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Mani Soleymanlou’s great cycle of identity returns to the stage!

Press Release

Ottawa, April 4, 2022 —To launch his first season as Artistic Director of French Theatre, Mani Soleymanlou has surrounded himself with some 40 Francophone performers from across Canada to revisit his plays Un, Deux and Trois, which he has brought together in a single show entitled Un. Deux. Trois.

It’s no secret: Mani Soleymanlou loves numbers. After presenting plays ranging from the solo Un to the podcast Probablement Onze—by way of Zéro—, he returns to Un. Deux. Trois., his great symphony of identity. Presented in Montréal in 2014 and Paris in 2017, the show, which has previously delved into the Quebecois and then the French identity, will this time focus on Francophones across the country. Together with an all-new cast from various backgrounds, the actor and director is building a choral, poignant and festive work.

Forty solitudes. Forty outstretched hands. Forty lives to amplify the voice of Canada today. A show that tackles all this, without speeches or placards, without rhetoric or empty phrases. To revisit our heritage, question what we will pass on in our turn, and move beyond clichés. To give resonance to a multi-accented language. To move forward together and build bridges across the widening gulfs.

In short, to put the “I” at the service of the “WE.” Because ultimately, what does it mean to be Francophone in Canada?

“I’ve always wanted to work collectively, to engage in dialogue, to reach out. I want to make the NAC a meeting place, to create a sense of a national theatre community. Un. Deux. Trois. is all of these things at once; it’s the community taking its place on stage. We never are, we are only becoming, and I want us to become together.”

—Mani Soleymanlou, Artistic Director, NAC French Theatre

The show is written and directed by Mani Soleymanlou. He will appear onstage with Emmanuel Schwartz, Olivier Arteau, Caroline Bélisle, Florence Brunet, Jean Marc Dalpé, Katrine Deniset, Ziad Ek, Nadia Girard Eddahia, Israël Gamache, Cory Haas, France Huot, John Gislain Kibaga, Anna-Laure Koop, Danielle Le Saux-Farmer, Jean-Christophe Leblanc, Lionel Lehouillier, Meilie Ng, Dillon Orr, Anaïs Pellin, France Perras, Dominique Pétin, Eric Plamondon, Marco Poulin, Caroline Raynaud, Gabriel Robichaud, Marie-Madeleine Sarr, Manon St-Jules, Ines Talbi, Elkahna Talbi, Chloé Thériault, Xavier Yuvens, Jean‑Charles Weka and Anais West.

At the helm of NAC French Theatre since September 2021, Mani Soleymanlou is eager to reach out to audiences, to reconnect with them and to get to know them better, especially after two challenging years for the performing arts community. His first-ever program for French Theatre will showcase a wide range of creators, and this year he will once again give pride of place to family programming, with the help of Mélanie Dumont, Associate Artistic Director, Youth Programs.

Besides the plays, there are als a nnumber of new projects ahead for the NAC French Theatre team and Francophone audiences in the Ottawa–Gatineau region. Complete programming will be announced shortly.

UN. DEUX. TROIS. ON THE ROAD

The production will premiere in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre from September 28 to October 1, 2022. Tickets will go on sale shortly. The show will then tour to Sudbury, Toronto, Montréal, Quebec City, Caraquet, Moncton, Vancouver and Winnipeg.

Orange Noyée, the theatre company founded by Mani Soleymanlou, has partnered with theatres across Canada, including NAC French Theatre, Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario, Théâtre français de Toronto, DUCEPPE, Théâtre du Trident, Théâtre l’Escaouette, Théâtre populaire d’Acadie, Théâtre la Seizième, and Théâtre Cercle Molière, to present the show across the country in 2022–2023.

September 28 to October 1, 2022, National Arts Centre, Ottawa

Week of October 3, Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario, Sudbury

Week of October 10, Théâtre français de Toronto, Toronto

Week of October 17, DUCEPPE, Montréal

Week of October 24, Théâtre du Trident, Québec

Week of October 31, Théâtre populaire d’Acadie, Caraquet and Théâtre l’Escaouette, Moncton

Week of November 7, Théâtre la Seizième, Vancouver

Week of November 14, Théâtre Cercle Molière, Winnipeg

THE NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE’S 2022–2023 SEASON

Stay tuned: full details of the National Arts Centre’s 2022–2023 season will be announced shortly.

ABOUT NAC FRENCH THEATRE

NAC French Theatre presents theatre that is in step with the times, theatre that reflects and responds to emerging artistic trends both at home and abroad and actively contributes to advancing contemporary stage writing and directing. This artistic trajectory is expressed through national and international co-productions, new works and touring productions. French Theatre offers audiences shows that stand out for the diversity of the forms they present and the emotions they trigger. Its programming is rich in original writing and vision, in brilliant staging, and in the powerful words of artists who enchant, challenge or unsettle audiences, but never leave them indifferent. French Theatre audiences have come to expect an emotional and intellectual adventure that is profoundly and authentically human.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL CREATION FUND

Now in its fifth year and fueled entirely by generous donors from across the country, the National Creation Fund invests in the development of compelling and ambitious new Canadian works in theatre, dance, music and inter-disciplinary performing arts.  Since opening in 2017, the Fund has invested almost $10 million in 64 projects led by artists from across the country.  For more information on the National Creation Fund and the projects it supports, visit: nac-cna.ca/en/creationfund.

THANK YOU TO OUR PARTNERS

Un. Deux. Trois. is also made possible thanks to the support from The Jenepher Hooper Fund for Theatre at the National Arts Centre Foundation, established as a result of a generous gift from the estate of Jenepher Margaret Hooper. The project is also supported by the NAC’s National Creation Fund, the Cole Foundation, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts de Montréal.

ABOUT THE NAC

The National Arts Centre (NAC) is Canada’s bilingual, multi-disciplinary home for the performing arts. The NAC presents, creates, produces, and co-produces performing arts programming in various streams—the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, and Popular Music and Variety—and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada. The NAC is located in the National Capital Region on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation.

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