However, I love the theatre, and every year, there are many, many choices of plays: a variety of pieces in all genres is presented to the public. For almost a century, the Cercle Molière Theatre, founded in 1925 and making it the oldest troop in Western Canada, has continued to entertain and inspire the audiences in the heart of Saint-Boniface on Provencher Blvd.
The TCM usually offers 4 or 5 plays a season in their two rooms with 14 to 18 performances each. The productions are local, national, sometimes international, and numerous arrangements are made to ensure the theatre’s accessibility to a larger number of people: childcare services for families or assistance and accompaniment services.
All year long, short pop-ups are performed inside or outside of the building, like workshops and partnerships with other cultural institutions. Kids aren’t forgotten either, with a theatre school, performances reserved for them, and monthly meetings on “Family Sunday.”
But, like it is for everyone, 2020 is not a normal year. Programming had to be integrally redone and continues to be rethought and modified as new public health announcements are made. The TCM went through three phases to simulate artists in a digital context. The first was to create from home. The second focussed on pods and the public youth. Finally, the third, which is currently in place, is the launch of more complex digital projects, like for example the “Envolées théâtres” supported by the National Arts Centre (did you see the big mural in the CCFM parking lot? That’s part of this project!)
In-person performances are on hold at the TCM for the time being but programming continues online. Covid allowed for an opening of borders, crossed by the internet. As such, it’s a Senegalese artist, Patricia Gomis, who will perform online for the next Family Sunday, November 1. The TCM at its heart mixes classic and modern repertoire, with the goal of reaching all Manitoba francophones and francophiles.
I’ll stay connected and keep track of the TCM’s network, because they’ll show us that theatre can also live behind a screen.
November 1 – Family Sunday, live on Facebook
Date to be determined – The last reflections, with Rayannah
Video available in October – Perceptions, a pop-up show from the Indigenous group of the Urban Indigenous Theatre Company
January – Eric Plamondon live and on stage