors), Richard Jutras (The Hockey Sweater: A Musical), Felicia Shulman (Indecent), Maurice Podbrey (legendary actor and co-founder/first Artistic Director of the Centaur), Arielle Shiri (Segal Centre Jewish Arts Mentorship Alum, 18 to Life), and international talent Eyal Galli (Israeli-born actor). They are joined by Canadian actors Madison Graves (Gen V), Daniel Greenberg (Accused), and Wade Lynch (former Associate Artistic Director of the Charlottetown Festival) and making his professional debut is Bialik graduate Michael Kreyzerman.

Building Bridges and Opening Doors

This story is set in France and speaks to topics Montrealers are all too familiar with, such as identity politics, antisemitic attacks, and immigration. To enhance the experience, Segal has collaborated with the Montreal Holocaust Museum to enable educational support and expanded outreach for the spring production. The collaboration involves a full curriculum developed around the production, including study guides, talkbacks, free museum admission for all ticket buyers, and supplemental program planning that underscores Holocaust education and contemporary antisemitism today. This is made possible by Federation CJA’s Working Together: Community Impact Grant.

To make this show as accessible to as many audiences as possible, the Segal Centre will be displaying French surtitles for the entire run of the production.

“We hope this French translation will allow more French speakers to come see this important, hit play and to visit our wonderful venue,” said Lisa Rubin.

On Wednesday, May 10 at 12:00 pm and 7:00 pm, the Segal Centre will present two audio-described performances in collaboration with Connec-T, an organization aiming to make culture accessible to all. These special performances will allow patrons with vision loss to use the “Sennheiser Mobile Connect” app on their personal phone to hear enhanced sound and a detailed audio-description of the performance narrated live. Other accessibility initiatives include a French program book available digitally and Braille menus and program books available on site.

For Prayer for the French Republic, patrons will have the opportunity to attend performances with mandatory masking to welcome patrons who may be more comfortable around others who are masked on every Sunday Matinée and Tuesday evening of the run. Masks will continue to be available free of charge at the entrances.

A free and enriching pre-show panel discussion on the themes of the play. Sunday @ the Segal is presented in-person at the theatre.
Sunday, April 23 – 11:00 am

Holocaust survivor Muguette Myers will speak about her life in France during WWII.
Mondays, May 2 and 8 – 6:00 pm

A chance to interact with the creators and actors of the play after the curtain goes down on Mondays, May 1 and 8. This production will also offer a moderated post-show discussion after each performance.

April 23 to May 14, 2023
*Note there are earlier start times to accommodate the length of the show

To purchase your tickets call 514-739-7944 or visit

Related Posts