Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Baklawa Recipe

Centaur Theatre /49th Season
THE Baklawa Recipe
World Premier 
January 23 -February 18, 2018

Written by Pascale Rafie
Translated by Melissa Bull
Directed by Emma Tibaldo

The play was inspired by the playwright's own family. There are four women on the stage, members of the same family. Two older women came to Canada from Lebanon in the 1960s and settled in Ville St-Laurent, a greater Montreal's neighbourhood. They married two Canadian-born Lebanese brothers who never appear on the stage, and their lives became tied together. Two other characters are their daughters, cousins, who represent a new generation of Quebequers - Canadians.

The stage action takes place from the perspective of two generations. Those who started their new live in a new land represent the generation of immigrants who are trying to preserve their traditional cultural values while embracing their new country. And there are their two daughters who are fully-fledged Canadians but are still struggling with some of their mothers' issues. One accepting the cultural heritage of her mother, the other totally disassociating herself from her Lebanese cultural values, as her mother herself attempted to do quite painfully and unsuccessfully. 

The only constant in the play is the making of Baklawa, which rans as a leitmotiv through the entire play and ties together the two generation of women and the play's separate scenes. It represent the women's cultural heritage. It becomes their grounding activity and an important symbol for the succeeding generations. Many family issues also resurface that the members of the audience couldt relate to.   

The play bergan its journey as La Recette de baklawas. It received its first French public reading at the 2012 Festival du Monde Arabe. Since then, it has been developed through the CEAD (Centre des auteurs dramatiques). Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal’s Artistic Director, Emma Tibaldo, stepped in to direct a French reading at Theatre d’Aujourd’hui as part of Dramaturgies en Dialogue in 2013. In 2015, an independent reading was presented at Theatre La Risée where Ms. Rafie was author-inresidence and from 2015 to 2017 CEAD, in partnership with Les Voyagements, produced several more French readings in various local Maisons de la culture with Ms. Tibaldo at the helm. PWM then commissioned and developed the English translation by Ms. Rafie’s half-sister, Melissa Bull, through the Cole Foundation’s Emerging Translators program and PWM's Translation Workshop program. The Baklawa Recipe had its first public reading in English at Imago Theatre's Her Side of the Story in 2016.


Actors Eleanor Noble, Anne-Marie Saheb, Christina Tannous and Natalie Tannous
Set & Costume Designer Eo Sharp
Lighting Designer Bruno Rafie
Composer Nicolas Royer-Artuso
Sound Designer Peter Cerone
Movement Designer Leslie Baker
Dramaturg Élizabeth Bourget
Translation Dramaturg Maureen Labonté
Assistant Director Emily Murdoch
Stage Manager Jacynthe Lalonde
Apprentice Stage Manager Chloé Ekker

Click on images to enlarge them.
Hover your mouse over images for description and credits.

For more information, visit the Centaur Theatre website.

Sunday Chat-ups

Sunday Jan. 28 @ 12:30pm
Join Lucinda Chodan, Montreal Gazette’s editor in chief as she speaks with The Baklawa Recipe Playwright Pascale Rafie, and Lighting Designer Bruno Rafie.

In collaboration with the Montreal Gazette

Saturday Salons

Saturday Jan. 27 & Feb. 10
Following the matinee performance.
Get to know Centaur’s new Artistic and Executive Director, Eda Holmes, in casual conversation about this production and all things Centaur.


Thurs. Feb. 8 & Sunday Feb. 11
Following the performance.
Audiences are invited to stay 
after the show for a lively Q&A

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