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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces Jean Gascon’s contribution to theater in Canada, emphasizing his physical approach to directing. Gascon made his name first in Québec in the 1950s as an actor and director of the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde. Despite his eclecticism, he was particularly noted for his wildly imaginative high-speed farces. In 1955, he gained international notice when his company was invited to present three Molière farces in Paris. International renown brought him national renown. Gascon’s French-language background notwithstanding, he was engaged as artistic director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, the first Canadian to hold the position. Among Gascon’s innovations was the broadening of Stratford’s repertory. He successfully introduced lesser known English classics and plays from the French repertoire. More important to him were his theatricalist movement-oriented productions of Molière and Shakespeare. This chapter analyzes four of his stagings, focusing on the relationship between choreography and mise en scène.

Keywords: Gascon, Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, Copeau, Stratford, Shakespeare, Comedy of Errors, Cymbeline, Molière, Tartuffe, Imaginary Invalid

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