Last Thursday, at the premiere Dear Chekhov, By Michelle Tremble, A team of young theater artists has delayed raising the curtain to condemn management for allowing TNM to “die”. Fifteen protesters were taken into the room to read a brief message to the public, after protesting in the hall and discussing it with Director Serge Danoncourt. “We are in danger of coming here to tell the truth that hundreds of us believe: Theater du Nouveau Monde is dying. And do not offer new ones.” Press On Tuesday TNM director, Lorraine Pintle and spokesman for the protest group: met with writer and director Hugo Frejabis.
Posted yesterday at 7:00 p.m.
Q. Lorraine Pintle, How did you react to last Thursday’s protest?
Lorraine Pintle: I found it violent; There was a bit of panic in my team. I wondered why no one tried to warn us. Because TNM has a reputation for having very open dialogues and speaking. I understand the difficult reality of the next generation, but after two years of epidemic, after fully recovering, why are they targeting us now? This is a fun time to blow up TNM.
Hugo Frejabis: Because TNM is a symbolic, historical, mythical place. This theater represents the idea of a national theater where young artists occupy a prominent place in society. However, there is an opinion that the theater is complacent with power.
Q: This is not the first time TNM has been challenged. Over the years, we have read very serious criticism of the company and its management …
Lorraine Pintle: This is true. And every time this happened, I met the Nazarenes one by one. Also, before Press Do not call me, I plan to meet you. You know, theater like TNM is a big iceberg. From the outside, we only see the tip of it; Not everything below. We ask ourselves with each program on the reasons you justify, such as inheritance and lack of diversity. We’re not where you want TNM to be, but we’re making progress.
Q. In 1974, after you graduated from the Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, you severely criticized TNM and the lack of women in your team. Can you take part in Thursday’s Challenge?
Lorraine Pintle: At that time, we performed on the street in front of the entrance rather than inside the theater. Finally, Hugo, if your team was in the lobby, I would say nothing. I was behind the scenes and unfortunately I could not intervene when Serge was there [Denoncourt] I decided to let you into the room when the show was about to start.
Q. Are you angry with Serge Denon Court for allowing protesters into the room? Because according to him, these young people have the right to express themselves.
Lorraine Pintle: I do not understand! I have a lot of respect for the actors for interrupting the start of the show. The performers panicked and I was afraid it would destabilize them for the whole show.
Hugo Frejabis: There are people who think it was handled by Serge Danoncourt
Lorraine Pintle: This is for sure! By opening the door to you and opening your show, some people may feel that way. If Serge wants to criticize TNM, his problem is to shoot himself!
Q. Hugo, did your Theatrical Creation Collective, Rosssemblement Diomed, organize the protest on Thursday? The pamphlet is not signed by anyone.
Hugo Frejabis: The movement prefers to remain anonymous. I understand that anonymity is scary, but it is the basis of democracy like a secret ballot. And also to protect artists from retaliatory actions. Some are afraid of being blacklisted.
Lorraine Pintle: I can assure them right away, TNM is never blacklisted. The house is open to all talented artists who want to say anything, for or against. They are always welcome. This is part of TNM values.
Hugo Frejabis: I know it feels like we’ve hit the family. But TNM in the 1970s was Jowet Marchesalt, Claude Gauvro or The fairies are thirsty. TNM makes new from old. We want to take young writers Kamus, Dostoevsky, Ibsen.
Lorraine Pintle: Each theater has its own area. It is important that not everyone does the same thing. TNM aims to bridge the gap between classics and contemporaries and to write founding texts in the present. And we need classics. Our past in Quebec is unknown, memory is very low, everyone is looking to the future!
Hugo Frejabis: I fed the classics, nothing against me. Coltes says we love being different in the XXAnd Century more than the Marivax period. The theater must be in a position to resist its time. During the health crisis, why didn’t TNM go outside to play, to convey the words of the artists in the street, in the open square?
Lorraine Pintle: On the contrary, I find that there is great solidarity from the cultural environment during the crisis. We work in all fields at the same time. You send the ball to TNM and I catch it with a jump. But we are not alone.
Q. Has art direction been the same for over 30 years and was part of your decision to choose TNM as your target?
Hugo Frejabis: No. It is the inadequacy of the system and its management pattern that worries me. In my opinion, the essence of theater is rebellious, revolutionary. The theater must find its place of resistance in relation to power. And innocently, I hope TNM stays away from this free space, this public agora, power games.
Lorraine Pintle: That, I think, should be done by discussing it all together. Not by protruding backlash between artists. If leaders see the true solidarity of the medium, it is likely to move even faster.
Q. Finally, is this meeting a good thing?
Lorraine Pintle: Personally, it drives me forward. There is no need to always agree between us, otherwise it will be boring. I believe in a clash of ideas.
Hugo Frejabis: I understand you timing is not right. But Che Guevara said there was never a better time to make a revolution.
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