Les Nouveaux Arrivants: Acadian players arrive at new digs
MADAWASKA MALISEET FIRST NATION, New Brunswick – The promotion committee for Acadia of the Lands and Forests is pleased to announce the return of Party in Acadia of the Lands and Forests for their 15th season: Les Nouveaux Arrivants.
According to Hugues Chiasson, who has chaired the committee since the show’s premier in 2002, July 13 will be an historic day for the show, as it will celebrate its 15th anniversary as well as open for the first time at the Grey Rock Casino.
The group had performed their show at the Provincial Park of the Republic in Saint-Jacques for the past 14 years with much success. However, the government of New Brunswick chose to offer the theater to another production team this year.
“I continue to disapprove of the decision of our government. However, thanks to the leadership of Grey Rock Casino which agreed to welcome us this summer, we must admit that seeing this beautiful facility will be a blessing in disquise for the spectators,” Chiasson said.
For the last two weeks, the group has rehearsed in the new facilities, which they say are more suitable for stage performances. The stage is deeper, the dressing rooms are larger and the room is air conditioned. According to director Sylvie Cyr, the new theater space offers more comfort during rehearsals. “Young people are much less tired than before after their rehearsals. I must admit that all were happy to be in a room with air conditioning, especially on days when the mercury indicated 30 degree heat outside.”
Chiasson added that viewers will also be pampered. “The sound and visual qualities of the room are superior to those of the Park of the Republic. … People will have a comfortable individual seat, and yes, it will be much less hot than in previous summer performances. Moreover, ployes and bar service will be available for spectators before and after the performances.”
If the experiment of performing at the casino is successful this summer, and everything suggests that it will be judging by the record number of bookings received at this stage (30 percent of seats already booked for the entire summer), the organizers hope to rebook this new room for many years to come. They have even considered the idea of setting up a permanent show for the holidays.
Regarding the show, and despite the pitfalls of losing their previous performance space, designers Stephen Deschenes and Sylvie Cyr have increased their efforts to update the new production. According to tradition, their script mixes historical facts with current events, all coated with humor. In addition, 80 percent of the repertoire consists of new songs.
What distinguishes this year’s show from other productions is the young actors’ experience.
Les Nouveaux Arrivants (Newcomers) is inspired by the unfortunate events that occurred in Syria with the wave of new refugees in Canada. A parallel is made between Syrian refugees and the Grand Dérangement “newcomer” Acadians to Madawaska about 1785. And more recently, when the company was forced to move the Park of the Republic and became newcomers to Grey Rock Casino, where once again, the First Nations peoples were there to greet them.
As usual, the show will make a satire of local news, national and international, including a “colorful” Donald Trump regarding the conflict of border security, the Trans-Canada Pipeline, the new logo Caisses populaires acadiennes, and other “crispy facts.”
Besides Sister Jolicoeur, played by Amelie Michaud-Boutin, and Marie White, played by Frédérique Cyr-Deschênes, the central character remains Tante Blanche Thibodeau (1736-1810) performed by Sabah Izayah Cyr, accompanied by her husband Joseph Cyr (Jonathan Voisine), who also returns in his role of Ti-Coune. Roxane Couturier will play opposite Tante Blanche in her role as Sophie Baker (1785-1883) and Maude Cyr-Deschênes will reprise the role of Evangeline (novel Longfellow). Newcomers Nokomi and Naomi Ouellet personify Malobiannah, a legendary heroine, and Oshigeas. Pierre Sirois will be the “loved” Donald Trump, Olivier Ouellet, Hilarion Cyr (1772-1830), son of Aunt Blanche, Marie-Eve Caron pitched the role of Bolduc (1894-1941) and Etienne Deschênes will play Charles de Menou D ‘Aulney (1604-1650) and a Rene Angelil.
The sound and lighting will be borne by the technical team of SR Sound (Serge Roussel) and that of Marc Soucy.
The performances run Wednesday to Sunday, from July 13 to August 7, from 7:30 p.m. (New Brunswick time) at Grey Rock Casino. The show is family-friendly. For information and reservations: 506 739-0919.