Sunday, October 05, 2008

Scorched at the Centaur Theatre

The play you will see at the Centaur Theatre is Scorched written by Wajdi Mouawad. The playwright was born in Lebanon in 1968. His family fled the war torn country and settled first in Paris, then in Montreal. He graduated from the National Theatre School in Montreal and has had a career as an actor, writer, director and producer.

Scorched is a story about loss and redemption. It follows the mythic quest of twins Janine and Simon Marwan as they attempt to uncover the mysteries of their past. The play opens in a notary's office with the reading of a will--that of their mother Nawal, whose past is filled with silence and mystery. Janine is a mathematician who teaches at a local college and Simon is training to become a professional boxer. At the reading of the will, the twins are each given a letter with instructions to find the rest of their family. One letter is addressed to their brother and the other to their father. At first, Simon is angry with his mother and refuses to comply with her last wishes. Janine embarks on a journey to her mother's homeland to find out the truth about the past. She learns of the violence and turmoil of Nawal's tragic life.
Although the location of Nawal's homeland is not directly named, Wajdi Mouawad uses his native country of Lebanon as a setting for his play. The past is related through flashbacks to Nawal at the ages of 14, 19 and 40. Scenes of the past are juxtaposed with the present-day reactions of Janine and Simon as they realize the harsh realities of their origins. Each twin attempts to deal with problems in their own way: Janine through logic and mathematics, and Simon by fighting. The twins experience firsthand what their mother meant by having a knife stuck in the throat of childhood and this leaves them forever altered.

Directions to the Centaur Theatre: 453 St François-XavierOld Montreal Directions from METRO: Place D'Armes Metro Station Take St-Urbain exit. Once outside turn right (south) towards the Notre-Dame Basilica. Walk up 2 blocks to Notre Dame Street.On Notre-Dame street turn right.Walk 1 block to St François-Xavier and turn left. The Centaur Theatre is on the left hand side.
From AUTOROUTE VILLE MARIE: Take Berri/St-Laurent Exit. Stay Left - Turn Left on Rue Viger. Left on St-UrbainRight on St-Paul. Right on St François-Xavier. The Centaur Theatre is on the East side. From DOWNTOWN: Take St-Jacques going East. Right on Peel St. (at Dow Planetarium). Left on Notre Dame. Continue until Notre Dame Basilica. Turn Right on St-Sulpice. Right on St-Paul. Right on St François-Xavier. Centaur Theatre is on the East side.


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