François Archambault, playwright (b at Montréal 13 Feb 1968). After completing a major in French studies at the Université de Montréal and receiving a diploma in playwriting from the National Theatre School of Canada in 1993, it took little time for this talented and unique author to be noticed. With his punchy comebacks, frighteningly efficient acidic humour, and keenly insightful views of his contemporaries, he provokes both hilarity and unease in audiences, who cannot evade the accuracy of his views.
His play Cul sec (1993), directed by René Richard Cyr, was controversial. It portrayed disenchanted middle-class youths escaping from reality through dissolute sexuality. Si la tendance se maintient (1995, remounted in 2005), a blistering attack on the Québec referendum campaign, made audiences explode with laughter. The author, who also directed it, struck again with Les gagnants (1996, remounted in 2003), a play highlighting the inner emptiness of children from good families obsessed by success.
For 15 secondes (1997), created and self-administered by the Nouveau Théâtre Expérimental, the author received the GOVERNOR GENERAL'S PERFORMING ARTS AWARD in 1998, and the creative team won the Masque de la Révélation and the award for private theatre production at the la Soirée des Masques in 1999. It recounts the hazards in the life of a handicapped youth suffering from cerebral palsy, and was a rousing success due notably to the excellent acting of Dave Richer, an actor stricken with the disease, who recreated the role in English in Toronto. The play, the subject of several Canadian productions, was translated and produced in Edinburgh, Scotland; Essen, Germay; and read in Florence, Italy. In 1998, Archambeault's play Adieu beauté also won the Masque de la Production Régions.
From its inception, La Société des loisirs (2003), directed by Michel Monty, was a hit with audiences and critics. The author describes the drifting apart of a successful couple who possesses everything for happiness, yet lives with deep inner dissatisfaction. Once again the social criticism is scathing, the humour biting. The awarding of the Masque by the Académie québécoise du théâtre in 2004 for best original text to Archambault and best male performance to Christian Bégin in 2004 confirmed its success. In 2005, the play was sold out in Montréal and on tour, and it was translated into English and produced in Toronto (2005), Calgary (2005) and Vancouver (2006).
Archambault is the author of a dozen plays and has participated in several authors' collectives.