Jean-Claude Germain

Jean-Claude Germain, writer, theatre producer (b at Montréal 18 June 1939). While attending Université de Montréal (1957-59), he established the Théâtre Antonin-Artaud in 1958 and began work on a production of Ubu roi that had to be cancelled for lack of funds.

Germain, Jean-Claude

Jean-Claude Germain, writer, theatre producer (b at Montréal 18 June 1939). While attending Université de Montréal (1957-59), he established the Théâtre Antonin-Artaud in 1958 and began work on a production of Ubu roi that had to be cancelled for lack of funds. He was a theatre critic in the 1960s and 70s for popular periodicals like Le Petit-Journal, Dimensions, Digeste-Éclair and Le Magazine Maclean.

In 1969 Germain established the experimental Théâtre du même nom (TMN), where he clearly demonstrated his distance from the theories of the "Cartel" espoused by the THÉÂTRE DU NOUVEAU MONDE (TNM). The actors of Germain's company, known popularly as the Enfants de Chénier (1969-71) and later P'tits Enfants Laliberté (1971-73), combined with André BRASSARD's group (Mouvement contemporain) and Jean-Pierre Saulnier's company (Apprentis-Sorciers) to form the Centre du Théâtre d'aujourd'hui, of which Germain was general manager from 1972 to 1982.

Since 1969 Germain has produced many collective creations and adaptations, and since 1973 he has produced his own texts. He published poetry in L'Action nationale (1966-67), more than a dozen plays, adaptations and canvases for collective creations. He published short essays on theatre in Le Pays théâtral (1977-80) and taught drama writing at the National Theatre School of Canada (1972-87).

His great knowledge of Québec theatre history inspired some of his best works:L'École des rêves, Les "Faux Brillants" de Félix-Gabriel Marchand, Les Hauts et les Bas d'la vie d'une diva, Les Nuits de l'indiva, Si "Aurore" m'était contée deux fois, Un autre grand spectacle d'adieu and Un pays dont la devise est "Je m'oublie." He was honorary president of Montréal's Salon du livre from 1990 to 1998 and sat on the Place and Street Names Commission of Montréal until 2002. He was named Patriot of the Year by the Saint-Jean Baptiste Society of Montréal in 1993. Germain received the Gascon-Thomas prize in 1994 and the Fleury-Mesplet prize in 2001. In 2001 he was made Chevalier of the Ordre de la Pléiade.