Growing up in Chomedey, Mathieu-Murphy Perron recalls that at the age of four he wanted to be a toy maker. But by the time he was attending Souvenir Elementary School he was already performing and conceiving his own plays. Fast forward to today and the 34 year old is the Artistic and Executive Director of Tableau D’Hôte Theatre. It was established in 2005 by Mathieu and his friend Mike Payette with the mandate of producing Montreal premieres of English Canadian productions.
I sat down with Mathieu last week to chat and then took in Tableau D’Hôte Theatre’s wonderful world premiere of Jesse Stong’s Winter’s Daughter at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts. Presentations continue until Dec. 8. Based on the secret family history of local celebrity barber Gino Chiarella, Winter’s Daughter takes the audience to Southern Italy in 1921, in the aftermath of World War I where a couple copes with tremendous trauma and loss while wrestling with how to care for a Jewish child suddenly abandoned in their care.
“The deeply personal story that Gino invited Jesse to write about his family secrets will undoubtedly spark important conversations and build bridges between Jewish and Italian communities,” explains Mathieu. “As Tableau D’Hôte continues along the path of staging tales from history small and large, we must challenge notions that the only history worth presenting are those that captured public attention. We must labour to remember to also pay tribute to the stories like those of this Italian family that secretly took in an orphaned Jewish girl nearly 100 years ago.”
Mathieu says he is trying to produce at least two shows a year. Winter’s Daughter did not benefit from any government grants so he has embarked upon a crowd funding campaign: Find out more at: bit.ly/FCCIWDEN.
As for Winter’s Daughter, I would highly recommend you go see the 80-minute show. “We were fortunate the venue was available,” said Mathieu. “It is a good fit for this script.”