Behind The Curtains Of “Les belles soeurs”

Saloua Ouahi, Journalist

This year, La Camaradiere’s theatre kids present an adaptation of the play “Les Belles-Soeurs” by Michel Tremblay on the 4th and 5th of May.

Since fall, the students have rehearsed every Tuesday after school, and their work will finally be shown. The play is estimated to be one and a half hours which is triple of last year’s play. The show is directed by Valérie Lafleur, who studied theatre art and whose future projects are unique.

What is it about

The original play Les Belles Soeurs or The Stepsisters in English was written in 1965 by Michel Tremblay, revolutionized Quebecois theatre, and is renowned worldwide. It portrays 15 Quebecois women in the 60s expressing their anger, despair, and frustration loudly, rudely, and audaciously. The play depicts the reality of women of the time, marked by religion. Many things that are now normalized were seen as taboo at that time. The students had to have that in mind to become their character.


Back then, stamps could be used like points you accumulate on a card. When you had a certain number of them, you would paste the stamps into little books, which you could exchange for prizes that were in a catalogue. The main character, Germaine Lauzon, is a housewife who just won one million stamps. Since it would take ages to stick all of them in books by herself, she decides to call her sisters, step-sister, and neighbour friends to help her with that task. Not all of the women are thrilled with the idea of helping Germaine on top of the fact that she already won what any woman would dream of, so some tension starts to build up throughout the play.

Behind the scenes

“Last year, we created a play named ‘Une Nuit au Cabaret’. This year we wanted to challenge ourselves by using something that already existed and that was longer. We did face some difficulties in the making, but we pushed ourselves to work harder and I’m proud of the result,” said one of the students.

All of this wouldn’t have been possible without their teacher Miss Valérie. She has a bachelor’s in theatre, a master’s in literature, theatre, and education, a diploma in modern language, and a superior specialized diploma in collegial education, and she will finish an NBA next autumn. “It’s been a huge work this year because the text is so long and we already trashed half of it and we still have a lot of work. The play is in two days so I just hope we will be alive in three days,” said the directress of “La Maison de l’Alphabétisation du Québec.”

“I was so nervous at the idea of forgetting one of my lines or a cue but when I went on stage it was like all of that stress transformed itself into adrenaline and when it was over I then just realized what I did and a feeling of satisfaction filled my entire body,” said one of the students.