The forest’s advance, the animals’ unnatural frenzy, that horrific vision. I’m starting to connect the dots and the big picture is dreadful – Hide

It’s getting warmer; you can smell the fear in the air. Nature is running amok. Climate change or a much darker, transfiguring force?

Province takes the audience on a wild ride, full of potent questions and uneasy answers. Set in the deep forest of Quebec, this darkly comic play is part of a rich tradition of dystopian art, exploring humanity’s indifference to environmental destruction and our commitment to individualism at any cost. A poetic, whimsical fable, steeped in organic rural textures, Province revolves around a gallery of colourful characters who must face off against mutant animals—suddenly rebellious and determined to destroy their human masters. Despite the ecological malaise, the people of Province continue their pre-apocalypse lives with as much gusto as before, playing Wii, making home videos, obsessing over their looks and material possessions. Will they react before it is too late or will they be swallowed up by the ever-encroaching greenery of the Province?

Stacey Christodoulou, Artistic Director of The Other Theatre and Lyne Paquette, Artistic Director of Talisman Theatre join forces to bring this exciting new work to the Montreal stage. For Stacey, Province was yet another opportunity to explore the tension between the individual and the collective experience: how everyday acts of kindness and cruelty are reflected in the larger social and political context. For Lyne, who will also design the world of Province, the play marks Talisman Theatre’s fourth commissioned translation of contemporary French plays into English and the third collaboration with translator Nadine Desrochers (Billy: The Days of Howling, The Medea Effect, The Flood Thereafter). The English translation of the play has been read both in Montreal and in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Among the murmur of the thistle and nettle, you can hear the dribble of drool over fangs. Eyes closed, you can almost see the manufactured and mutant shapes of the unseen.– Buddy


creative team

Talisman Theatre and The Other Theatre present the World English-language Premiere of
Province by Mathieu Gosselin
Centaur Theatre’s Brave New Looks Selection
English translation Nadine Desrochers
Directed by Stacey Christodoulou


Set Design

Lyne Paquette


Fruzsina Lanyi

Lighting Design

David Perreault Ninacs

Music Composition

Jesse Ash

Stage Manager

Barbara Zsigovics

Main Photo and Poster Image: Laz Burke

Dates: October 7-17, 2015

Venue: Centaur Theatre, 453 St. François-Xavier (Metro Place d’Armes)

Time: Wednesday to Saturday, 8:30 pm. Matinee: Sat., Oct. 17 at 2:30 pm

Tickets: $28 regular, $25 students


"In this dystopian tale of humanity’s inevitable destruction, I really liked how the individual characters were colorful and conceived with much imagination. … Province’s tragic ending helps examine the tremendous resilience of human beings in the face of adversity and offer spectators the chance to reflect upon and contemplate the impact we humans currently have on nature and the uncertainty of our own future with a visionary theatrical approach."
Geneviève Roy
Mountain Lake PBS, October 15, 2015
La mise en scène, concoctée par Stacey Christodoulou, opère un tour de force en réunissant chaque situation isolée pour former un tout hautement perturbant. Les vies des personnages, jusque-là vécues en parallèle, se heurtent dans l’horreur de la révolte animale. ... C’était tout un risque de développer autant de personnages en un peu moins de deux heures, mais ceux-ci représentent si bien une facette de l’esprit humain qu’on s’attache facilement à leur sort. Ils sont extrêmement différents, mais les contrastes ne font que faire ressortir de plus belle la sauvagerie de tous. ... Finalement, la plus grande leçon à tirer de cette fable inscrite dans la lignée des 1984 ou Fahrenheit 451, c’est que peu importe l’adversaire à affronter, le plus grand ennemi de l’homme est inévitablement lui-même. L’esthétique est réussie sur toute la ligne, surtout dans la manière où elle rend l’apocalypse aussi lugubre qu’ironique. Le regard de Province est certes déboussolant, mais assez complexe pour explorer habilement le sujet épineux de la fin de l’humanité.
Charlotte Mercille
Bible Urbain, October 8, 2015
La mise en scène de Stacey Christodoulou exploite l’imagerie forte véhiculée par le texte de Mathieu Gosselin (traduit par Nadine Desrochers) avec un jeu d’acteurs contrasté et affirmé. ... Tous les personnages évoluent sur une pelouse verte, meublée de chaises affalées, d’un vieux matelas et de troncs d’arbres coupés, et entourée par des murs recouverts de tapisserie, rappelant que la confrontation entre les humains et l’environnement qui se dessine peu à peu. L’ambiance sonore diffuse des bruits et grondements d’animaux qui se rapprochent de plus en plus. Le tout contribue à créer une ambiance bien particulière qui appuie efficacement le texte. ... Malgré une histoire qui tarde à se déployer vraiment, Province offre une proposition contemporaine intéressante et singulière avec des acteurs qui incarnent habilement leurs personnages, le tout sous forme de fable inquiétante et déroutante.
Geneviève Germain
Montheatre., Octobre 11, 2015
Maintaining balance among such a large number of people onstage can certainly be a difficult task, but the cast of Province made it look effortless. Their transitions between scenes were almost seamless. The audience was never confused as to what the main focus was or where they should direct their attention. ...Two actors in particular made an impression in this production. Éloi Archambaudoin—a graduate of the National Theatre School’s acting program—portrayed the masculine and unconcerned Brandon. ... The second notable performance of the evening came from one of Concordia’s own theatre graduates, Jennifer Roberts. She played the innocent but daring Kimmie. ... The design work that went into this show was quite good but the lighting design in particular was phenomenal. ... The lighting design in Province was captivating and often striking.
Julia Bryant
The Concordian, October 20, 2015
Un énorme bravo, tout d'abord à Stacey, chaque élément de la scène est qualitativement et conceptuellement très bien articulé. Les personnages font un lien efficace entre le monde surréel de la pièce et un ancrage nécessaire avec notre société fragmenté et narcissique. Si j'ajoute le temps que vous tous avez eu pour monter cette pièce j'en suis vraiment impressionnée. La pièce habite un univers très loin du mien, mais hier soir j'ai apprécié cet déplacement ailleurs.
Arianna Bardesono
Theatre Professor, Dawson College, October 2015
I must say this was one of the best plays I have ever seen at The Centaur. My students and I couldn't stop laughing throughout the play (especially when the 'plastic' couple made their appearance). ...It was absolutely excellent and a clear message was delivered through the play. ...Overall, well written, acted and well worth the standing ovation.
Lisa Trotto
Educator, English Montreal School Board, Octobre 2015
It was such a pleasure, truly artistically fulfilling to see ... I had no idea what to expect from this play, none, and was struck by the profound message and the collaboratory dedication that went in to this piece of- performance art ... I say that because most plays feel 2 dimentional to me and this, I felt, [Province] really had this complete message. From the beautiful, stark language, to the performances, the sound, the ensemble work- it was so clear. All of the characters represented some type of humanity, the set was incredible- ... the loneliness, the darkness, THE COLD, it really felt like the world was closing in on you ... such range, funny with moments of true depth and God, just the shallowness, the emptiness of what is happening to many of us with the phones, selfies, etc. rang crystal clear in your work.
Andrea Frankle
Educator, October 16, 2015

Interviews with the creators of Province

the playwright

director and co-producer

designer and co-producer

costume designer 

actor (Carol Coach)

actors (Brandon and Faeryday)

actor (Zachary)

actor (Hide)

interviews with the creative team

promo videos


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