Pandemic-stricken Class of 2020 honoured in graduate showcase

With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the educational experience of theatre school students across Québec, Tableau D’Hôte Theatre has curated a special live and in-person performance event honouring their perseverance.

Presented by the Segal Centre for Performing Arts from May 24th-29th, Class of 2020: Voices from the Pandemic will unite recent grads from Montréal’s top professional theatre training programs for a series of staged play readings featuring new Canadian works. Highlighting 25 emerging actors, directors, designers, stage managers, and technicians from the National Theatre School of Canada, Concordia University, UQAM, John Abbott College, and Dawson College, the public performance will also stand as an industry showcase for artistic directors, casting directors, and talent agents to be introduced to the next generation of theatremakers.

“From having their final school productions cancelled to readily adapting to online classes, I’ve been deeply moved and inspired by the strength of these young artists during this challenging time,” says project creator/curator and Tableau D’Hôte Apprentice Artistic Director Camila Fitzgibbon. “The school-to-workplace transition is always a vulnerable moment, but to find employment opportunities and integrate yourself into the professional industry in a pandemic world is another feat altogether. I hope this showcase can be an honorary convocation of their academic work and a community celebration of their extraordinary resolve and resilience.”

Guiding three mixed cohorts of graduates – each of which will perform twice for a total of six shows at the Segal Centre – are veteran directors Zach Fraser (King of Canada, Infinithéâtre), Sophie Gee (Habibi’s Angel’s: Commission Impossible, Talisman Theatre), and Jessica Abdallah (What Rough Beast, Centaur Theatre). Sophie El-Assaad (Small Mouth Sounds, Segal Centre) and Kate Hagemeyer (Winter’s Daughter, Tableau D’Hôte Theatre) round the professional team as the design and stage management mentors, respectively.

Canadian voices at the fore
In the convergence of established and emerging artists, Voices from the Pandemic will also feature curated readings of original works by up-and-coming local playwrights. Received by TDHT as part of the original call for submissions to the project, selected plays and participating playwrights will be announced at a later date.

From the loss and digitalization of the Class of 2020’s graduating performances at last comes their moment to shine on a live stage.