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Je Me Souviens

Je Me Souviens
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Lorena Gale
Publisher: Talonbooks
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 95
Pub. Date: 2001
ISBN-10: 0889224536
ISBN-13: 9780889224537
Cast Size: 1 woman

About the Play:

Finalist for the 2002 Governor General's Literary Award for Drama (Canadian equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize).

Je Me Souviens is a full-length drama by Lorena Gale. Subtitled Memories of an expatriate Anglophone Montréaliaise, Quebecoise exiled in Canada, the play tells the story of a young, black, anglophone women growing up in Montreal's multi-ethnic Outremont district and crossing many cultures. She remembers, by reconstructing for the audience, her childhood and coming of age as an African-Canadian in Montréal.

Je me souviens is a one-woman show about growing up Black in the Montréal suburb of Outremont. Lorena Gale's autobiographical protagonist is unabashedly one of those spoil-sport ethniques who, for political factions led by the likes of Parizeau, undermined and destroyed the separatist pur-laine vision of a new Québec nation, sparkling and clean in its coat of only three coloursthe seamless snow-white of the landscape, the royal blue of the sky, and the golden yellow of the sun (king), all allusions to the symbology of the imperialists who founded this new nation, this new France.

In a dream-sequence / folksong which is played in ironic fragments between the voices adopted by the actress, Lorena Gale lyricizes the long, parallel process of rediscovering her self, first as a dark speck on the horizon where pure white meets pure blue, then finally as a full-grown adult, whose race, gender and class are far more definitive of her person than the vapid dreams of the neo-nationalists of the late 20th century.

Je Me Souviens was presented as a work in progress in 1998 at Halifax's Eastern Front Theatre and in 1999 at One Yellow Rabbit's High Performance Rodeo in Calgary. It premiered in 2000 at Vancouver's Firehall Theatre and was nominated for 3 Jessie Richardson Awards, including Best Actress and Best Production. It was subsequently performed in 2000 at Victoria's Belfry Theatre.

Cast: 1 woman

What people say:

"Je me souviens is a valuable text for anyone interested in contemporary Québec history or the ongoing struggle to establish and define Québécois identity…." — Canadian Literature

"[This] intimate monologue is funny, fiesty, heartfelt." — Calgary Herald

"One of the ten best of 2000." — Vancouver Sun

About the Playwright:

Lorena Gale (1958 to 2009) was an award winning Canadian actress, playwright, director, and Black community activist. She appeared in over 50 stage productions across Canada, and over 132 roles in film and TV. A third-generation Canadian born in Montréal and raised in Outremont, she was the first Black woman to be accepted to the National Theatre School of Canada. In 1988 she moved to Vancouver and quickly became a mainstay of the TV and film industry, appearing in multiple episodes of The X-Files, The Outer Limits, Smallville, and Battlestar Galactica, in features like The Butterfly Effect, The Chronicles of Riddick, and Things We Lost in the Fire, and in dozens of TV movies. The Union of BC Performers established the Lorena Gale Woman of Distinction Award in 2009 citing "her enduring commitment to power, dignity, intelligence and truth."

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