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Stages and Pages: Les passants

13/02/2017

Les passants makes its world premiere (in French with English surtitles) at the GCTC this February 21 to March 12 as part of a part of a three-city, national, bilingual theatre project. The play, written by Luc Moquin, is co-produced by Théâtre de la Catapulte and GCTC.

“Les Passants” translates roughly as “Passersby”. Through a series of vignettes, everyday situations develop into curious scenarios that explore trust, risk, and our ability to navigate human relationships.

Expect a modern theatre experience. There is no overall narrative. The fleeting scenes are short encounters between strangers in busy, public places (street, mall, etc.) in Ottawa.  Characters, often unnamed, rush on and off the scene. Often the character enters the scene talking to themselves with their mind full of reflective, directionless wandering. They are suddenly drawn to reality on encountering another person. 

There is an impersonal side to the expected encounters, with no long-term consequences. Ordinary and mundane lives intersect. Many characters seem cut off from the real world, absorbed in themselves, not paying attention to their surroundings, with their heads full of obligations but with no real purpose. Many are asking themselves what the purpose of life is, but do not arrive at any conclusions. Some conversations are surprisingly candid (e.g. a woman admitting to a stranger that she reads romance novels), revealing, and trusting of the stranger without the expected pre-amble upon meeting. Yet, it seems that whenever any of the encounters is hinting at a more permanent relationship, the characters flee. Is there perhaps a fear of in-depth human relationships in an urban setting?

GCTC 2016-2017: Les passants by LectureOttawaReads

#coupsdecoeur As part of the Ottawa Public Library's “Stages and Pages” partnership with the Great Canadian Theatre Company, we have compiled this list to accompany the bilingual production of Les passants which runs at the GCTC from February 21 - March 12, 2017. | La présentation de la pièce bilingue Les passants aura lieu au Great Canadian Theatre Company du 21 février au 12 mars 2017. Dans le cadre de son partenariat avec GCTC, la Bibliothèque publique d’Ottawa a préparé cette liste thématique de suggestions de lecture.

  • Image: Adrift in A Vanishing City
    This is neither a traditional collection of short stories nor a novel; rather, it is an unguided tour through the tortured landscape of obsessive love and unreliable memory. These stories wind through the real and the imagined, linking Budapest, Berlin, Mexico City and Pittsburg, Kansas, to the shadow-haunted places within the human heart.
  • Image: Cities I've Never Lived in
    Here are linked stories of a young New England woman who must begin life afresh after her divorce. Travelling the roads of Maine and the train tracks of Grand Central Station, moving from vast shorelines to unmade beds of strangers, these fourteen stories circle the dreams of a narrator who finds herself turning to storytelling as a means of understanding herself.
  • Image: Contes

    Contes

    By Faubert, Michel
    Faubert nous présente, dans ce recueil, une sélection de contes et de complaintes de son répertoire des vingt dernières années. Ces histoires parlent de tout ce dont on peut rêver d’un conte merveilleux : amours, misères, trahisons, sortilèges, visions, poésie, guérison. Le livre est accompagné d’un CD de récitations et de complaintes.
  • Image: Nouvelles

    Nouvelles

    By Poliquin, Daniel
    Dans le préface de ce recueil, François Ouellet souligne les «multiples renvois thématiques idéologiques ou formels» qui relient entre elles les diverses oeuvres de Poliquin, et en particulier les 19 nouvelles rassemblées ici. Le canon des gobelins propose dix nouvelles de cet interprète et romancier, «spécialisé» dans la description des relations anglophones-francophones au Canada. Nouvelles de la capitale, «parcours identitaire», regroupe neuf nouvelles aux accents autobiographiques qui se situent à Ottawa, la «ville où les poètes ne font que passer» mais où les politiciens et les traducteurs prospèrent.
  • Image: S'abandonner à vivre

    S'abandonner à vivre

    nouvelles
    By Tesson, Sylvain
    Devant les coups du sort il n'y a pas trente choix possibles. Soit on lutte, on se démène et l'on fait comme la guêpe dans un verre de vin. Soit on s'abandonne à vivre. C'est le choix des héros de ces nouvelles. Ils sont marins, amants, guerriers, artistes, pervers ou voyageurs; ils vivent à Paris, en Afghanistan, en Yakoutie, au Sahara. Et ils auraient mieux fait de rester au lit.
  • Image: The Scatter Here Is Too Great
    A collection of novels-in-stories that explores the complicated lives of ordinary people whose fates unexpectedly converge after a deadly bomb blast at a train station in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city.
  • Image: There Are Little Kingdoms
    An award-winning collection of stories about contemporary Irish life. Barry is also the winner of the 2013 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for his City of Bohane.
  • Image: 13 Ways of Listening to A Stranger

    13 Ways of Listening to A Stranger

    The Best Stories of Keath Fraser
    By Fraser, Keath
    A woman with defective syntax prepares for an important speech… a baritone opera singer finds elegiac flight from a tire farm and his present legacy of glory holes … a retired diplomat struggles undiplomatically to overcome crippling decline with the help of a teenage girl. This is a collection of stories filled with unexpected endings.
  • Image: Humans of New York

    Humans of New York

    Stories
    By Stanton, Brandon
    In 2010, photographer Brandon Stanton undertook a photographic census of the people of New York City. The photos and the accompanying interviews that he recorded became the blog Humans of New York. His audience steadily grew from a few hundred followers to over twelve million in 2013. The dialogue that he's had with people in the street is as in-depth, intriguing and moving as the photos themselves.
  • Image: The Lonely City

    The Lonely City

    Adventures in the Art of Being Alone
    By Laing, Olivia
    In this history of urban loneliness, centered on Manhattan, Olivia Laing explores how we live alone by travelling deep into the work and lives of some of the century's most original artists, among them Andy Warhol, David Wojnarowicz, Edward Hopper, Henry Darger and Klaus Nomi. Part memoir, part biography, part cultural criticism, The Lonely City is a map and a celebration of the state of loneliness.