A Moving Theatrical Performance

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Black History Month

Le Zèbre Jaune theatrical company enthralled its audience during the performance of the play Fogo – Le procès d’Angélique (The trial of Angélique ) at Maison Jésus-Marie on Saturday, February 11. The play recalls an historical moment in Montreal, namely the trial of the slave Marie-Josèphe Angélique in 1734. This play was presented as part of the History and Heritage Days of Longueuil held within the framework of Black History Month.

Based on the research of several historians, including Denyse Beaugrand-Champagne, Carol Jones, the author and director of the play proposes a delving into this criminal event. Did Marie-Josèphe set fire to Montreal? If she is innocent, who is guilty?

The storyline of the play raises questions and provokes reflection, particularly on the parallels between the public condemnations, based on rumours at the time, and the trials of intent taking place on social media. The Longueuil-based theatrical company is recognized as a theater committed to social and healthcare arts. Its approach is based on research, reflection and imagination without losing sight of entertainment.

The performance of actress Johanne Ductan-Petit in the role of Angélique is well worth watching judged by the accuracy of the tone and the emotion transmitted. During the question-and-answer period following the performance, an intrigued young spectator asked the actress ‘how she could cry on command’.

This period of interaction with the audience was a rich learning experience. It raised our interest and gave us a better understanding of the slavery experienced in our country in the past, as well as, its transformation into the modern slavery that is rampant today.

The collaboration of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) was obvious in the presentation of this event by the City of Longueuil in the chapel of Maison Jésus-Marie. In fact, this contribution is in line with the values promoted by the Holy Names Sisters, particularly in their work to combat human trafficking and the various forms of modern slavery. Moreover, it fits well into the calendar of activities that mark Black History Month. Despite their advanced age, SNJMs continue to educate themselves on all social justice issues and take actions within their reach.

Yardly Kavanagh and Charles Papasoff, also a musician, completed the team of actors in this theatrical creation: Fogo – Le procès d’Angélique. (The trial of Angélique)

Johanne Ductan-Petit, Sr Beverley Wattling, Sr Marie-Paule Demarbre, Yardly Kavanagh, Sr Hélène Harvey, Charles Papasof et Carol Jones.

Watch the video to see the play. Duration 30 m. (French only)