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Sarah Berthiaume
Jérémie Battaglia
Actes du théâtre n° 61.[ imprimer ]
Four characters lost in the vast expanse of the Yukon are hanging on for dear life: Yuko, an exiled Japanese woman; Garin, a multiracial Native American; his father, Dad’s; and Kate, a runaway teenager who doesn’t believe in anything. Even in this remote outpost times are hard due to the desperate poverty of the local population, the harsh economic reality, individualism and emotional disconnect. In a pagan dance in which the dead take part, they are driven toward one another by a force unknown even to them.

‘‘Several of us who read Yukonstyle felt it was an important play: powerful, highly authentic and possessed of amazing poetic power. The promise of rare and compelling material for the stage was discerned in the powerfully depicted reality, the characters’ substance, their harsh relations with the world, the rugged, terse dialogue, and at the same time the fantastic power of the visions that course through the writing, twisting the realism of the situations and revealing unsuspected heights within human beings.’’
- Director Célie Pauthe, on the CDNA de Grenoble web site

‘‘I imagined the characters like modern gold miners, part of a small makeshift community just trying to survive. I saw them as tormented, brave, greedy and dazzling. Four lonely people who come together, console and love each other despite themselves, living on the edge of life and death in the middle of an endless winter. I wanted it to be in French, but with a pace and tone closer to English; and I wanted narrative passages as counterpoint to the roughness of the dialogue and the characters’ laconic speech. I wanted these poetic flights to be like streaks of gold across the polar night. As if the Yukon were running through the characters, making them larger than themselves. As if it were speaking through them.’’
- Sarah Berthiaume

Premiered almost simultaneously at the Théâtre de la Colline in Paris and at the Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui in Montreal.

Théâtre de la Colline, March 28-April 27, 2013. Then at the Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne in May 2013 and at the MC2 Grenoble in fall 2013.

Director: Célie Pauthe. Artistic Advisor: Denis Loubaton. Set Design: Guillaume Delaveau. Sound: Aline Loustalot. Costumes: Marie La Rocca. Cast: Dan Artus, Flore Babled, Cathy Min Jung Boquet, Jean-Louis Coulloc’h.

Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui in Montreal, April 9-May 4, 2013.

Director: Martin Faucher. Assistant Director: Émanuelle Kirouac-Sanche. Set Design: Max-Otto Fauteux. Costumes: Denis Lavoie. Lighting: Étienne Boucher. Original Score: Alexander Macsween. Make-up and Hair: Angelo Barsetti. Stage Manager: Jean Gaudreau. Innu culture specialist: Joséphine Bacon. Cast: Sophie Desmarais, Vincent Fafard, Gérald Gagnon, Cynthia Wu-Maheux.

Translations available in German (Frank Weigand and Christa Müller), Spanish (Alberto Arribas), Catalan (Alberto Arribas), and English (Nadine Desrochers).

Characters : 2 women - 2 men -

Scene 1

‘‘Whitehorse. Nighttime. Winter. Minus forty-five degrees Celsius. The border between cold and death. A girl dressed like a doll is thumbing it down the highway. She could be a whore with her seventeen-year-old legs sheathed in lace and her willfulness about being on the highway at this hour. But she’s not a whore. She’s just a girl dressed like a doll and it’s minus forty-five degrees Celsius. She’s cold. Obviously.
The snow squeaks under her platform boots, the lace rustling on her frostbitten thighs. A name works its way from her warm belly up to her lips, escaping into the brittle Yukon night in a delicate pink fog. Jamie. The girl sighs. She shouldn’t have gotten off. She should have stayed on the bus another night. Gone farther. Lost herself deeper in the improbable North. Pushed her senseless flight farther up in the mountains, with the exhaust fumes, the herds of bison and A&Ws. But. Whitehorse. A blurry image of a white horse on streets lined with gold. And there she was, thumbing it at minus forty-five degrees Celsius in her doll’s outfit, standing on the border between cold and death.”