THE AUTISM MONOLOGUES
"Just listen... To the people around you. Just... Really listen..."
Experience a theatrical journey of discovery that interweaves stories told from the perspective of autistic people, their family members, advocates, and hinderers. Performed by an ensemble of ethnically, culturally, and neurologically diverse actors, the play garnered an honorable mention at the 2018 St.-Ambroise Montréal Fringe Festival.
The play is inspired by interveiws with autistic individuals, their family members and people who work with autistic people, documetnaries and actual events. Christine Rodriguez developed the play while taking part in Black Theatre Workshop's Artist Mentorship Program during the 2014-2015 season. She also received a short term mentorship from Montreal, arts interculturels in the summer of 2015 to continue working on the play. The play premiered at the 2018 Festival St-Ambroise FRINGE de Montréal and returns to the stage in June at the 2019 International Boys School Conference in Montreal.
The Autism Monologues received training from Seeing Voices Montreal for the ASL portions of the play.
Jen Viens, director
Jen Viens is a director, actor and producer originally from BC. She studied theatre at UBC, and trained with Matthew Harrison at the Actor’s Foundry in Vancouver. Jen relocated to Quebec four years ago and currently works in Montreal and Toronto. She performed the one-woman show ‘The Passage’ at the Montreal Fringe and took home the award for Best Solo Production. Most recently, she co-founded the production company ‘Stone Lane Studio’, and starred in its inaugural film ‘Love Sylvia’. Directing credits include: The Importance of Being Earnest (Twisted Tree), Subtraction (Uncanny Theatre Co.), SEVEN (Moving Forward).
Christine Rodriguez, playwright, actor
Christine Rodriguez, described by CULT#MTL as having “... nuclear presence on stage,” is an emerging artist who’s play Dreaming in Autism placed her on the proverbial map. The play was awarded third prize at Ottawa Little Theatre’s 72nd National One-Act Playwriting Competition. Christine was part of Black Theatre Workshop's Artist Mentorship Program in 2014-15. She also received a short term mentorship from Montreal, Arts Interculturels for The Autism Monologues. In 2016, she was awarded a commission grant from the Cole Foundation's Intercultural Conversations program to write a play for BTW. Christine holds a Certificate of Professional Screenwriting from UCLA.
Nikita Bala, light design
Nikita is an emerging theatre artist who focuses on lighting design and stage management. She has had the privilege of working with Geordie Productions, Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal, Montreal Arts Interculturels, Chocolate Moose Theatre, and Black Theatre Workshop under various capacities. Nikita is lucky to consider Dubai, South India, and Montreal her homes, and uses theatre as a means to explore her third/fourth/ﬁfth culture identity.
Julie Barbeau, actor
Julie Barbeau was born and raised in Montreal by a French-Canadian mother and Jamaican father in a very rich and culturally diverse environment. As a singer, she created Bo'Bordel, a bilingual duo in which she's also a writer and composer. In 2004, she began intensive training with John Strasberg's Oragnic Creative Process, which she developed further in NYC with Mr. Strasberg and with Gilles Plouffe in Montreal. Other acting coaches include Danielle Fichaud and Léa Pool. In 2006, she helped create Intentional Dreams Productions (IDP), of which she is today a founding member. Julie alternates between various productions and contracts in music, musicals, voice over, film, television and theatre.
Marie Leofeli Romero Barlizo, dramaturge
Marie Leofeli Romero Barlizo is a Filipino-Chinese playwright, dramaturg and screenwriter who grew up in Montreal. She is a graduate of the UBC's Optional-Residency Creative Writing MFA Program and holds a BFA in Theatre from Concordia University. She is the first visible minority to graduate from the National Theatre School's Playwriting Program. Marie interned at Nightswimming Theatre, courtesy of the Metcalf Foundation Grant for Professional Development (2009) in dramaturgy. As a dramaturg, she has also worked at Alberta Theatre Projects, fu-Gen Asian Canadian Theatre Company (Toronto), Out Productions and Centaur Theatre. She currently mentors emerging playwrights in BTW's Artist Mentorship Program.
Jean Bernard, actor
Jean Bernard is a Montreal based actor who currently trains at Straeon Acting Studios. He walked away from working full time to pursue being an actor, and although he looks back quite often, he understands that like the leap Bruce Wayne makes to escape from Bane's underground prison without the safety rope in 'The Dark Knight Rises', there are certain things you can't achieve if you're still holding on to something. You can find him in independent films and in theatres all over the city, grinding, and every now and again, he'll appear in a show you're watching.
Stephen Booth, actor
Stephen Booth is an actor/playwright based in Montreal who works in theatre and film. He is a graduate of Concordia University with a BFA in Theatre and Political Science. He’s worked with the Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre on “The Dybbuk,” Village Scene Productions on “A Twin’s Tail,” and Cote Saint Luc Dramatic/Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre. He’s currently working on a solo show with Playwright’s Workshop Montreal’s Young Creators Unit which explores a drifter who travels in dimensions to expose the human condition. Film Credits include “The Maple Syrup Files,” and “City of Fools.”
Nalo Soyini Bruce, set, prop and costume design
Nalo Soyini Bruce is a Montreal-based artist and designer of Caribbean origins. Her mission is to evoke artful worlds rooted in functionality and practicality. The narratives of stage production benefit from physical constructions that define the setting, but also from the rich associations that vibrant colour relationships, textured surfaces and varied materials can evoke. Nalo designs expressive costumes that reinforce each character’s identity and that allow for movement and flexibility. All her props are conceived with sustainability and quality in mind. You are invited to explore her website and personal blog workroom.xyz
Rob Denton, sound design
Rob Denton is an independent sound designer and composer. Based in Montreal, he has been mixing, composing and creating soundscapes for theatre since 1998 (that’s 20 human years!). Highlights include a MECCA (Montreal English Critic’s Circle Award) in 1997 for Satchmo’ Suite, at the Sadie Bronfman Centre (now known as the Segal Centre…); and a META (Montreal English Theatre Award) in 2016 for Tableau D’Hote’s Another Home Invasion. Rob would like to dedicate this design to the memory of his sister, Suzanne Denton.
Remrov, marketing assistant
Remrov is an autistic, self-taught pencil artist who specializes in photorealistic drawings of things he finds interesting, mainly animals. Due to his autism he sees the world in tiny little details. His drawings tend to reflect that. As an autistic person his life story is quite extraordinary. When he was younger he didn't understand language or anything around him. He got through each day mimicking other people. At first everything he said and did was copied, but gradually he started to find his own words and language and gained enough courage to express himself. Now he gives presentations and makes videos about autism sharing his life story with people interested in learning more about autism. www.remrovsartwork.com
Jacqueline van de Geer, actor
Born in the Netherlands in 1958 in Rotterdam, and immigrated in 2005 to Canada, Jacqueline van de Geer masters both a degree in Visual and Performance Art. She is thrilled to be part of Montreal's eclectic arts community, who generously welcomed her since her big move across the Atlantic. Besides collaborating with artists like Sophie Gee, Leah. R. Vineberg, Catherine Bourgeois, Carole Nadeau and Peter James, she creates her own oeuvre of works, that are often non-linear, dada inspired and walk the thin line between realism and absurdism. She has performed in Canada, the US and in Europe. www.jacquelinevandegeer.com
Isabel Quintero Faia, stage manager
Based in Montreal, Isabel has been stage managing for the last six years. A participant of the 2014-2015 Black Theatre Workshop Artist Mentorship Program, she is also a graduate of John Abbott College’s Professional Theatre Production Program. This production is very personal as Isabel has a special needs sibling and had previously worked as a special needs animator for the West Island Association for the Intellectually Handicapped (WIAIH). With a love for working on new creations, Isabel is excited to be involved with The Autism Monologues.