New faces 2024 | Madeleine Sarr, dreaming like a young premiere

Born in Montreal in 1996 to Senegalese parents, Madeleine Sarr grew up in Villeray. It’s while watching the show The little life, with her father, that she discovered the pleasure of playing. And began to become fascinated by this profession. In high school, at Père-Marquette, the teenager joined an extracurricular theater troupe. But the young woman has no illusions about her future in theater.

“It’s something my parents didn’t see me doing,” she remembers. My mother kindly suggested that after CEGEP I go to university “for something more serious”. I kept telling my mother: do you want me to become a doctor and earn $200,000 a year while being unhappy? I’d rather eat pasta and do theater [rires]. »

It must be said that in the early 2000s in Quebec, the theater and television industry was whiter than white.

When I was younger, my role models were white actresses; Black women on Quebec television were very rare. At 14, I didn’t realize it, but today I realize that I lacked role models. And also stories and fiction stories closer to my reality.

Madeleine Sarr

However, her parents did not discourage their daughter at all when she told them that she wanted to enter the National School in 2016. “And today, my parents are super happy for me,” she says. .

Why we chose it

Because she is the winner of the Quebec Association of Theater Critics (AQCT) prize for best female performance, for her role in Rome, under the direction of Brigitte Haentjens, created at Usine C in 2023.

Things change


The actress Madeleine Sarr, in December 2023, in the studios of The Press.

Between his beginnings at the National School and today, things have changed at great speed! “I look at Viola Davis, Lupita Nyong’o and several other black actresses. I work more and more with colleagues of Haitian and African origin, she says. Our body shape, our facial features, our way of moving… all of that is not the same. I started out as a work of deconstruction. »

COVID-19 Promotion

The 27-year-old actress completed her acting training… at the start of the pandemic, when all the theaters closed. “Leaving theater school, it’s already nothingness. With COVID, it was like double nothingness! But everyone was in the same boat and I’m not naturally worried. »

Then everything happened. After the Quat’Sous auditions, in 2021, he was offered projects and laboratories. The professor and director of the ENT, Frédéric Dubois, then suggested that he resume What time do we die? at Quat’Sous.


During a reading from Antony and Cleopatrabefore the creation of the river show Rome last spring

Then came the TV roles and a call from Brigitte Haentjens to play in Rome. “I thought she was going to offer me the role of a plebeian, who we can see in the background behind the stage… But no: she offered me Cleopatra! » When she received the Critics’ Prize last December, she had her marks: “Her interpretation of Cleopatra was able to infuse a unique, astonishing and striking vision into a historical figure who is nevertheless very well known,” wrote the Montreal jury. Concluding that she had “dazzled the critics”…

The career of this young premiere who dreams of playing several major roles is launched!

His news for the year 2024

This year, Madeleine Sarr will be Nina in The Seagull, an adaptation by Guillaume Corbeil of Chekhov’s classic, directed by Catherine Vidal. The show will be on display at the Prospero, from March 12 to 30, then at the NAC French Theater in Ottawa, from April 11 to 13. She will also be part of the filming of season 3 of Brain. “But I can’t say more,” she said.

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