Quebec-based playwright/actor/director/novelist/essayist, born in Chicoutimi in 1954. He is also a founder of the acting study troupe, Laboratoire gestuel. He has a Masters degree in drama from l'Université de Québec à Montréal (1983).
Among his many works, performed in Quebec, across Canada, and internationally, are Le Déclic du destin (Laboratoire gestuel 1988); Leçon d'anatomie (Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui 1992); The Dragonfly of Chicoutimi (Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui, 1993); Le Génie de la rue Drolet (Théâtre de la Manufacture 1997); Ogre (Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui, 1995). His work Les mains bleues was presented at Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui and in Paris (March, 1999), and his short story L'Oeil de Rosinna was adapted to the stage (by Lou Babin) and played at Aujourd'hui in May, 2000. Dragonfly was also performed at Factory Theatre, January 2002.
Larry Tremblay continues to write and produce on average a play every year: Panda Panda (Théâtre en l'Air 2004); La hache (Théâtre de Quat'Sous 2006); Abraham Lincoln va au théâtre (Théâtre Petit à Petit, 2005); A Chair in Love, libretto for music by Welsh composer John Metcalf (2005); L'histoire d'un coeur (Théâtre Incliné 2006); Le probleme avec moi (Omnibus 2007).
Four of his plays have been translated into English by Sheila Fischman and published by Talonbooks under the title Talking Bodies (2001): "A Tick of Fate", "Anatomy Lesson", "The Dragonfly of Chicoutimi" and "Ogre".
Abraham Lincoln Goes to the Theatre (trans. Chantal Bilodeau) premiered in English at the playRites Festival in Calgary in February 2010. It replays the assassination of Lincoln as a tragi-comic metatheatrical exploration of the conflation of illusion and reality, and explores the American obsession with fame in terms of the shifting dynamics between two actors playing Laurel and Hardy, and a director playing Lincoln as a wax dummy. In a program note, Tremblay explains that he structured his play around a series of oppositions: "good/bad, sado/maso, North/South, truth/lies, small/big, Laurel/Hardy, the imitator/the imitated... [He] discovers the schizophrenia of America: the gulf between the official line (family and religious values) and radical capitalism. [He] discovers, in fact, that America is, above all, a way of seeing the world, and of taking it for yourself."
Larry Tremblay has also published a novel, Le Mangeur de bicyclette (2002), which was a finalist for a Governor General’s Award; a collection of short stories entitled Piercing (2006); and two books of poetry.
He is a professor at l'Ecole supérieure de théâtre de l'Université de Québec à Montréal. In 2008 he was a finalist for the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre.
Tremblay has said of his works, "I am fascinated by the body. I believe this theme crosses all my work." The physicality of his plays reflects his interest in kathakali theatre, a traditional theatre form from the southern state of Kerala in India, which performs epic stories with masks, elaborate costumes, and stylized movement, accompanied by drum and flute. His plays also reflect his preoccupation with language and silence, and psychic and social trauma.
Profile by Anne Nothof, Athabasca University
Last updated 2021-04-22