FAQ

How do I navigate the RAPPELS site?
I can’t find information on a production I saw
I don’t see productions from the current season 
Why focus on productions mounted by members of T.A.I.?
Are all T.A.I. productions listed?
Are touring productions included?
How are non-French-language productions handled?
How are foreign productions handled?
What is a Quebec work?
Which functions are listed?
Why are some functions in English and others in French?
What are the sources of information?
Why are there no photographs?
What is the role of the scholarly committee?
How is RAPPELS distinctive?
What are the next steps?

How do I navigate the RAPPELS site?
You can do a search or advanced search by name, title, function or date using any of the criteria found in the search grid or various combinations of this information. The search results show every credit for a production, every production to which an individual has contributed in one capacity or another, the different performers who have played the same role, the list of roles played by a performer, the works presented during a given period of time or those produced by one company in particular, for example. Every documented aspect of a production and any combination of these can be searched. 

I can’t find information on a production I saw
You may have made an erroneous search. If, for example, you want to know who played the lead role in a comedy by Molière and you wrote “Don Juan” in the title search field, you will only obtain results for the plays Le dernier des Don Juan and L’autre Don Juan, because the title of Molière’s play is Dom Juan. The work would appear, however, in the search results for the word “Juan” alone.

In addition, in its present form the site lists only productions at the venues of the eight Quebec theatre companies which are members of Théâtres associés (T.A.I.) inc. If the production you are looking for was staged elsewhere, it will not appear on this site at the present time. 

I don’t see productions from the current season 
As its name (RAPPELS, which can translate as “ENCORE”) indicates, RAPPELS focuses on productions that have taken place and not on upcoming or current ones, unless they were created during a previous season. For current offerings by members of T.A.I., consult the site of each of the member companies or other sites (see the related links section).

Why focus on productions mounted by members of T.A.I.?
RAPPELS is an evolving site. Its ambition is to gradually cover the entire field of theatre in every region of Quebec, from the very beginnings of the professionalizing of this art. As Théâtres associés (T.A.I.) inc. is the project’s promoter, it was natural that the first stage consist in documenting the productions of its members and those of the companies it has hosted on their stages. This group represents one of the vital sparks of cultural life in Quebec. Each of the eight member companies has a permanent theatre venue operating under its name. Throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s, the programming of T.A.I. companies accounted for nearly all the productions staged for adult audiences during the theatre season. In addition, they had the best production resources of the day. Their stages accelerated the professionalizing of stagecraft, from set design and creation to costumes, lighting and the manner in which a theatrical text is adapted to the stage. Thanks in particular to the second stage of some theatre companies (the Salle Fred-Barry of the Théâtre Denise-Pelletier and the Salle Jean-Claude Germain of the Centre du Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui), a multitude of young companies is partially represented through works that were mounted on the stages of T.A.I. members. This group was thus an excellent point of departure, as each company is still active and possesses ample documentation on its productions.

Are all T.A.I. productions listed?
RAPPELS lists only theatre productions. This is an editorial choice and does not denigrate the sometimes great and even historic interest of certain other kinds of shows (think of Chansons et poèmes de la résistance, presented in the late 1960s at the TNM, or L’Osstidcho presented at the Théâtre de Quat’Sous). Other sites with broader documentary aims can provide this kind of information. We have thus not taken into account song recitals; readings; productions by theatre school graduating classes, unless they were reprised in the regular season outside the academic institution; comedy shows; dance performances; amateur productions mounted as part of special events; etc.  

Are touring productions included?
With few exceptions, productions recorded in RAPPELS are limited to those which took place on the stages of member theatres: opening and closing dates if known; site (some theatres have had various venues over the years); and number of performances. More exhaustive information with respect to touring shows is planned for a later stage of development. Thus, to take an example, the show Broue was staged 3,322 times between 1979 and 2017. At present, only the dates of the 37 performances by the Compagnie Jean Duceppe at the Théâtre Port-Royal, in September and October 1980, are listed. A note, however, indicates the total number of performances and the exceptional longevity of this production. It is possible that information about its dissemination will appear in RAPPELS once the project as a whole is finished. There will, however, be certain exceptions, with respect in particular to the companies’ early years, because the documentation, sometimes difficult to assemble, was available at the time of inputting the data. 

How are non-French-language productions handled?
The ambition of RAPPELS is to gradually incorporate professional English-language and foreign-language Quebec theatre productions produced by groups other than the members of Théâtres associés. By its very nature, the T.A.I. producers basically present French-language productions, apart from a few works at the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde in its very early years, which are included on the site. 

How are foreign productions handled?
In its present form, only productions by Quebec companies presented on the stages of Théâtres associés members, and productions of foreign companies if these were co-produced by a Quebec company, are found on the RAPPELS site. At the same time, in a future stage of development mention will be made of performances of a Quebec production abroad. This is an editorial choice endorsed by the scholarly committee arising out of the difficulty of documenting international performances of foreign productions staged in Quebec. It may be possible in the future, however, that research will lead to the inclusion of a new section of the site dealing with this aspect.

What is a Quebec work?
The "Quebec work" criterion is one of RAPPELS’s key research tools. It applies to Quebec theatrical productions with or without a text when they are staged for the first time. If they are presented later in exactly the same way – usually one or two seasons after they were created – they remain inscribed in the file of the work’s creation when the conceptual basis, the staging and the material elements of the show (scenography, costumes, etc.) remain unchanged or adapt to the constraints of new venues. Replacements in the cast can occur but it is, in the end, the same theatrical proposal. In the field of young theatre, it is common to see productions appear for several years in a company’s supply of shows but with different casts.

The notion of "Quebec," although it is obvious in most cases, is not limited to the nationality of the author but takes into account other factors, such as the fact that an author born outside Quebec has spent a significant part of his life in Quebec during which his work or a part of it has been staged in Quebec. From then on, this body of work is considered "of Quebec interest" and listed among Quebec works.

Which functions are listed?
RAPPELS lists both performers and those persons who carried out a function in conceiving the work or in the artistic aspect of a production, including these persons’ assistants. Strictly technical functions are not included, by editorial choice. Persons acting as stage manager are mentioned, because they generally substitute for the director to conduct the production after the latter departs. For the sake of consistency, the choice of limiting the site to certain functions has been maintained retroactively. For example, lighting credits began to appear only in the mid-1960s, even though earlier productions were clearly lit, albeit with much less elaborate equipment than today. How then can we know who, the director or the master electrician, was responsible for designing the lighting? By deciding, for example, that the master electrician, in those days, was normally responsible for the lighting, a problem arises because the master electrician function later co-exists with that of the lighting designer. Consequently, RAPPELS has opted to use only those credits which correspond to the names used today. In the example just mentioned, no credit for lighting design thus appears in the search results, in keeping with what could be found, or rather not found, in the printed program at the moment the work was staged. In some cases, functions that seem less clear today appear in the “Other collaborators” section, among others “stage directors” (directeurs de scènes) who apparently acted in the 1950s as stage managers but with less technical responsibilities. Finally, RAPPELS has not standardized the titles of the various functions it lists, reproducing them instead as they appear in theatre programs: the same designer can thus be described in different productions as being responsible for the set or the stage scenery (the décor or décors); or that they are described as a decorator (décorateur) or a set designer (scénographe); or the work is said to involve set design (scénographie) or stage mechanics (the dispositif scénique). In the case of lighting, we find light (lumière), lights (lumières), lighting design (conception de l’éclairage), lighting (éclairages), etc.  

Why are some functions in English and others in French?
The content of RAPPELS includes professional French- or English-language theatrical productions produced or co-produced in Quebec. The site can be navigated in either language by means of the English and French interfaces. Printed programs given to spectators are the primary sources of the site’s data. In the search results, functions are given in the language of the program. When a work was given at times in French and at times in English by the same personnel, two different entries have been created with, in each case, mention of the other language; a hyperlink leads from one to the other. If a Quebec production was mounted in a translation other than English or French, meaning if the actors performed in another language, this is noted in the entry corresponding to the original language. If this work was also performed in French and English, mention of the third language appears in the entries for each of these two languages.

What are the sources of information? 
The primary source of information is the theatre program given to spectators, because here (and often here alone) we also find the characters’ names, an important search tool. This source is rounded out by other documents produced by the theatre companies ― press releases, promotional documents ― which, in particular, contain the performance dates, as this information is often left out of programs. The resources which the RAPPELS project draws on do not enable it, under the present circumstances, to add to incomplete information, particularly with respect to mentions of the work elsewhere, especially in the printed press. Sometimes, contradictory information is obtained from the companies’ documentation, particularly with respect to the dates when performances began and ended. In such cases, the information provided on the RAPPELS site is that of the source closest to the date of the event.

Why are there no photographs?
Production photos are found in programs for the performances and these can be viewed on the BAnQ site by means of a link in the entries for productions. Over the next few years and in a later stage of development, RAPPELS plans to make it possible to view production photos and clips of performances.  

What is the role of the scholarly committee?
The members of RAPPELS’ scholarly committee express their views in an individual capacity and not as the representative of any entity with which they collaborate or to which they may have belonged. The committee has been involved in particular in decisions around whether to include certain functions, how to show search results in keeping with the project’s stated goals and, more generally, the site’s orientations and prospects for development.   

How is RAPPELS distinctive?
A multitude of information gathered by various entities can be found on the theatrical productions of the past several decades. None of them, however, has the mandate of documenting every aspect of professional theatre presentations produced or co-produced in Quebec, or their influence. Nor do they make it possible to obtain a complete picture of all the theatrical work of a performer, a creator or director, for example, or to pinpoint a period of time in order to compare what was on offer to the public. In addition, the information available ― and in particular the data for older productions ― is often inert, available solely on paper or as a PDF scan. What makes RAPPELS distinct is its malleability and the links it generates in its various components. It is up to the person using the site to define the goals of his or her research in this repository of metadata. 

What are the next steps?
Several development options for the site are possible. These include adding productions aimed primarily at young audiences, English-language productions, productions presented in summer theatres, productions of professional companies presented elsewhere than on the stages of T.A.I. members, and past productions dating right up to the beginning of the professional practice of this art. The scholarly committee’s choices will take into account the possibilities for collaborating with existing associations or organisms and the funding sources available to make it possible to continue our research.