Centaur Presents The Madonna Painter Or The Birth Of A Painting


Centaur Theatre Company presents THE MADONNA PAINTER or The Birth of a Painting, written by Michel Marc Bouchard, translated by Linda Gaboriau, and directed by Roy Surette from March 30 to May 2, 2010. The Centaur is thrilled to present this English-language Montreal Premiere by one of Quebec’s most celebrated playwrights.

Centaur Theatre’s artistic director Roy Surette “When I read The Madonna Painter I was immediately captivated by its exotic, almost folkloric quality. There is mystery and superstition interspersed with major historical events and Quebec’s unique religious past.”

In 1918 a handsome young priest settles in a village in Lac Saint-Jean. Determined to inspire the faith he believes will protect the town from the onset of the Spanish flu, he commissions a visiting Italian painter by the name of Alessandro to create a fresco depicting the Blessed Virgin. With the financial backing of a misanthropic doctor, he sets out to recruit a model from among the village women, all of whom are deeply fixed in their own medieval-like mythologies and martyr and saint roles. Just when the perfect model has been picked the plan takes a turn for the worst. Set against a rich imagistic backdrop of iconography, sex and blood, this dark and humorous fable explores the collision of ecstasies, secrets and lies in the face of an impending epidemic.

The Madonna Painter had its World Premiere in Italian in 2002. Il pittore di madonne o Nascita di un quadro di un quadro by Francesca Moccagatta, was first produced in Florence, Italy. The French language Première, Le Peintre des madones, ou la naissance d’un tableau was presented at l’Espace GO in 2004, directed by Serge Denoncourt. It has since been translated in Spanish and Greek. Most recently The Madonna Painter opened at Toronto’s Factory Theatre where it was TOP-LISTED by The Globe and Mail and Now Magazine.

The show stars Stefanie Buxton (Last seen at Centaur in Rock Paper Jacknife), Graham Cuthbertson (SaBooge Theatre, Crow’s Theatre, Segal Centre), Lucinda Davis (Last seen on Centaur stages: Rock Paper Jacknife and Doubt), Alessandro Juliani (TV: Battlestar Galactica, Smallville), Jean Leclerc (best known for his work as Jeremy Hunter on the American daytime soap opera All My Children and last seen on Centaur stage in The Visitor), Meg Roe (Centaur debut after working extensively across Canada), Amelia Sargisson (Imago Theatre, Repercussion Theatre).

Director Roy Surette’s creative team for The Madonna Painter includes Pierre-Etienne Locas (Set and Costume Design), Martin Sirois (Lighting Design), Alessandro Juliani and Meg Roe (original sound and music), Merissa Tordjman (Stage Manager) and Stephanie Link (Apprentice Stage Manager).

Michel Marc Bouchard has written more than 25 plays, including The Coronation Voyage, Lilies and The Orphan Muses. His works have been translated into nine languages and are regularly performed around the world. Four of his plays have had screen adaptations while two more projects are slated to begin shooting. He has received numerous grants and awards including the Dora Mavor Moore Award, the Chalmers Award for Outstanding New Play, and nine Jessie Richardson. His movie Les Feluettes (Lilies) and television adaptations of his plays, such as L' histoire de l'oie (The Tale of Teeka), have garnered critical acclaim. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada.

American-born Quebec-based translator Linda Gaboriau has translated some eighty plays, including the works of some of Québec's most prominent playwrights. Her translations of these plays have been published and widely produced across Canada and abroad. She has won numerous awards, such as the Governor General's Award for Translation (in 1996, for her translation of Stone and Ashes by Daniel Danis), three Chalmers Awards for her translations of Normand Chaurette's Les Reines (The Queens), Michel Marc Bouchard's Les Feluettes (Lilies), and for Bouchard's Les Muses Orphelines (The Orphan Muses) for which she also won the 1999 Masque for Translation awarded by the Académie québécoise du théâtre. Ms. Gaboriau has also worked as a free-lance journalist and broadcaster; she has a longstanding association with Montreal's Centre des auteurs dramatiques (CEAD) and is the founding director of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre.

514.288.3161 453 St. François-Xavier
Montreal, Quebec
H2Y 2T1
March 30 - May 2, 2010
Previews: March 30 & 31, 2010
Opening: Thursday, April 1, 2010
Closing: Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tuesday to Saturday - 8 PM*
*Except Thurs. April 29- 7pm
Sunday, April 18 - 7pm
Saturdays - 2pm
Sundays, April 4, 11, 25, May 2- 2PM
Wednesday, April 14, 21 - 1pm


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