AMERICANDREAM.CA is an original work by Claude Guilmain with choreographed movement and video projections, first presented by le Théâtre la Tangente at the Glendon Theatre in June 2013. The show is offered with English audio translation.
AMERICANDREAM.CA Part 1: Malaises
Creation in June 2013
AMERICANDREAM.CA Part 2: Pax Americana
Creation in August 2015
AMERICANDREAM.CA Partie 3
Creation in 2016/2017
AMERICANDREAM.CA is the story of three siblings, Alain, Maude and Claude Cardinal , three baby-boomers who have gathered to celebrate Alain’s 50th birthday along with his wife Pat, and Maude’s two adult children, Brigitte and Éric.
On the morning of his 50th birthday, Alain, a high level civil servant of twenty five years, walks into his office only to realize his position has been abolished due to government cut backs. While the security guards are escorting him out, he has a momentary break down and tries to throw himself through a window. The window doesn’t break, he merely bounces off and he is left in a heap, hurt and humiliated. Meanwhile his wife Pat, in therapy for the last twelve years, has finally had a breakthrough. She has come to the realization that she is unable to love her children.
Claude has always been the buffer between his strong willed sister Maude and his tempestuous younger brother Alain. Meticulous to a fault, his well ordered life is on the brink of collapsing as he has inadvertently won a very large sum of money in the lottery.
Maude, the eldest of the three siblings, has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. At the party, she tells her family she will be going on a European vacation instead of telling them she is going in for surgery. Her youngest daughter, Émilie, a veteran of Afghanistan, lives with the guilt of having caused the death of a young afghan girl while on patrol in the Panjw’ai province. Brigitte teaches American History at university and writes trash fiction.
Each of these six characters is living a personal tragedy that only the audience will witness through a series of monologues. But the real tragedy is that they are unable to communicate their true feelings to each other and that between them, nothing is shared but small talk and banalities. After too many years of keeping up appearances, will the masks finally come off?
The background of this story takes us to New York city in the late 1930’s where the protagonists’ grand father, Joseph Cardinal, has brought his wife and son from a small town in Québec in search of a brighter future. Joseph is a gambler and it doesn’t take long for him to accumulate debts. And one day in 1942, he simply disappears forcing his wife and son to return in shame to Québec. Alain, Maude and Claude will have never known their grandfather and he was rarely talked about while they were growing up. He was the shame of the family and no one is really certain of when, where or even if he has died.
The eventual discovery of their grand father’s fate will have a very different affect of the paths Alain, Maude and Claude’s lives will take.
Author and Co-Director and Co-Set designer : Claude Guilmain
Co-Director and actor : Louise Naubert
Lighting Designer : Guillaume Houët
Visual effects, Co-set designer, Technical director : Duncan Appleton
Soundscape and original music : Claude Naubert
Choreography : Sylvie Bouchard
Photography and Stage management : Aurélien Muller
WebDesign and Photography : Mikaël Lavogiez
Actors: Sasha Dominique, Magali Lemèle, Bernard Meney, Louise Naubert, Pier Paquette, Annie Richer
« This show is imbued with great intelligence, great emotion and great ambition. [...] For us, who are outside Quebec, this is the kind of theater we have to demand.»
Kevin Sweet, ICI Radio-Canada - Le Téléjournal Ontario, November 19th 2017 - Read the review
« the actors are all impeccable in creating their characters. The play is also immaculately directed by Guilmain and Louise Naubert. [...] While it is yet incomplete, what Guilmain has constructed so far points to its becoming a major work of Canadian drama. [...] After seeing the first two parts so expertly written, stage and performed, one can hardly wait for part three.»
Christopher Hoile, Stage Door, November 17th 2017 - Read the review
« La pièce americandream.ca ouvre le festival, un road trip de trois heures, constitué de Malaises et de Pax Americana, créé par le Théâtre de la Tangente. Cette oeuvre porte en elle tous les autres spectacles, fait valoir M. Cormier. Elle les éclaire par les thèmes qui y sont abordés.... »
Isabelle Brisebois, Le Droit, June 10th 2015 - Read the review
« Zones Théâtrales nous amène dans un « roadtrip ». »
Daniel Mathieu, Les voies du retour - Radio-Canada, June 9th 2015 - Listen to the interview
« Premier chapitre d’une trilogie, AmericanDream.ca a donc su relever tous les défis liés aux aléas de la création... »
Nicolas Dot, L'Express, June 25th 2013 - Read the review
« ... une comédie de mœurs de Claude Guilmain, codirigée par Louise Naubert, et c’est un premier tome... »
Raphaël Lopoukhine, Le Métropolitain, June 26th 2013 - Read the review
« De fait, il existe des liens étroits entre eux ; même s’ils [les personnages] n’interagissent pas sur scène, ils créent une parole symphonique qui exprime leur intériorité. Ce qui paraissait alors statique se révèle une série de courants et de mouvements qui créent un déferlement vertigineux. »
Paul Savoie, Liaison N°161, September 25th 2013 - Read the review
« All of Mr. Guilmain’s characters have the fatal flaw of still being alive in a world that is dead of emotions, ... »
Shannon Christy, The Charlesbois Post, June 19th 2013 - Read the review
« Le créateur Torontois Claude Guilmain du Théâtre la Tangeante présente sa nouvelle création Americandream la semaine prochaine. »
Éric Robitaille, Grands Lacs café / Radio-Canada, June 15th - Listen to the interview
« Il désacralise totalement la notion de rêve américain et estime même que ce mythe nous rend tous vulnérables, ... »
Nicolas Dot, L'Express, June 11th 2013 - Read the review