In 2011, the rear seat created The mutants, his seventh production. Presented to a sold-out audience in room 2 of Espace Go, then resumed the season following at La Licorne and on tour, the show staged by Sylvain Bélanger proposed to remedy the ambient inertia by relying on a series of “exercises for hardened schoolchildren”, intimate and collective tests which brilliantly combined playfulness and commitment. Twelve years later, the happy kids, now in their forties, are back at school with an unaltered thirst to learn and understand, an always vital need to discuss and invent, in short a fervor which hasn’t aged a bit.
The show currently on display at the Center du Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui, The mutants, is not a cover, nor a sequel. This is a new version, in the sense that there is a method that we are revisiting, an approach with which we are reconnecting, an observation grid that we are applying again to Quebec society. Casually, the accumulation of numbers draws up an inventory, it shows the path traveled and that which remains to be covered, the gains made and the imminent disasters. The observation is sometimes gloomy, of course, but never ceases to be galvanizing, in the sense that it always suggests a possibility of turning the tide, of remedying injustice, of ensuring that solidarity prevails. on selfishness.
Education to citizenship
On a scene reminiscent of a high school cafeteria, eleven students respond to instructions given by a synthetic voice. Amélie Bonenfant, Sophie Cadieux (alternating with Rose-Maïté Erkoreka), Sébastien Dodge, Mathieu Gosselin, Sharon Ibgui, Anne-Marie Levasseur, Lise Martin, Nicolas Michon, Olivia Palacci, Éric Paulhus and Simon Rousseau are committed body and soul to this which is similar to a vast board game. We cite Jacques Ferron, Alexie Morin, Marguerite Yourcenar and Alain Farah. We sing The Mamas and the Papas, Gabrielle Destroismaisons, Paul Anka and Nirvana.
The objective of this series of intellectual and poetic, sporting and dance challenges: to prepare these beings in the midst of change to become inspired and inspiring adults. In this education in citizenship, where oral presentations are sprinkled with moving references to the experiences of the performers, the most diverse subjects are discussed. These include career, finances, family, housing and retirement. Every evening, an authentic professor takes the stage to explain in a few minutes how he or she ensures his or her time remains.
At a time when we supposedly could no longer say anything, we do not hesitate to address here history and culture, language and revolution, social commitment and the capacity to adapt, exploitation and extermination, mental health and artificial intelligence, overmedication and toponymy, without forgetting digital dependence and this extimacy from which it is increasingly difficult to escape. We wouldn’t be surprised if this invigorating spectacle makes many people want to go back to school.