The auditors were speaking loudly, sharing their excitement to be there as they sat down in front of the stage. However, as soon as the seven actresses made their appearance, their anxious chattering was transformed to silence.
While the overture of mysterious music played, a scream diverted spectators’ attention. From then on, not a single word uttered fell on deaf ears, as the audience carefully absorbed the actors’ dialogue attempting to comprehend the message these women wanted to transmit.
The story of this experimental play is based on pulling together the lives of six archetype women -the workaholic, the woman-child, the tomboy, the lonely, old woman, the sexy dancer, and the witch- linked by a scream.
The play progresses as they try to find out who screamed and why. This
investigation by L’Ombre-the anima (the seventh character), makes them reflect on their identities, the purpose for their actions and what society asks them, as women, to be.
By using masks with their costumes, the characters’ minds change from realism to surrealism during the play to let the audience know what women show to people, and what they hide.
This wonderful piece of work in a sense causes the viewer to face reality.
While, sometimes being funny, other times dramatic, En vie de femmes depicts the truth of women’s lives.
The actresses were so convincing in their portrayals that their projected
emotions managed to capture the hearts everyone in the room.
These talented women, accompanied by beautiful music that fits the mood, are a few of the main elements, combined with a strong script, that make this play credible.
The only problem was a lack of movement on stage. It was as if the characters had been assigned a fixed spot and were not supposed to move.
However, the lighting, a very important part of the show done by Anne-Catherine D. Simard, made you forget the actors’ sedentary roles. It was warm and just beautiful. As the author and producer Marcelle Dubois said, “Its (light) is eminently beautiful. There is like something sacred that comes from light…it is always a sacred symbol, an happy symbol.”
It took three years of hard work, eight different versions of the script, a
public lecture and a lot of finance work before Marcelle Dubois saw the debut of her first play.
At only 22 years old, with a diploma in theatre at Lionel-Groulx College and a certificate in creative writing at l’UQAM, Dubois is the artistic director and the co-founder of the theatre Les porteuses d’aromates.
Her goals are mainly to provide work for young actors beginning their careers, a voice to women and explore lighting.
When the curtains had closed and the audience had stopped cheering Dubois could not believe it was over, “three years of effort crystallized in an hour and fifteen minutes! Wow!”
Dubois stressed to women that, “we have to listen to ourselves, we have to love ourselves. The volcano that you are is strong. (But) hidden behind a mask, you are all life’s employees.”
This was the message the play delivered and it is still running in my head.
Women of the 21st century, you probably all understand.
Presented at l’Espace Geordie, 4001, Berri Street, Montreal, Sherbrooke Metro
September 20-October 7th 2001
Thursday to Sunday at 8p.m.
Tickets: 14$ students, 16$ adults