Guy Régis Junior
A man of the theatre whose words have made their way around the world, Guy Régis Junior remains deeply attached to Haiti, his birthplace. It is on this bruised but brave island that his texts find their anchor, and where he has been organising the Quatre Chemins Theatre Festival since 2014.
Updated on 06/04/2020
Guy Régis Junior spent the first years of his life in the lush nature in Liancourt, north of Haiti’s capital city, where he was born in 1974. Because of this solitary childhood, marked by the absence of his father, his writing is permeated with lyricism, in which youth holds an important place.
Establishing himself in Port-au-Prince in the 1990s, he spent eight years as a stage technician before creating his own company, NOUS Théâtre, which shook up the local art scene with unannounced performances on the streets or in public buildings. This experimentation gave rise to Service Violence Série, a foundational act in his work – played from 2001 to 2005 – which established his reputation as a daring playwright.
His protean work includes forms ranging from poetry (Le Temps des Carnassiers, 2000), to novels (Le Trophée des capitaux, 2011) and translation (Albert Camus, Marcel Proust). He is most known, however, for his radical plays in which powerful women (Mourir tendre, 2013) and the dramas experienced by his country (Reconstruction(s), 2018) are shown in all their splendour.
Guy Régis Junior's early work, influenced by both traditional Haitian music such as rara and the dramatic principles of Russian stage director Meyerhold, led him to a revolutionary theatre that defied the conventions of the genre and society. Throughout his work, this aesthetic exploration intertwines with a determinedly lucid and passionate study of Haiti.
The 2010 earthquake on the island, for instance, became the theme for a melancholic theatrical meditation (De toute la terre le grand effarement, 2011), while the intimate account of his father's absence (Les cinq fois où j'ai vu mon père, 2020) saw him blend childhood memories with a portrait of his country under the dictatorship of Duvalier.
From as early as Service Violence Série in 2001, Guy Régis Junior won over the international public. He was granted multiple fellowships and artistic residencies - including at Tarmac de la Villette in 2006 and l'Échangeur, in Bagnolet, in 2011 - through which he developed his theatrical language and put it to the test of foreign audiences. Performed in Belgium, Congo and the United States, as well as on the stages of major festivals such as the Avignon Festival in 2011 and Les Francophonies in Limoges in 2016, his plays give Haitian culture a place to resonate in a universal language.
Since 2014, his engagement has also been visible through his role as artistic director of the Quatre Chemins theatre festival in Port-au-Prince. The event welcomes artists from around the world and gives his dream of letting the world of Haitian culture sing, again and again.
Guy Régis Junior is born in Port-au-Prince. He spends his childhood in the rural department of Artibonite with his grandmother.
He founds the company NOUS Théâtre, with which he creates his founding play, Service Violence Série.
He is awarded the Beaumarchais Prize for best French-language text for Le Père, in partnership with the Etc Caraïbe association.
In shock after the earthquake that hit Haiti, Guy Régis Junior writes De toute la terre le grand effarement and stages it at the Avignon Festival.
He becomes artistic director of the Quatre Chemins festival, a Haitian theatrical event founded in 2003 by one of the pillars of local theatre, Daniel Marcellin.
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In 2019, Guy Régis Junior is one of the 9 laureates of Des mots à la scène, with his novel Les cinq fois où j'ai vu mon père.
Des mots à la scène (From Words to the Stage) is a support fund for the production of contemporary writing for the stage from Africa and the Caribbean launched by the Institut français. Funded by the Ministry of Culture, this fund aims to promote authors from the south who are little known or played. Find out more about Des mots à la scène
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