“Oleanna”: a question posed to the movement #MoiAussi

«Oleanna»: une question posée au mouvement #MoiAussi

Photo: Jacques Nadeau Le Devoir
To camp the student, Raymond Cloutier has chosen a graduate of 2016 at the Conservatory of dramatic art, to which he himself had taught. Under the appearance very fragile Gwendoline Side, he had then discovered an amazing force.

Oleanna full July ? The piece of polemic by David Mamet is hardly the type of work that promotes the summer theatre. A concept that has never loved Raymond Cloutier. “I always wondered why it was stupid in the summer ! I do not understand that in Quebec, it has taken only this tangent. “

The actor hopes to start a tradition in Sutton, where he lives, in the amount Oleanna. For the time being, the show is a true in-house creation : he himself produces, showcases and sign the scenography of this show in which his son (Émile Proulx-Cloutier) has designed the music. “It is a big risk, but I think that the topic should inspire a sort of craze. And a discussion. “

This is certainly not trivial to present today this story of a meeting, which skidded up to a denunciation of aggression between a teacher of the university and its young students. When I asked him if the piece is his response to the motion #MoiAussi, he replies : “Not an answer, but a question. “

For the anecdote, Cloutier has had the chance to attend to the general of the production in new york, in 1992. And he was out disturbed of this original creation in which Mamet, “a little bit not evil misogynist but a genius,” gave obviously wrong to the female character. But in rereading it, he discovered a more complex text, where, ” in the first act, one can propose that the teacher had all kinds of intentions behind the head. It is as well that I’m going to mount it and play it. It is very ambiguous “. And in the current context, he thinks that the audience and spectators “will not agree” in their interpretation of the situation. Because the closed tense illustrates a “problem of perception” between the two characters unable to understand each other.

Older than the role, the actor was 74-year-old has had to modify certainsdétails of the story. Thus, what is placed in jeopardy for the prof in the confrontation is no longer his tenure, but the position of dean. This gap increased with the student vingtenaire makes the “transgression far greater,” judge he. And help to rebalance the wrongs : “What I want is that at the end of the first act, there are two sets of cards equal on the table. “

He also wishes that her proposal creates ” insecurity “, that at the intermission, the audience wonder about the nature of the scene they have seen, and then they decided during the second part. “As the public becomes virtually jury in a trial. “

Teacher and student

To camp the student, Raymond Cloutier has chosen a graduate of 2016 at the Conservatory of dramatic art, to which he himself had taught. Under the appearance very fragile Gwendoline Side, he had then discovered an amazing force. An asset in the room where the power is going to change the camp, where the student changes his attitude, and his language, from the second act.

This character is desperate to learn, who expresses a great desire to understand, the actress described it as ” someone who has been deeply hurt, who feels like a black sheep. It is very important for it to succeed the university to move forward in life. But she is facing a possible failure. And the teacher makes a proposal a little suspicious… “

“It is complex, because John teaches that most young people should not go to the university,” adds Raymond Cloutier. Therefore, it destroys a little the myth of universal primary education. And it incorporates the idea that it has no business there, creating in her an anger, a revolt. It becomes paternalistic. He wants to calm her down. He says things quite intimate. “

John breaks the rules, wishing to be rid of the relationship teacher-student. A report including the one who directed the Conservatory for twelve years, knows the challenges. “How far can we go ? It is very delicate. Especially in theater, where it becomes of the relationships emotional. It is a school of emotions, in fact. “

She said, he said

What do they wish that the piece brings to the current context ? We will continue to maintain the questioning, hope Gwendoline Side. The movement #MoiAussi, she believes, gives strength to women to define what they accept or not, in their lives and in their work. “We need to talk about because there are men who did not even know that such a thing could make us feel uncomfortable. The girls [were not]. But now, I have the impression that they do not accept to be docile because we see that we can move forward. We will not be struck out of the list because it has been said that a person had an inappropriate behavior. “

“I have still a problem with the various facts that lead to sanctions capitals, lance Raymond Cloutier. I understand that the guy who sends a picture porn to his secretary, it is thick. But is it worth a public condemnation on the first page ? And his life is over ? It is also a bit like that, Oleanna. “It reminds us that the title is a reference to a place, a utopia, where everything is perfect, clean. And that Mamet denounces this desire for absolute purity. He himself sees it as a danger. “Who defines purity ? Our education is judeo-christian ? “

The actor would like that we do it better, the part between the criminal cases and situations are more ambiguous, analysis with shades. “I have heard many times the argument : “Yes, but it is necessary to do the cleaning, the balance went too much the other side”… I’m not good in this speech where we sacrifice innocents for the cause. There have been moments like this in the History of humanity, and this is not beautiful. There is a side sensationalist, where the public revels than others to have been taken hand in the bag. It feels better, pure, because it is not [concerned]. “

With this production, which comes from his vision of theater as an art is in phase with the events of the City, Cloutier aims to stimulate the discussion. “Because in fact, we don’t talk about publicly. All of these conversations take place in private. I have not seen a great deal of debate on whether there are reports of too strong, if the penalties are too large ? The movement of women against Rozon, that is great. But because of that, we déculpabilise of all the rest. There are things we must talk. And Oleanna offers a fictitious situation in which it is necessary to get an idea. “


Text of David Mamet, translation of Pierre Legris, production, staging, and scenography, Raymond Cloutier, at the salle Alec et Gérard Pelletier, Sutton, 6 July to 4 August