Jean-Philippe Joubert: praise of curiosity

With three projects that will come alive almost simultaneously on the Quebec stage, the author and director Jean-Philippe Joubert will be at the center of theatrical news in the coming weeks.

In addition to his play The Shadow of the Snail , which reconnects with Les Gros Becs, he had fun with Constellations by Nick Payne, whose film he directed at the Trident, inviting quantum physics into a love story . At the helm of The Art of the Fall , soon awaited at the Periscope, it is rather the economy he invites to the theater. Encounter with a curious creator who is resolutely not afraid to mix genres.

“I’m always interested in going in search of something,” Jean-Philippe Joubert explains, before embarking on an enumeration. For Constellations , which takes the Trident’s poster on Tuesday, he first recounted meeting a physicist from Laval University to learn more about quantum mechanics. “We had our social dance teacher,” he goes on. We had a neuro-oncologist who came to meet us. We were trained to learn sign language. In all these things, I’m interested in learning things. ”

Created in London in 2012, Constellations has attracted attention in several countries – actor Jake Gyllenhaal has played in the Broadway version – before we arrive. Jean-Philippe Joubert recounts that he had a real fondness for this text, which applies principles of quantum physics to a sentimental encounter between Philippe and Marianne (Christian Michaud and Valerie Laroche). “Based on the assumption that the same event is likely to experience several outcomes in parallel universes”, as stipulated in the program, we thus witness the different trajectories that a story and its characters can take.

“Quietly, one goes on in a scene and one sees bits of what this scene could have been. In doing so, we see different ways of approaching someone, different ways of reacting, different reasons that make it work or that it does not work, different errors that one version of a character can do and the other Version will not do. It plays skillfully with the process of repetition, without one sinking in there, “explains Jean-Philippe Joubert, adding that the scientific aspect of this theory is also expressed in dialogues, in the role carried by Valerie The rock.

“Marianne, in several of her versions, is a scientist,” Joubert said. A version of it is precisely an expert in quantum cosmology, the beginning of the universe, the question of string theory, multivers. She will tell us this lightly in a very funny scene that just light up the process a bit. Basically, she places it on a philosophical level by saying, “Imagine that we are one of the possibilities of ourselves and that there are plenty of other possibilities beside us.” We, as spectators, have the opportunity to see these multiple possibilities. ”

Art, numbers and emotions

For the play The Art of the Fall , presented at the Periscope as of April 4, the approach was somewhat similar. “It’s a curiosity that leads to a search that gets carried away and gives the show in the end,” sums up Jean-Philippe Joubert. It worries me that theater does not talk about theater, but that it speaks about something in life. We live in this economic world, we are next to this art market. It was the same thing when Lucy [in 2006] was made and we went to meet the paleo-anthropologist Don Johanson. It’s a material to work, it’s fun … I’m curious! ”

At the outset, Jean-Philippe Joubert says he wanted to put on a show about the economy without the financial crisis of 2008 being the subject. A coincidence in the news of the time changed his mind: on September 15, 2008, when bank Lehman Brothers declared bankrupt, British artist Damien Hirst auctioned a series of works for the trifle Of $ 140 million.

“In The Art of Fall , it’s more about documentary research. It’s not true that I interviewed traders in New York or people who conduct auctions at Sotheby’s. We did not have access to these people, “notes Jean-Philippe Joubert, who brings reality and fiction together on the stage.

“In the first scene, it explains the supply and the demand,” he evokes. And quietly, the case is more complex. We take the time to explain things and then these elements are taken up again in the fictional scenes. The principle of the art of falling is that once one has understood a concept, the objective is to be able to attach emotionally to what the characters feel when they experience an economic conflict . ”

Fascinated by the human aspect of the economy – “Money is not just numbers, it’s a lot of emotions!” Jean-Philippe Joubert deplores in the same breath ” ‘One gradually loses an idea of ​​general culture’ in this area by focusing, for example, on courses more focused on personal finances than on broader theories.

“We feel that the teaching is becoming more and more practical and it is very unfortunate,” he comments. We have less and less understanding of the issues and are losing influence in our society. The election of Trump is particularly revealing on this subject. One begins to understand that much of his election is due to all those who find that the world slips into their hands. And it’s not about education or employment. It is to have the sensation that the world slips us between the fingers. I try to make the theater play a part in that … ”

The shadow of the snail revives
With the cover of L’ombre de l’escargot at Les Gros Becs (14th to 26th March), the author and director Jean-Philippe Joubert comes both to close a loop and to mark the anniversary of his company, Nuages In pants, who blew his 15 candles.

“We wanted to take it one last time,” Joubert said. I say one last time because I imagine that it will be that, but I do not resolve to set the scene. I wanted us to play in our city for our 15 th anniversary. ”

Created in 2008, the play was presented in Quebec, New Brunswick, Western Canada and France. Inspired by the family experience of Jean-Philippe Joubert, whose sister lives with a handicap, she looks at the difference and speaks to an audience aged five years and up.

“The show had a big run. I measure the time that has passed, even personally, because it is a story that is very personal to me. Things have changed, I have had children … It changes the perspective. My sister has also evolved, “adds Joubert, who is delighted to see his creation revived for a new cohort of children. “It was very pleasant to see the show in rehearsals,” he says. I arrived by telling myself that I was going to renovate stuff, but eventually, the good spark is still there. It still works. ”

Want to go?
Constellations

From 7 March to 2 April at the Grand Théâtre, Salle Octave-Crémazie

Tickets : $ 45

Letrident.com

The Shadow of the Snail

March 14 to 26 at the Gros Becs

Tickets : $ 19.50

Lesgrosbecs.qc.ca

The art of falling

April 4 to 22 at the Periscope

Tickets : $ 22 until April 3, $ 35 afterwards

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