Glendon signs historic partnership with Théâtre La Tangente


York’s Theatre Glendon was filled to the rafters the evening of Thursday, May 27, for a first in Glendon’s history: the signing of a partnership between the college’s Student Services Department and Toronto-based Théâtre La Tangente. Effective immediately, La Tangente becomes Glendon’s theatre-in-residence, offering great advantages to both sides of the partnership.

Following a warm welcome by Glendon Principal Kenneth McRoberts (right) and a greeting from playwright and artistic co-director of La Tangente, Claude Guilmain (below, left), it was Professor Louise Lewin’s turn to take the microphone. In the early days, it was Lewin (below, right), associate principal of Glendon’s Student Services, who took the essential first steps to forge the partnership .

This historic event was witnessed by members of the press and a large Glendon audience, as well as others involved in the Toronto Francophone theatre scene, notably Guy Migneault, artistic director of the Toronto French Theatre (TFT) and currently president of the Ontario Association of French Theatres (l’Association des théâtres francophones de l’Ontario – ATFO), who welcomed the agreement with enthusiasm.

Lewin and Guilmain thanked all those who were instrumental in bringing this partnership to life, among them Jacinthe Dallaire, a member of La Tangente’s administrative board; the Trillium Foundation; McRoberts; Françoise Mougeon, Glendon associate principal academic; Gilles Fortin, Glendon’s executive officer; Yves Frenette, director of Glendon’s Multidisciplinary Studies Department; Robert Wallace, director of Glendon’s Drama Program; Duncan Appleton, Theatre Glendon’s technical manager; and Martine Rheault, coordinator of Glendon Artistic & Cultural Affairs.

There was a flurry of official activity, with cameras flashing and much applause, as Lewin and Guilmain signed the document cementing this agreement for an initial period of three years. As in all good partnerships, everyone benefits: La Tangente now has a place of residence – a fully equipped theatre space where it can rehearse and perform free of charge; and Glendon has a company that is committed to creating exchange opportunities for the college’s Drama Department, advising students in their drama productions and increasing the level of cultural activity on campus in both English and French.

Left: An actor with Théâtre La Tangente and narrator in Guilmain’s play-in-progress

With the signatures in place, the next part of the evening was devoted to a dramatic reading of Guilmain’s play in progress, “Requiem pour un trompettiste”, performed by members of the company. The rapt attention of the audience during this performance – as part of the AFTC (Association des théâtres francophones du Canada) Works-in-Progress Festival 2004 (Chantiers-théâtre 2004) – augurs well for the future of the play, as well as for the company’s success on campus.

More about Théâtre La Tangente

In a brief historical overview earlier in the evening, Guilmain remembered Théâtre La Tangente’s long-standing connections with Glendon. In its first incarnation as Les Klektiks, founded in 1994, the company rehearsed free of charge at Theatre Glendon, a great boon to a young group without much funding. In 1999, the company took the name La Tangente and is currently directed by Louise Naubert, as well as Guilmain.

This article was submitted to YFile by Marika Kemeny, Glendon’s public relations and communications advisor.