Theatre Glendon was filled to the rafters Thursday evening, May 27th for a first in Glendon’s history: the signing of a partnership between the College’s Student Services Department and Toronto-based Théâtre La Tangente. Effective immediately, La Tangente becomes Glendon’s theatre-in-residence, offering great advantages to both sides of the partnership.
Following a warm welcome by Glendon’s Principal Kenneth McRoberts and a greeting from playwright and artistic co-director of La Tangente, Claude Guilmain, it was Associate Principal, Student Services, Louise Lewin’s turn to take the microphone. It was in fact Professor Lewin who grabbed the opportunity, when it presented itself, and took the necessary first steps. This historic event was witnessed by members of the press and a large Glendon audience, as well as others involved in the Toronto Francophone theatre scene, notably Guy Migneault, Artistic Director of the Toronto French Theatre (TFT) and currently President of the Ontario Association of French Theatres (l’Association des théâtres francophones de l’Ontario – ATFO), who welcomed the agreement with enthusiasm.
Left: Claude Guilmain and Louise Naubert
Louise Lewin and Claude Guilmain thanked all those who were instrumental in bringing this partnership to life, among them Jacinthe Dallaire (a member of La Tangente’s administrative board), the Trillium Foundation; Principal McRoberts, Associate Principal Academic Françoise Mougeon and Glendon General Manager Gilles Fortin for their continued support; Director of Glendon’s Multidisciplinary Studies Department, Yves Frenette, Director of Glendon’s Drama Program, Robert Wallace, Theatre Glendon’s Technical Manager, Duncan Appleton and Coordinator of Glendon Artistic and Cultural Affairs, Martine Rheault.
In a brief historical overview, Claude Guilmain remembered Théâtre La Tangente’s long-standing connections with Glendon. In its first configuration as Les KLEKTIKS, founded in 1994, the company rehearsed free of charge at Theatre Glendon, a great boon to a young group without much funding. In 1999, they took the name La Tangente and are currently directed by Claude Guilmain and Louise Naubert.
There was a flurry of official activity, with cameras flashing and much applause, as Louise Lewin and Claude Guilmain signed the document cementing this agreement for an initial period of three years. As in all good partnerships, everyone benefits: La Tangente now has a place of residence – a fully equipped theatre space where it can rehearse and perform free of charge. Glendon’s great advantage is that the company is committing to creating exchange opportunities for the college’s Drama Department, advising students in their drama productions and increasing the level of cultural activity on campus in both English and French.
With the signatures in place, the next part of the evening was devoted to a dramatic reading of Claude Guilmain’s play in progress, “Requiem pour un trompettiste”, performed by members of the company. The rapt attention of the audience during this performance – as part of the AFTC’s (Association des théâtres francophones du Canada) Works-in-Progress Festival 2004 (Chantiers-théâtre 2004) augurs well for the future of the play, as well as for the company’s success on campus.
Left: The theatre company of La Tangente performs a dramatic reading of Claude Guilmain's work-in-progress, "Requiem pour un trompettiste"
Article submitted by Marika Kemeny, Glendon’s Public Relations and Communications Advisor