Jouliks

Written by:

Marie-Christine Lê-Huu, translated by Crystal Beliveau

Cast Size:
6

Roles For:

  • Men: 3
  • Women: 3

Genre:

Drama
Quebec Theatre
Translation

Themes:

Children
Family
Intergenerational
Isolation

Year Written:

2005

Synopsis:

Jouliks is a darkly tender drama exploring the vast, bumpy, and treacherous terrain of love. The brilliant lights it projects on this terrain are harsh and terrible, yet, at the same time, they often stir gentle smiles of complicity, as they are refracted through the eyes and voice of a seven-year-old girl, The Little One. The play dramatizes a few days in the life of a family: grandparents, parents, child, and neighbour. The grandparents, Mam and Pappy, have come for a visit after seven years of estrangement, in which time they did not see their daughter, Vera, her partner, Zak, or the Little One.

From the very moment of her arrival, Mam sets to work reconstituting her daughter’s home and family so they conform to her extremely conventional sense of propriety. Vera left the family home ten years before in order to escape the narrow values, constraints, and hypocrisy of such propriety… [Vera, Zak,] and the Little One are the jouliks of the title, social outcasts for whom freedom in spirit and body and respect of others’ freedom is the primary consideration. As the clash between the conflicting value systems of the two generations grows increasingly acute from scene to scene, a sense of dread develops.” (From “Introduction to Jouliks” in Anthology of Quebec Women’s Plays in English Translation Volume Three 1997-2009))

Characters:

The Little One, seven years old, intelligent, free-spirited, left to her own devices but happy that way, loved.

Vera, her mother, a wild and beautiful woman.

Zak, her father, a rambling man who has always lived on the road.

Mam, Vera’s mother, a woman who loves all wrong but with good intentions.

Pappy, Vera’s father, a man who is loving but uncomfortable expressing love.

William, the neighbour, the one who desires and waits.

First Produced:

Théâtre des Sources, Paris, March 2005. Théâtre d' Aujourd'hui, Montréal, April 2005.

Resources:

Jouliks is available through Playwrights Canada Press in Anthology of Quebec Women’s Plays in English Translation Volume Three 1997-2009), edited by Louise H Forsyth.

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