In establishing artistic residencies, we are fulfilling our mission in a new way by inviting an artist living with a disability to initiate and direct a creation of their own. These residencies demonstrate a unique political stance. By handing power to an artist with an intellectual disability, we further our research on marginalized aesthetics and voices. Our goal is to develop interdependent creative models and practices, promoting the emergence of underrepresented voices that have not been part of the dominant artistic trends. In doing so, we are disrupting aesthetic hierarchies and continuing to dismantle biases against artists who evolve outside the artistic establishment.
Devoting our human, logistical, and artistic support to facilitating their development, we work to nurture each artist’s fresh and unique vision, with the ultimate goal of presenting their work in professional venues.
Hosting Artists-in-Residence has led us to introduce a new role to our artistic teams: the creative ally (our version of Graeae Theatre, London’s “creative enabler”). The creative ally is a support worker with skills and experience in the discipline practiced by the Artist-in-Residence. Our resident artists can call on their creative ally to facilitate the expression of their artistic ideas and the exploration of various creative materials. The ally’s task is flexible and adaptable to each artist’s specific needs, in order to support their practice and foster professional accessibility. For the creative ally, respecting the boundary between supporting the artist’s ideas and making their own creative contribution requires rigour and integrity.
Michael Nimbley, who has participated in four of Joe Jack & John’s productions, is the company’s first Artist-in-Residence and has been developing his project Les waitress sont tristes since 2018. Les waitress follows one nomadic man’s journey through a labyrinthine universe as he constantly confronts the status quo… Meanwhile, the waitresses are constantly asking themselves: “Why are we sad? Why are we mad?” Music and escapism are the life rafts that these characters cling onto as they repeat the same gestures over and over again.
Like a modern-day Western, Les Waitress takes us on a wild ride that features a mountain, a bar, and a railway track. There are stories of drunken cats; shoes; souvenirs; beer bottles, and line dancing… all set to the music of John Denver. Production is scheduled for the 2021-2022 season.
Original Concept, Co-Director, Performer: Michael Nimbley
Creative Ally : Catherine Bourgeois
Artist Edon Descollines is working with Emma-Kate Guimond on a short multidisciplinary piece combining performance, spoken word, dance, and video.
The store is closing. The door is closed. The lights are off. And so they will remain. Since 1997, every time a store has announcds its closing, Edon’s heart has tightened. He compulsively buys from the shopkeeper as a way to express his empathy and hold onto a memory of a reality that is doomed to disappear.
According to Edon, behind the closing of the stores lies a virtual giant that generates bankruptcies: the Internet. Who are these salespeople who are taking over the Web? Are they as relatable as the fallen merchants? Are we becoming too dependent on technology? Will our future be managed by machines?
Through their research, Edon and Emma-Kate explore nostalgia and childhood; that time when shops were places of encounters, possibilities, exchanges. They take a stroll through the melancholy and sadness of everyday life, looking into the future, sometimes with concern, sometimes with curiosity. Faced with the impossibility of containing their immense creative energy, this duo opts instead for accumulation and contamination, screaming slogans out loud: “We’re sick of it! We don’t give a damn!”
Original Concept, Co-Creator, Performer: Edon Descollines
Co-Creator, Performer: Emma-Kate Guimond
Photos : Marie Sébire
Têtes chercheuses [Seekers] is an impromptu JOE JACK & JOHN project that aims to pass the puck in pandemic times, making sure the resources that have been made available to companies find their way to artists. We want to recognize and support the work of three women who are active forces and pillars in their respective fields: research/creation, accessibility, and dissemination. Each of these seekers is being encouraged to further her specific practice while also widening her scope to encompass the inclusive objectives of our mission.
Mellissa Larivière is a writer, director, and actor, regularly called upon as curator and programming collaborator by a variety of organisations (Usine C, Le Cube, etc.). Founder of //SAS// Laboratoire de création and the ZH Festival, her commitment to the performing arts community has garnered her numerous awards since her graduation from the National Theater School in 2011.
Mellissa will be focussing on inclusive and interdependent practices, refining her interpretation and understanding of the stage work of deaf artists and artists with disabilities.
Claudette Lemay, a Montreal artist whose body of videographic, sound, and photographic work has been presented both in Canada and abroad for the last twenty years, is currently researching experimental audio description in order to open up this field of expertise to the visual and performing arts.
It is this aspect of her work Claudette will be pursuing, paying particular attention to the accessibility of theatre for blind people and people with low vision.
Maxime D.-Pomerleau, a multidisciplinary artist and cultural worker living in Montreal, is also known through her alter-ego, the superheroine Batwheel. As well as acting in theatre, cinema and television, she has distinguished herself as a performer with Corpuscule Danse and with numerous creators both nationally and internationally.
Maxime will embark on a research and development process in order to express her vision, her themes, and her singular aesthetic through the creation of a very personal new piece.