Contributed by Paul-François Sylvestre — On May 26, Théâtre français de Toronto (TfT) held its annual gala soirée at the Canadian Stage theatre and at Thomson Landry Gallery in the Distillery district. The evening started with the presentation of Le Placard (The Closet), a play by Francis Veber. It was the last production by Guy Mignault, as he is leaving next month after 19 years as artistic director of TfT.
The play had raving reviews both in French and in English. Brad Wheeler, from The Globe and Mail, wrote that Le Placard was “one of the hottest tickets in town!” The story is about a straight man who comes out of the closet to keep his job. He makes believe that he is gay and the company does not want to be seen as discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. The main character is played by Pierre Simpson and NOW Magazine wrote that, “onstage for almost 90 minutes, Simpson will make your jaw drop”.
The Théâtre français de Toronto will turn 50 next year. It is the oldest French-language professional theatre company in Ontario. From 1967 to 2016, TfT has presented 280 productions, 40% of which have been under Guy Mignault’s artistic direction. He is the one who brought in the English surtitles for all major plays in a season.
The gala evening ($125) started with a cocktail, followed by the play, a buffet in the Thomson Landry gallery, a silent auction, a criée (live auction) and a resounding celebration of Guy Mignault’s contribution to Toronto’s cultural scene. The evening should raise approximately $35,000.