Angélique

BY LORENA GALE

DIRECTED BY MIKE PAYETTE

MARCH 16 – APRIL 2, 2017
The Studio, Segal Centre for the Performing Arts
5170 Chemin de la Côte Ste Catherine
For tickets contact the Box Office: 514.739.7944
Online ticket can be purchased here.

A co-production with Tableau D’Hôte Theatre

CAN YOU SEE THE FIRES RISE TO GREET THE SUNSET?

“In 1734, a Negro slave set fire to the City of Montreal…”

This is how history writes it. Marie Angélique; a slave in a Canadian history book. But no one has spoken to the injustice that stoked the inextinguishable fire in her belly. No one can know for certain if she was responsible for the cinder and wreckage; the charred relics of a people’s pain. As Canadians, we have not told the real and forgotten story of Angélique. Not until now.

Cast:

Jenny Brizard
Chip Chuipka
Darla Contois
Karl Graboshas
Tristan D. Lalla
Olivier Lamarche
France Rolland

Creative Team:

Original Music Composed & Performed by SIXTRUM Percussion Ensemble
Choreographed by Ghislaine Doté
Set & Costume Design by Eo Sharp
Lighting Design by David Perreault Ninacs
Assistant Set & Costume Design: Zoe Roux
Stage Manager: Birdie Gregor
Apprentice Stage Manager: Gabriela Saltiel

About the play Angélique

Angélique, written by Canadian playwright Lorena Gale, is based on true events chronicling the life of Marie-Joseph Angélique; a Black Canadian slave who was publicly executed for having allegedly set fire to Montreal in 1734.

Prominent businessman Francois Poulin de Francheville impulsively purchases Marie-Angélique for his wife Thérèse in an attempt to appease her after the loss of their child. Having worked in terrible conditions before being enslaved at the Francheville household, Angélique commits herself to hard work in the hopes that “things will be different this time.” Angélique is sorely mistaken about the Francheville household. It is not easier. She is subjected to physical and sexual abuse by Mr. Francheville and physical abuse by his jealous and suspecting wife Thérèse.  She is also unjustly forced into a sexual relationship with César, a slave from Madagascar, as a deal between Mr. Francheville and  César’s master Ignace Gamelin. César and Angélique, despite their empathetic connection to one another, are unnerved by the arrangement. This is intensified by that fact that they are both in love with other people. César is infatuated with Manon, an indigenous servant, and Angélique has fallen in love with Claude, a Caucasian indentured servant working at the Francheville residence.  The arrangement continues and progresses, as planned by Francheville and Gamelin, and Angélique gives birth to 3 children. She gives birth to an infant boy who is too pale to be César’s son. Thérèse suspects that her husband Francois is responsible for the birth of the child. Her suspicions rise and her mistreatment of Angélique intensifies. Angélique smothers the first child who only lives for one month and proceeds to have twins (a boy and a girl) with César. Both of the twins die within five months.

Following this, Claude and Angélique convene to plan their escape. The next morning Mr. Francheville has unexpectedly died. Thérèse makes a deal to sell Angélique to one of Mr. Francheville’s former business associates. Before the deal materializes, Angélique and Claude flee the Francheville residence with the intention of crossing the St. Lawrence river to freedom. Claude abandons her in the forest. A series of abstract scenes indicate that there has been a fire that has engulfed the  Francheville home. The fire began in the Francheville house,  spread and destroyed 45 homes in what is now Old Montreal and burnt  the famous Hotel-Dieu building. Manon, who has a contentious relationship with Angélique, mentions that Angélique had planned to put Mrs. Francheville out of a home. A warrant is also put out for Claude as he is potential suspect as well. The verdict eventually settles on Angélique as the convicted arson. She is publicly tortured and hung for her crime. In Lorena Gale’s play, Angélique’s culpability remains ambiguous.

About playwright Lorena Gale

Born in Montreal, Lorena Gale was an award-winning actress, director and writer who worked extensively in theatres across Canada. Her first play Angelique was the winner of the du Maurier National Playwriting Competition and was nominated Outstanding New Play in Calgary’s Betty Mitchell Awards 98. Her solo performance, je me souviens: memories of an expatriate anglophone, Montrealaise, Quebecoise exiled in Canada, premiered in Eastern Front Theatre’s On the Waterfront Festival in Halifax and was produced at One Yellow Rabbit’s High Performance Rodeo in Calgary, The Firehall Theatre in Vancouver and the Belfry Theatre in Victoria. Lorena passed away on June 21, 2009.

To book a school group or for more information on the play contact events@blacktheatreworkshop.ca or call BTW at 514-932-1104