What do today’s young people rebel against?
A bilingual creative project presented in Quebec high schools
In 2017-2018, close to 130 students enrolled in French- and English-language high schools in Montreal, Joliette and Sherbrooke took part, with great enthusiasm, in Healthy Rebellion, a Blue Metropolis Foundation project. This project, which uses theatre to promote bilingualism and communication between the two communities, has made it possible to observe the scope of the complex personal and social situations that affect teenagers today: violence against women, terrorism, social inequity, homelessness and racism, as well as the difficulties of coping with a parent’s critical illness, parents’ demands, and the pressures of choosing a field of study and a career.
Under the guidance of experienced facilitators, the students wrote and directed shows that combine music, slam, audio-visual elements, singing and short sketches. Drama and English teachers at Académie Antoine-Manseau, in Joliette, and École De la Montée, in Sherbrooke, integrated this bilingual project into their course work. In Montreal, École secondaire Pierre-Dupuy and Westmount High School formed a creative team, with students from both schools collaborating on a cabaret-style production. “For some of these students, the challenge was double,” explained Pascal Parent, actor and facilitator at Académie Antoine-Manseau. “They had to express their feelings, in writing, about something they want to rebel against, and they had to do it in English.” Sean Garrety, who teaches drama at Westmount High School, remarked, “My students may not have show immediate improvement in their French skills. But they realized that opening up to another language means opening up to another culture, and to other ways of looking at life.”
The shows, which were staged last December before an audience, were received with great enthusiasm. “Initially, the students were somewhat hesitant, and so was I,” admitted Danielle Bérard, drama teacher at École De la Montée. “But now we’d be more than happy to do it again!”
Tkanks to our collaborators : Kristelle Halliday and Patrick Quintal (École De la Montée of Sherbrooke) , Farah Fancy and Pascal Parent (Académie Antoine-Manseau of Joliette) , Fanny LaCroix and Xavier Huard (Westmount High School/École secondaire Pierre-Dupuy of Montréal).
Thanks to our partners