In this powerful dramatic monologue, Lorena Gale remembers, by reconstructing for the audience, her childhood and coming of age as an African-Canadian in Montreal.
Her autobiographical protagonist is unabashedly one of those spoil-sport “ethniques” who, for political factions led by the likes of Parizeau, undermined and destroyed the separatist “pur-laine” vision of a new Quebec nation, sparkling and clean in its coat of only three colours?the seamless snow-white of the landscape, the royal blue of the sky, and the golden yellow of the sun (king), all allusions to the symbology of the imperialists who founded this “new nation,” this “new France.”
In a dream-sequence / folksong which is played in ironic fragments between the voices adopted by the actress, Gale lyricizes the long, parallel process of rediscovering her self, first as a dark speck on the horizon where pure white meets pure blue, then finally as a full-grown adult, whose race, gender and class are far more definitive of her person than the vapid dreams of the neo-nationalists of the late 20th century.
Born in Montreal, Lorena Gale was an award-winning actress, director and writer. Her first play, Angélique, had its American premiere at the Detroit Repertory Theatre, and in New York, Off Broadway at Manhattan Class Company Theatre, where it was nominated for 8 Audelco Awards. Her most memorable stage performances include Normal Jean in The Coloured Museum, and Hecuba in Age of Iron at the Firehall Theatre, for which she received both a Jesse Richardson Nomination and Award.
She was the author of Je me souviens, published by Talonbooks in 2001. Je me souviens was nominated for three Jessie Richardson Awards in 2000: Best Actress, Best Direction and Best Production.
Lorena passed away in 2009.
?Je me souviens is a valuable text for anyone interested in contemporary Quebec history or the ongoing struggle to establish and define Québécois identity — ”
” Canadian Literature