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New play from northern playwright set to debut this week at TNO in Sudbury

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A new production will make its debut at the Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario (TNO) later this week.

‘Le terre est gronde’ is the newest play from northern Ontario playwright Michel Ouellette and it will make its stage debut next week in Greater Sudbury. (Angela Gemmill/CTV News Northern Ontario)Le terre est gronde’ is the newest play from northern Ontario playwright Michel Ouellette.

It is a humorous story of tense social interactions between inhabitants of an island after an economic and environmental crisis.

Director Dillon Orr told CTV News he wanted to push the limits with a new script.

“There’s a lot of scenes where we question: ‘What are we doing, why do we tell stories, why do we make each other laugh, why do we have to do that, cause if not what are we doing as a species,” he said.

“It’s really something that makes us think a lot.”

Orr said the best part of the script is “when you have something funny and something thoughtful at the same time and when they mix together it's magic.”

The actor who plays Hubert, Isaac Robitaille, said he was drawn to the production because it was written by Ouellette, an award-winning Franco-Ontarian playwright.

Ouellette is originally from Smooth Rock Falls, Ont., but is very well known in the Quebec arts and literary world, having won the Governor General’s award in 1994 for French Town.

“I believe that coming to this play is not just an excellent opportunity to support a local theatre and a writer from northern Ontario, but it’s also just a good reflection about the role and importance of theatre in difficult times,” Robitaille said.

Orr explained that he is a big fan of community theatre.

“Theatre needs to be in service of its community, and when you do community theatre there’s something magical that brings together,” he said.

He especially liked working with the new material, because it allowed both himself and the performers to get out of their comfort zones and relearn how to play.

“We get to bring all these people – and some of them first time on stage ever – and we get to see them evolve, we get to see the real power of theatre,” Orr said.

“The audience is going to see their neighbours, their friends, their colleagues and their family.”

The production at TNO runs from Dec. 14-16 in the Grande Salle of Place des Arts on Larch Street in downtown Sudbury.

The play will be presented in French with no surtitles.

For tickets, visit TNO’s website

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