Theatre piece brings awareness to humanitarian efforts

Published: 12 January 2024

Art occupies an important place in the life of the former international president of Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Joanne Liu (MDCM'91, IMHL'14, DSc'16). “Sometimes, when I see very difficult things on the ground, I need to see beauty to believe in mankind.” The pediatric emergency doctor and professor at McGill University’s School of Population and Global Health suggested a show that addresses the Covid-19 pandemic, so people don’t forget the lessons learned and are better equipped to respond to a crisis in the future. Along with Frédéric Dubois, artistic director of the National Theatre School of Canada, the idea of Nos Cassandre was born, influenced by the humanitarian crises that Liu has faced.

Inspired by the journey of Dr. Joanne Liu, author Anne-Marie Olivier and Dubois explore the themes of commitment and fear, and the principle that we are all linked to one another. The show is based on the mythological figure Cassandra, who was the only one to predict the fall of Troy, and explores civic engagement in a falling world.

Liu understands that not everyone wants to read or watch the news, finding these subjects depressing and images difficult to see. “But maybe people will be ready to see a play that talks about [these subjects] and that deals with them in a very human way and in a way that is easily supported,” says Liu.

Nos Cassandre is being performed in French at Espace libre (Montréal), from January 16 to February 3, 2024 and at La Bordée Theatre (Québec), from April 23 to May 18, 2024.

Learn more in Le Devoir

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