Sur tes traces

5 min

Sur tes traces, a play by Gurshad Shaheman and Dany Boudreault

In this two-act play, two authors portray each other on stage, in an intimate and daring face-to-face encounter. 

The play was presented this year at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts, the international performing arts festival in Brussels, with the support of the IF Export programme of the Institut français. 

© La ligne d’ombre et La Messe

Cross-disciplinary writing

Sur tes traces is the result of a meeting between Gurshad Shaheman and Dany Boudreault. The former arrived in France at the age of twelve: originally from Iranian Azerbaijan, he followed his mother as she fled the Islamic republic. Trained at the Ecole régionale d'acteurs de Cannes (ERAC), he has since devoted himself to writing and directing, with recent shows including Pourama Pourama (2015), Il pourra toujours dire que c'est pour l'amour du prophète (2018) and Les Forteresses (2022). Dany Boudreault is a Quebec actor, playwright and poet, originally from Lac-Saint-Jean, and recently the author of texts such as Corps Célestes (2020) and L'acquittement (2021).


Decentralizing narratives

Sur tes traces traces the personal journeys of its two authors and performers, each told by the other. Before entering the auditorium, the Sur tes traces audience is presented with headphones, enabling them to listen to a choice of two audio streams corresponding to the two narratives that interweave on stage. An apartment takes shape on stage, inhabited by two silhouettes hidden behind a veil. The spectator is presented with a somewhat Cornelian choice: either to listen to one of the voices, or to switch from one to the other, at the risk of missing part of the story. A decisive choice on the part of the authors, who offer two deliberately incomplete and off-center narratives.


The other and the self

Gathered in Sarajevo, Gurshad Shaheman and Dany Boudreault first decided to establish a protocol for meeting each other... on their own. A list of people and places was quickly drawn up, before each set off, alone, to discover the life of the other, their singularities, but also the way in which the other resonates with the self. Gurshad Shaheman went to Quebec's Lac-Saint-Jean region, to the rural area where Dany Boudreault grew up, and also to Montreal, while Dany Boudreault, who was unable to travel to Iran, went to meet several members of Gurshad Shaheman's family, all the way to the Turkish border, the final frontier he was unable to cross.


Revealing a part of yourself

Created at the Théâtre Les Tanneurs (Brussels) in May 2024, Sur tes traces is also published by Les solitaires intempestifs. Presented as part of the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Belgium, Sur tes traces will also be performed in Montreal during the Festival TransAmériques. It's an opportunity to discover two paths, two singular artists' journeys that often resonate with each other. In this way, Sur tes traces, which is at first disconcerting, ends with a true unveiling.

The Institut français

Sur tes traces by Gurshad Shaheman and Dany Boudreault is a creation supported by the Institut français as part of the IF Export program. This program supports international projects by artists, French or French-based professionals, or institutions in the creative and cultural sectors. Following the programming committee meeting held on January 16, 2024, 163 projects were selected for support.

To find out more.