Stage Door News
Stratford: The Stratford Festival presents “Les Belles-Soeurs” starting August 8
Tuesday, August 8, 2023
Les Belles-Soeurs, the Michel Tremblay masterpiece that revolutionized Québécois theatre and is renowned the world over, returns to Stratford with a production on the Festival Stage directed by Esther Jun.
Written in 1965, Les Belles-Soeurs portrays 15 Québécois women expressing their anger, desperation and frustration loudly, rudely and audaciously. Germaine Lauzon has won a million stamps in a contest. She invites her family and neighbours into her kitchen to help paste them into booklets.
Fighting for any power in their suffocating lives, the women yell, backstab, dream and steal in grand theatrical style.
“The women in Les Belles-Soeurs don’t conform to expected ‘neighbourly’ behaviour; instead, they turn societal expectations inside out and unleash a raw authenticity that makes us laugh, cry and blush in recognition,” says Jun. “These women, painfully beautiful in their struggles, deserve to be celebrated, even if they themselves fail to perceive their own beauty. Their public silence and private screams reverberate in my ears and serve as a poignant reminder of my own privilege and how we must continue to fight for equal rights for all women.”
Les Belles-Soeurs features Seana McKenna as Rose Ouimet, Lucy Peacock as Germaine Lauzon, Bola Aiyeola as Des-Neiges Verrette, Joella Crichton as Yvette Longpré, Diana Leblanc as Olivine Dubuc, Jane Luk as Gabrielle Jodoin, Irene Poole as Thérèse Dubuc, Shannon Taylor as Marie-Ange Brouillette and Jennifer Villaverde as Lisette de Courval with Akosua Amo-Adem, Déjah Dixon-Green, Allison Edwards-Crewe, Ijeoma Emesowum, Liza Huget, Jameela McNeil, Marissa Orjalo, Glynis Ranney, Jamillah Ross, Antonette Rudder and Tara Sky.
The Stratford Festival’s production of Les Belles-Soeurs features the creative work of Set Designer Joanna Yu, Costume Designer Michelle Bohn, Lighting Designer Louise Guinand, Composer and Sound Designer Maddie Bautista, Supervising Fight Director Geoff Scovell and Movement Director Alyssa Martin.
This production is dedicated to the memory of actor Anne Wright, who appeared in the 1991 production of Les Belles-Soeurs alongside her sisters, Janet and Susan. We remember them all with great fondness.
Previews of Les Belles-Soeurs begin August 8. The play has its official opening on August 25 and runs until October 28 in the Festival Theatre. Tickets are available at www.stratfordfestival.ca or by calling 1.800.567.1600.
The 2023 season also features King Lear, Rent, Much Ado About Nothing, Monty Python’s Spamalot, A Wrinkle in Time, Frankenstein Revived, Grand Magic, Richard II, Wedding Band, Casey and Diana, Women of the Fur Trade and Love’s Labour’s Lost. For more information, visit www.stratfordfestival.ca.
Photo: Allison Edwards-Crewe and Lucy Peacock. © 2023 Ted Belton.