As Lydie Dubuission takes her place on the management side of Black Theatre Workshop, expectations run rife.
Artistic director Quincy Amorer is as excited as he is expectant.
“Lydie is a wonderful addition to the team at the workshop,” he says. “Because we’ll benefit a great deal from her artistic talent and mentality. She is coming in at the right time and she will help us grow artistically.”
For her part, Dubuisson, who is just settling into the seat of artistic associate (two months on the job) at the theatre company also agrees that the timing is just right.
“It’s really exciting to be part of the team at this time when so many people are looking for a platform and opportunities to create. It’s amazing to be in a position to help bring some of those stories to stage.
Dubuission, who describes herself as a “French girl that creates most of her theatrical work in English first,” finds it fulfilling and even a privilege to be at BTW “the place where Black stories are created.”
More so because the performing-arts was not a career path that she envisioned growing up in a home in Chateauguay where church and religion dominated her daily reality.
But the 40-something-year-old, whose passion for singing and immense on-stage talent took her to far off places like Shanghai, China where in addition to other projects, she thrived among the cast of the Disney presentation of the Lion King.
Eventually, she gave in to the calling of behind-the-scenes and the desire to tell stories, honing her skills working with several theatre companies both English and French. Along the way she started a family and earned her Theatre & Development (Fine Arts) degree at Concordia University.
In 2016, she “dropped” her first solo play Quiet/ Silence in collaboration with BTW, which was performed at Maison de Culture NDG. In it the main character, a 15-year-old pregnant girl trying to forgive her mother as the birth of her baby approaches.
Following that, she collaborated on several other local productions such as Blackout: The Concordia Computer Riots and Sharing Our Stories, Telling Our Lives.
Her second full-length play, Sanctuary/Sanctuaire, is being readied for a mid-January release in collaboration with BTW.
The play is described as a feminist conversation between a teenage girl and her sister, her Godmother, her best friend, and God, as she takes refuge in the sanctuary of her church while searching for answers about her destiny.
Dubuisson says although the story draws a little from her family life, having grown up close to the church in a staunchly conservative home. But she says it’s not autobiographical neither is it an accurate reflection of her life nor that of her relatives. She tries to avoid getting too close to home in her writings, saying that she would have her sisters look at her work before anyone else in other to verify that there is enough distance.
Amorer says theatre lovers will enjoy the play when it’s launched as part of BTW’s Discovery Series on January 15, 2021.
He says it’s the added benefit of having someone as talented as Dubuission helping him position the workshop for the future.
In truth, it’s mutually beneficial for both parties. We can offer her the apprenticeship and collaborative support for her writings while she brings artistic strength and being French-speaking is ideal as we open up to that sector,” he says.
For her part, Dubuission she has found her ‘sanctuary’ at BTW.With her eyes cast on the future, she is excited looking forward to being able to unfold as a playwright, director, and creator the reality that the world is facing in this pandemic.
“I’m not surprised by this pandemic. To me it was inevitable,” she says. “The real story comes a year or two down the road when we realized what we have been through. Then the questions emerge: what to do now… and how do we recreate ourselves.” The BTW presentation of Lydie Dubuission’s Sanctuary will be streamed live on Wednesday, January 15 at 7 PM.