Superfantasmagorique, et encore!

Su-per-fan-ta-sma-go-rique… we often use the word in rehearsal, to react to a new idea, some great blocking, an evocative portrait, a warm-up song where the listening is impeccable, a character who seems to be emerging through an improv, et encore…

Nous l’avons retenu comme titre de notre spectacle de retrouvailles, il y a bientôt sept ans, et encore…

It has been used to describe a square of Maritime landcsape that is framed by the window of the cargo van when we were on tour, et encore…

It can be our final offering to an audience that has been very generous and engaged, and whose members have asked a lot of questions after the show. Tous nos publics, me semblait-il pendant notre Tintamarrathon 2012.  Et encore…

Et bien sûr, ce mot décrit à la perfection la créativité, l’engagement, et le travail d’équipe, de notre troupe de cette année.

Why do we use that word so much? Why share it with our audiences?  I’m not too sure. Because our (very) unofficial motto is “Let’s go over the top to see what’s on the other side”?  Because it’s fun to say?  Because, in our Tintamarre community, there are many instances that require an effusive epithet?  Probably all of the above, et encore…

Next September, when we first meet to begin the process of creation of our next collaborative show, I will welcome into a safe space all the students from throughout the University who think they will, or might, accompany us on our journey.

A space to play.

A space where every idea will be welcomed, discussed, and considered.

Where characters will be suggested, sketched, shaped, accepted or rejected.

A space fit for a carnival of words, words, and more words.

Des jeux de mots.  Des mots nouveaux, inexistants peut-être, des mots pittoresques, poétiques, des alliances de mots, des mots qui se disputent, et encore…

Students of a second language – français et autres – can find that three types of words are missing from their classroom – le langage pratique, le langage poétique, le langage pittoresque.

Enter superfantasmagorique! Imagine if that word became a character – what would she look like?  How would this character walk? How would he be costumed?  Does she have attidude? Lots of attitudes?

There has never been a Tintamarre character by that name.  But since Hypersuperalphabétachimipifpafpatatrasvlanboumomégacrash (Bouffe, 2011), anything can happen… we’ve had a computer virus character, an i-Pod character… and this year, in CAMP, we created le Vieil arbre, les Arbustes, Ours, Hibou, Libellule…

It’s commonly believed that education confers permission – to choose, prepare and practise a career; to make many basic decisions, from voting to choose the mayor of Kappa City (Tintamarre’s megalopolous) to shopping to avoid food additives like Hypersuperalphabétachimipifpafpatatrasvlanboumomégacrash, et  encore…

But education can also contribute to the withdrawl of permission – la permission de contester, de protester, de jouer, de rire même.  D’utiliser des gros mots, des mots ludiques, des mots inexistants…








Theatre can restore permission.  Tintamarre aims to celebrate our differences and to create collaborative theatre through deep listening to the stresses and rumeurs of our age and milieu: our troupe can, I think, lay claim to having restored some permission.

Here is a striking feature of CAMP : the remarkable silence during those moments de recueillement that followed the times when we offered permission, invited the audience to laugh, howl, scream.  In every audience. 

An actor noted, in the tour journal, that she observed boys in the back row of one of our playing spaces who were beat boxing to one of the songs – at other times those same boys were completely silent, and it was not the silence of indifference.  A tribute to them, to the actors, to the designers, to the play.

Vive le rythme!  Rhythm shapes the crowd, and the crowd shapes rhythm.

The show is a gift, and the spectators give in return.


-Alex, le 16 mai, 2012


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