Paul Savoie, actor (b at Montréal 21 May 1946). Paul Savoie, an exacting actor with outstanding presence, has for more than three decades given strong performances in difficult and very different roles from both classical and contemporary repertoires. A student at Collège Bourget in the early 1960s, he first went on stage as an amateur and then enrolled in the National Theatre School (1967-70), where he met Jean-Pierre RONFARD. This proved a significant encounter, for Savoie would make his real debut during tours with the Jeunes Comédiens du THEATRE DU NOUVEAU MONDE (TNM), a company then directed by Ronfard, who later introduced him to the Théâtre Expérimental de Montréal.
During the following years, he portrayed the characters of Inat in Inès Pérée et Inat Tendu by Réjean DUCHARME (1976), Treplev in Chekhov's La Mouette (1978), Rodrigue in Corneille's Le Cid (1979) and Alceste in Molière's Le Misanthrope (1981). Then Ronfard entrusted him with the role of Filippo Ragone in the brilliant saga Vie et mort du Roi Boiteux (Nouveau Théâtre Expérimental, 1981-82), a cycle of six plays presented outdoors and totalling 15 hours of performance.
Savoie, a multifaceted actor, shone in all styles from the intense Marguerite Duras (La Musica deuxième, Café de la Place, 1988) to the classical Marivaux (Le Prince travesti, TNM, 1992, directed by Claude Poissant), through works of poetic and caustic authors such as the Québécois Daniel Danis (Cendres de cailloux, Espace GO, 1993) and the German Botho Strauss (Le Temps et la Chambre, TNM, 1995, directed by Serge Denoncourt). Under Denis MARLEAU's direction, he premiered several memorable performances that united technology and acting. These included Les Trois Derniers Jours de Fernando Pessoa by Antonio Tabucchi (Théâtre UBU, 1997), in which he portrayed the celebrated Portugese poet; Urfaust, inspired by Goethe and Pessoa (UBU, 1999), in which he played an astonishing Mephisto; and Les Aveugles by Maurice Maeterlinck (UBU/Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal/Festival d'Avignon, 2002), a technological phantasmagoria where actors' faces would appear on several video screens.
The innumerable authors whose work he has performed cover a very broad sphere of styles and periods, from Shakespeare to Evelyne de la Chenelière. Savoie has collaborated with most major Montréal directors and worked in all the theatres, from small companies to the largest institutions. In 1989 he received the prix Gascon-Roux (awarded by TNM subscribers) for the role of Valmont in Les Liaisons dangereuses/Dangerous Liaisons. He appeared in the splendid La Promesse de l'aube, adapted from Romain Gary's novel, conceived and staged by André MELANÇON (Espace GO, 2006). Here he performed several characters in turn, alongside Andrée Lachapelle.
Although mostly associated with theatre, Paul Savoie also played in some 15 films, including Jean BEAUDIN's Le Matou (1987) and Familia by Louise Archambault (2005), as well as several TV series.