Olivier Lamarche, Hannah Forest-Briand, Marie-Helene Fontaine, Daniel Sarkissian, Alex Harrouch, Gloria Mampuya & Madeleine Claude
A Théâtre français de Toronto Production

Les Zinspiré.e.s : Dix-joncté.e.s

November 24 to December 10, 2022
Duration: 90 minutes
Ages: 14+

DON’T MISS THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF LES ZINSPIRÉ.E.S. THE DORA AWARD-WINNING THEATRICAL SERIES IS BACK, ON STAGE, IN PERSON, THIS WINTER!

What is Les Zinspiré.e.s you ask? It is a youth-development initiative intended on introducing the art of playwriting and storytelling to teenagers. It’s a creative forum without censorship or taboos. Over the last 10 years, this initiative has brilliantly brought to life 50 thought-provoking, sometimes heart-wrenching and often hilarious stories written by teens themselves.

What is Les Zinspiré.e.s ? It’s a generational mic-drop!

SYNOPSES

DÉJÀ VU by Alexa Laliberté
Isaac's alarm goes off. He turns it off. It's September 7. The first day of Grade 12. He's looking forward to finishing high school and finally being free! It's an ordinary day... In French class, he receives his first project: to write an urban tale. Running out of ideas, he decides to write a story similar to Groundhog Day where his main character - also named Isaac - relives the same day over and over again. On his way home, he is hit by a car and suddenly dies. Isaac's alarm rings. He turns it off. September 7... again?! Like the character played by Bill Murray, Isaac will have to find a way out of this time loop without a groundhog.

GRANDMA'S LAMB by Clara Stoenescu
September 8, 1958. A quiet Sunday evening in a small, quiet Victorian house with an unobstructed view of the quiet harbours of Brighton, England. A fairly affluent family finishes their dinner; an old lamb leg found in the basement freezer carefully prepared by Agatha, the grandmother. The next morning, Stuart, her grandson, discovers Agatha's dead body and immediately calls his parents, Louisa and Alden. When Stuart points out that his grandmother's smile is missing a tooth, Louisa tells us that this is a murder and that the murderer must be in the house! Drawing on films such as Clue and Eugene Ionesco's theatre of the absurd, this murder mystery is peppered with humour and larger-than-life characters. Can they find the culprit?

STAY OR GO by Clara Koeller Smirnios
Young, fragile, in love: Marie finds herself caught between a difficult family life, a new older boyfriend who is manipulative and a new friend who is becoming more and more important in her life - and in her heart. Will she have the courage to leave an abusive relationship?

(TRIGGER WARNING: This play tackles themes of physical and emotional abuse)

HERE COMES MARGARET CLAUS by Safa Usman
When Santa runs off with Cinnamon (his favourite stripper from The North Pole), Mrs Claus - Margaret Claus - must deliver all the presents to the children of the world herself. Lacking a certain dexterity, she falls down the chimney and comes face to face with Lea, an astute preteen with a thousand and one questions. Having been unmasked, Margaret confirms her identity and is quick to share her opinions on men - all dirty dogs who only think with their little peckers! A cross between a feminist life lesson and a story of hope and unconditional love for a child’s missing father.

THE MURDER OF INNOCENCE by Anthony Atalian
In the autumn of 2020, Azerbaijan launches an attack on Armenia in what will, mutually, become known as the "40-day war." Hovsep, a young Armenian pianist is torn. Should he defend his country and his family honour by enlisting in the army and heading to the front to join his father ? Faithful to his country and his father, he leaves for Hadrut with his best friend Davit at his side. How will he manage to take another's life? Does God forgive such a sin?

TAMIKA by Briana Phillips
Intelligent, stubborn, direct: Tamika suffers the worst menstrual cycle of her life! What has she done to deserve such 'punishment'? Eve (from the Bible!) arrives and turns Tamika's room into a court of law to show her how 'Judge God' could pass such a sentence on women. After this glimpse behind the scenes, will Tamika be able to reconnect with her Bible-loving mother?

CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST by Alexia Dumouchel
It has been 385 days since Natasha has been waiting for Tyler the Creator's concert. Now she is running late because her mother has the wrong address and her BFFs seem to be more interested in boys and their followers on Instagram. Several increasingly outlandish adventures test Natasha's positivism and culminate with a fellow spectator vomiting on her; an event that triggers an explosion of emotions and opinions she had previously suppressed. Her evening ruined, can she at least save her friendship with Tamika and Isabelle?

Distribution
Madeleine Claude, Marie-Hélène Fontaine, Hannah Forest-Briand, Alex Harrouch, Olivier Lamarche, Gloria Mampuya and Daniel Sarkissian
Creative team

Playwrights: Anthony Atalian, Alexia Dumouchel, Alexa Laliberté, Clara Stoenescu, Safa Usman, Briana Phillips, Clara Koeller Smirnios
Writing Coaches: Lara Arabian, Mélanie Beauchamp, Geneviève Fontaine, Vincent Leblanc-Beaudoin, Christina Tannous
Direction: Constant Bernard
Stage Management and Direction Assistance: Ariane Burtin
Contest Coordination: Pierre Simpson
Costume and prop design: Beatriz Arevalo
Lighting and set design: Glenn Davidson
Soundscape: Brian St.-Pierre
Production Management: Patrick Lynn

Message from Ontario's Ministry of Education: The opinions expressed in Les Zinspirés : Dix-joncté.e.s _do not necessarily reflect those of the province.

(TRIGGER WARNINGS: One of the plays (Stay or Go) addresses themes of intimidation as well as physical and emotional abuse / Some scenes feature a strobing effect that may affect photosensitive viewers)

November–December 2022
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PARTNERS
SPONSORED BY
CULTURAL OUTREACH SPONSORED BY
WITH THE SUPPORT OF
Fondation de la langue française This extended edition is generously supported by the Toronto Arts Foundation Resiliency Fund, created thanks to donations from the Hal Jackman Foundation and The Slaight Family Foundation.

In images

Hannah Forest-Briand, Madeleine Claude, Gloria Mampuya in Les Zinspiré.e.s : Dix-joncté.e.s Hannah Forest-Briand, Alex Harrouch, Olivier Lamarche, Gloria Mampuya et Daniel Sarkissian Hannah Forest-Briand, Alex Harrouch, Olivier Lamarche et Daniel Sarkissian in Les Zinspiré.e.s : Dix-joncté.e.s Alex Harrouch, Olivier Lamarche, Gloria Mampuya, Marie-Hélène Fontaine in Les Zinspiré.e.s : Dix-joncté.e.s Alex Harrouch, Gloria Mampuya in Les Zinspiré.e.s : Dix-joncté.e.s Madeleine Claude, Hannah Forest-Briand in Les Zinspiré.e.s : Dix-joncté.e.s Olivier Lamarche, Gloria Mampuya, Madeleine Claude, Hannah Forest-Briand in Les Zinspiré.e.s : Dix-joncté.e.s Alex Harrouch, Daniel Sarkissian in Les Zinspiré.e.s : Dix-joncté.e.s Hannah Forest-Briand, Marie-Hélène Fontaine in Les Zinspiré.e.s : Dix-joncté.e.s