Québec artists will have a prominent place at the next Avignon Festival this coming July 7 to 29. For its 63rd edition, the Festival has selected Québec author and director Wajdi Mouawad as its associate artist. Quebec stage, literary and film artists will also be on the program.
Wajdi Mouawad will present his trilogy in the famous Papal Palace’s Court of Honour – the festival’s emblematic and historic venue. His plays Littoral (Tideline), Incendies (Scorched) and Forêts (Forests) will be performed continuously from dusk to dawn. The trilogy will ultimately become a quartet entitled Le Sang des promesses (The Blood of Promises) with the presentation of Ciels (Skies), the fourth and final segment, at another location. Two of Wajdi Mouawad’s works were previously presented at the Festival: Littoral (Tideline) in 1999 and Seuls (Alone) in 2008.
The Avignon Festival is unquestionably the most significant theatrical and performing arts event in France. Contemporary productions from France and abroad are staged in some twenty locations – some of which are unconventional – in Avignon and the surrounding area: cloisters, churches, the legendary Papal Palace, a former stone quarry, gymnasiums, etc. About forty shows are slated for the 2009 Festival. Performing arts professionals consider it a key opportunity. Program planners from around the world attend and many productions are bought as a result. It is estimated that about 100,000 people will participate in the cultural event this year. Québec artist Lino was commissioned to design the Festival’s official poster.
The Québec government’s contribution to funding for Québec artists and agencies involved in productions at the Festival is being provided by the Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (Québec Council for Arts and Literature) and the Ministère des Relations internationales. This support is in keeping with one of the priorities of the 2009-2014 Action Plan linked to Québec’s International Policy and launched on May 25: Heighten Québec’s presence on the international cultural scene.