Down the stairs and into the bowels of the Centre Wakefield LaPêche, I hear peels of laughter. It’s a Tuesday night rehearsal of “Maîtres Chez Nous” a New Works play by Ron Stoltz, directed by Peter James Haworth.
Ron’s first play, “Maîtres Chez Nous” came from a newspaper interview Stoltz read about Lucien Bouchard and Jean Charest. He’s been eager to put the play on for many years, and after passing it through Theatre Wakefield’s New Works Program, it was chosen for presentation on the main stage as the Fall production. He is overjoyed to see the weekly evolution of his words come to life under Haworth’s masterful hand. “Peter really gets it,” says Ron. The play’s narrator and characters reflect on and debate a timeframe that encompasses 20 years, from the Quiet Revolution, one failed Accord after another, to the October 1995 Referendum on Quebec sovereignty.
Actors Shelley Harrison, Gabriel Jort-Pelletier and Maria-Hélèna Pacelli recall that night back in 1995 when the YES/NO needle straddled the line back and forth as Jacques Parizeau paced the floor with the rest of us awaiting the results. Like most Canadians, the actors see both sides of the sovereignty debate, and their characters also reflect the ambiguity felt. Pacelli clearly relates to the musings of her character Michelle: “I get that this is important,” she says, “but there are so many other things to be upset about or devastated about in the world and so why does this have to be the hill to die on?”
Although a sober reflection on a period in our province’s history, “Maîtres Chez Nous” is also full of humour, reflecting Theatre Wakefield’s mandate: Outrageous. Passionate. Fun.
This play is not to be missed and runs November 22, 23, 29 & 30 @ 7.30pm and November 24 @ 2.30pm.
Pictured above, Ron Stoltz (playwright) and Peter James Haworth (director). Written by Jennifer Currie