Our mission

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Since its founding in 2005, Talisman Theatre has championed the same artistic mission: "To produce professional English-language premieres of contemporary Quebecois plays" in translation for the English stage.

 

Talisman's mission is one of interculturalisme: working with contemporary issues, we strive to build bridges between Montreal's two solitudes by making the Quebecois perspective accessible to non-francophones. Talisman speaks from the heart of an ever-evolving Quebecois culture directly to non-francophone audiences, by preserving the Quebecois 'edge' often blurred (anglicized) in the translation process.

 

VISION:

 

Our goal is to educate as well as to entertain and to help open up the diversity of different cultures for younger minds. Talisman will continue to produce these high quality works and grow, by: expanding the number of productions from 1 to 2 each year; increasing the life of each theatre production by touring outside of Montreal; and, extending our outreach to young people, students and minorities, through sponsor-subsidised tickets.

Our history

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Talisman Theatre is an award-winning, Montreal-based production company in its eleventh season. It was founded in 2005 by Lyne Paquette Artistic and Executive Director of Talisman Theatre (a renowned Set Designer), and Emma Tibaldo, a Montreal director (now Artistic and Executive Director of Playwrights' Workshop Montreal). Lyne and Emma met as students at the National Theatre School.

 

Based on this relationship, Talisman has established a productive partnership with Playwrights’ Workshop, a Montreal institution, which contributes to the development and dramaturgy of contemporary translations, providing workshops for authors, the translators, designers, and actors.

 

All Talisman shows since 2005 have been produced with its core artistic team of professional designers. This firm foundation has allowed Talisman to develop its craft and vocabulary to make each Talisman production fully-integrated and culturally significant. The entire Talisman artistic team is bilingual and the Talisman process uses the Quebecois model for production development.

 

Denis Cöté's Vic and Flo saw a Bear (November 21- December 2nd, 2017), a gender-bending love/horror story between two queer women, fits perfectly into the niche we have established for ourselves with our previous productions:

 

That Woman (2006),
That Woman (2007 remount),
Down Dangerous Passes Road (2008),
Rock, Paper, Jackknife... (2009),
The Flood Thereafter (2010),
Coma Unplugged (2011),
The Medea Effect (2012),
The Aeneid (2013),
Billy (The Days of Howling) (2014),
The Medea Effect (2015 remount)
Province (2015),
Me and You (2016),
Yukonstyle (2016).

Our achievements

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Billy was nominated for a META in the Best Indie production categorie. Our 2014 production of The Aeneid won the META for ‘Outstanding Independent Production’, and was nominated in three other categories. The Medea Effect (2012) won the META for ‘Best Actress’ and ‘Best New Translation’ as well as being nominated in four other categories. Our 2011 production Coma Unplugged was nominated for ‘Best Set Design’ at the 2012 Cochon d’Or. The Flood Thereafter was nominated for MECCA awards in three categories. Talisman productions have been nominated for and won the Quebec Critics (AQCT) award for best English Production (2008, 2009), and our 2010 production. We have also collected testimonials from the media and educators on our website (see the reviews at http://www.talisman-theatre.com/media.html).

 

Talisman has received six CAM, six CALQ, and eight CCA production grants, as well as five CCA translation grants. Private financing has been obtained from the Cole Foundation, Power Corporation, The Foundation of Greater Montreal, The Zeller Family Foundation, and from private donors. In 2010 Talisman received a CCA Flying Squad grant to develop our first three-year Strategic Plan (2010-2013) with a Montreal-based theatre management consultant, Robert Gagné. We now have a full Board of directors and we have created our new (2016-2019) 3-year plan. Talisman received its first multi-year grant from CALQ in 2014, from CCA in 2015 and CAM in 2017.

 

Talisman Theatre has established strong links within Montreal’s French and English theatre communities. In 2015 we return to The Centaur Theatre with Province as part of the 2015 Brave New Looks. We had our first local tour this year staging a remount of The Medea Effect (2012) at the Segal Center for the Arts Studio. We took Province to New Orleans in 2015 for a reading with view to a co-production with the Swine Palace Theatre at Louisiana State University. We have developed a partnership with Theatre La Licorne, a Montreal hub for Quebecois translations of contemporary Scottish and Irish works, with a reading of Billy (The Days of Howling) (2014) on their stage in 2013.

 

Over the years Talisman Theatre has become a landmark of Montreal's arts scene, receiving previews and reviews in the English media: blogs, print, radio, and television (CBC, CTV, Global). We have also been reviewed in the French media (Le Devoir, Voir). A recent article featuring Talisman Theatre appeared in the French journal JEU Revue de theatre, ‘Breaking Through the Language Barrier’: “When thinking about companies who popularize Quebecois drama, in English, the name at the top of the list is Talisman Theatre—this is exactly their mission.”—Philippe Couture and Christian Saint-Pierre December 2012.

 

Talisman Theatre operates with a ‘light infrastructure’ consisting of our Artistic and Executive Director (Lyne Paquette) who manages the day-to-day operations of the company, and what we refer to as our ‘theatre family’, consisting of our core team of designers, our invited directors, and translators. Our board members make invaluable contributions with their advice (legal and governance) and active participation (graphic arts, videography).

 

Talisman Theatre is active in the development of Montreal's English-Language Artistic community. We are proud to be part of The Group of 5+, a coalition of six professional theatre and dance-theatre companies in Montreal who are in the process of planning a permanent space for creation. In this we have the financial support of the three levels of government. This creative space will enable the cost-benefits of sharing of physical resources and services and will assist us all in raising our individual visibility. The Group of 5+ includes: Dulcinea Langfelder & Co.; Imago Theatre; Playwrights' Workshop Montreal; Porte Parole; Geordie Production and Talisman Theatre.

Our administration

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Lyne Paquette, Founder, Artistic & Executive Director

Lyne is a founder (with Emma Tibaldo) of Talisman Theatre. A graduate of the National Theatre School (2005), set design is Lyne's second career. Prior to this, she had worked as a professional engineer (McGill, 1987). Beginning as an Assistant Designer at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, and as an intern at Michael Curry Designs, Lyne has since designed for many theatre, dance, puppet, and opera productions in Montreal. She has designed sets and costumes for Talisman productions since 2005.

Governance: Board of Directors

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Christine Lord, President and Secretary

A native of Rouyn-Noranda, Christine adopted Montreal and its rich artistic life 25 years ago. She has worked at SNC-Lavalin for almost 18 years. She acquired her experience in management within the Information Technologies group. For the past four years she has been the director of procurement systems within the Global Procurement department, where her responsibility is to provide the best solutions and tools for procurement operations. She has just completed an MBA at McGill-HEC in order to further develop her competencies.

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Stephane Michaud, Treasurer

Stephane is a seasoned bilingual executive specialized in finance and strategic initiative management and deployment. For the last 18 years, he mainly worked with companies operating in the media, communication as well as software and digital media fields. Results and innovation oriented, he is a change agent known for his strong leadership, his business acumen and ability to analyze and grasp the full potential of new initiatives as well as structure a performing organization prepared to efficiently act upon those opportunities.

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Carmen Crépin, Director

Carmen is a lawyer and has been a member of Québec`s bar since 1974.  Her initial experiences were in private practice and with the Québec Government, where she served in legal and administrative functions, including the drafting of legislation concentrated in civil and administrative areas. For four years, she served as the Deputy Chief Coroner of Québec before moving to the financial sector, working for the Caisse de dépot et placement du Québec and Fonds Solidarité des travailleurs du Québec as corporate secretary. For the last 15 years, Carmen has served in the securities regulatory sector, first as Chair of the Québec Securities Commission and then as Vice-President, Québec, of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).

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Zach Fraser, Director

Zach directed our critically acclaimed Coma Unplugged (2011). On faculty in the theatre department at John Abbott College, Zach also teaches on occasion at McGill University and the National Theatre School. Zach is an actor, puppeteer, director and co-founder of Montreal-based The GKW Project. A graduate of École Philippe Gaulier (London/Paris) and Dalhousie University (Halifax), Zach also recently completed a practical masters in puppetry at UQÀM. Zach is currently the Quebec Councillor for Canadian Actors' Equity Association.

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Lyne Paquette, (ex officio: Artistic & Executive Director)

Lyne is a founder (with Emma Tibaldo) of Talisman Theatre. A graduate of the National Theatre School (2005), set design is Lyne's second career. Prior to this, she had worked as a professional engineer (McGill, 1987). Beginning as an Assistant Designer at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, and as an intern at Michael Curry Designs, Lyne has since designed for many theatre, dance, puppet, and opera productions in Montreal. She has designed sets and costumes for Talisman productions since 2005.

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Michael MacKenzie, Director

In the last ten years Michael's plays have been produced in translation in Avignon, Budapest, Germany, Hungary, Montreal, Ottawa, Prague, Quebec, Stuttgart, and Tel Aviv. He works with the Cirque de Soleil, Robert Lepage (ex machina). He is writer/director of The Baroness and the Pig (2003) and is director and co-writer of Adam's Wall (2008). He currently has three film projects funded for development by Telefilm and SODEC. Michael has a Ph.D in the Political Economy and History of Science. He lives in Montreal with his partner and two sons.

Eleonor Dumouchel

Eleonor Dumouchel

Eleanor is an art historian, writer, and musician from Montreal. She completed her MA in Art History at Concordia University in 2015.  The subject of her thesis is a 16th century tapestry woven after a design by Hieronymus Bosch. After her MA, she completed a funded yearlong stage in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ grantwriting office. She currently works as a freelance translator and art writer in Montreal. As Rat Paws, Eleanor sings and plays guitar, offering original post-punk with an affinity to early 1990s indie-rock. In 2016 she released a 5-song cassette on the tape label Life Like.

Our designers

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Lyne Paquette, Set Designer

Lyne is a founding partner and Artistic Director of Talisman Theatre. A graduate of the National Theatre School, theatre design is Lyne's second career. She has designed set and costumes for Talisman productions since 2005. Visit Lyne's website: www.lynepaquette.com.

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Fruzsina Lanyi, Costume Designer

Fruzsina graduated from The National Theatre School of Canada in 2003, and has since created numerous costume, set, props and make-up designs. She also works in films in her country of origine Hungary. For her, theatre is a multifacetted world of inspiration, exchange and growth.

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David Perreault Ninacs, Lighting Designer

David graduated from NTS a few years ago, and has since designed some 60 theatre shows and done lighting for visual arts shows, corporate galas, dance and musical shows; as well as designing domestic lamps. David has taught lighting design at the National Theatre School. After all of this, he still enjoys light in all its forms.