Memory, personal, familial, and societal – is the central theme of this new play by Governor General’s Award-winning playwright François Archambault. Translated by Bobby Theodore, this work follows a family’s struggle with dementia. Edouard is a University professor and historian, a figure prominent in the public eye and a long-time sovereignist. He has been proud throughout his life of his prodigious memory. As memory fails, Edouard tests the ability of family members to care for him.
The play also examines collective memory and the current state of affairs in Quebec. Edouard has been appearing on talk shows since his retirement, railing against the dumbing down of society and the adverse effects of technology. Archambault uses personal memory as a foil and metaphor to explore social memory, particularly reexamining moments from the history of the Parti Québécois.
Subtle, moving, and funny, You Will Remember Me shows that living completely in the present moment is a nightmare. Harkening to the past, and memory are essential for the human condition.
You will Remember Me opened in French in 2014 and was produced in English at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto.
About the authors
François Archambault secured his reputation as a sharp social satirist with his earlier plays Cul sec (Fast Lane) and Les gagnants (The Winners) and further established his importance on the Quebec theatre scene with the award-winning 15 Seconds, a darkly humourous play about social alienation arising from superficial relationships.
Bobby Theodore’s first translation, François Archambault’s 15 Seconds, was produced across Canada and earned him a nomination for the Governor General’s Award for Literary Translation in 2000. Since then, he has gone on to translate more than 12 plays, including the works of some of Quebec’s most talented playwrights.
Bobby Theodore, a Montreal native, is a graduate of the National Theatre Schoolâ??s playwriting section. His first translation, FranÃ§ois Archambaultâ??s play 15 Seconds, was nominated for a Governor Generalâ??s Literary Award in 2000 and was produced across Canada. Since then, he has gone on to translate more than twelve plays, including the works of Quebecâ??s most talented playwrights. Bobby is currently a resident in the Canadian Film Centreâ??s Prime Time Television program. Bobby also completed a translation of GeneviÃ¨ve Billetteâ??s Le gÃ´uteur, published by Playwrights Canada Press.
“A curious and evolving portrayal of family dynamics and how memory and identity plays into that. What emerges are some touching and unexpected connections. … On one level, this is a play about a specific family dealing with dementia, but it also speaks to a wider social phenomenon. … What does it mean for a society to have a kind of collective dementia when it comes to its own history? Archambault offers no answer, but he leaves us with memorable questions.”
“What really moves the play beyond medical melodrama is the connection Archambault makes between personal and national memory … Will Quebec’s memory of itself one day disintegrate, Archambault asks through Edouard? And are we short-circuiting our own synapses by living in a permanent, social media-driven present? … A thrillingly multi-layered play”
“Archambault’s knack for combining painful tragedy with laughter is partly what lifts the play from being what he calls ‘a disease play.’ … What seems to have struck a chord with audiences, not just in Quebec but all over Canada, is the way the play uses Alzheimer’s as a metaphor to talk about wider political issues.”
“Bobby Theodore’s adept English translation [of] François Archambault’s acclaimed 2014 play Tu te souviendras de moi, a big hit, [was first produced in Calgary and is now on stage in Toronto.] … Memory is a central preoccupation, of course, in Quebec, where the imperative to remember the province/nation’s ongoing fight for recognition is embossed on its licence plates: Je me souviens. … Part of the success of Archambault’s play is his lightness of touch with the national metaphor: this is principally an intergenerational family story exploring the painful effects of memory loss with sensitivity and wit.”