War Cantata looks at ways the impulse for violence is transmitted from one generation to the next; for example, when a father teaches his son hatred to transform him into a soldier impervious to pity. Without focusing on a particular battle or soldier, this harsh, intense, choral text builds the rhythmic power of words to expose war's spiral toward hatred.
Larry Tremblay is a writer, director, actor, and specialist in Kathakali, an elaborate dance theatre form which he has studied on numerous trips to India. He has published twenty books as a playwright, poet, novelist, and essayist. Thanks to an uninterrupted succession of new plays (Anatomy Lesson, Ogre, The Dragonfly of Chicoutimi, Les Mains bleues, Téléroman, among others) in production during the 1990s, Tremblay’s work continues to achieve international recognition. One of Quebec’s most versatile writers, Tremblay currently teaches acting at l’École supérieure de théâtre de l’Université du Québec à Montréal.
"This is a powerful work, mesmerizing, painful."
– Karyne Lefebvre, CBC/Radio-Canada
"It is rough, it's brutal, it comes as a string of gunshots ..."
– Annie-Soleil Proteau, CBC/Radio-Canada
"With War Cantata, Larry Tremblay delivers a great theatrical text that talks about the mechanics of hatred: hard, visceral, and uncompromising ..."
– Yves Rousseau, LeQuatrième.com
"With a vocabulary that does not fear ugliness and vulgarity, Larry Tremblay creates a state of emergency without wallowing in pathos. His writing digs into pain while providing relevant reflection. In its happy fusion between emotion and thought, he traces the contours between commitment and poetry ... [between] the weight of savagery and the hardness of a crippled civilization."
– Olivier Dumas, Montheatre.qc.ca