Return to: Blog

All About "Les Filles du QUOI?"

June 08, 2022

Lost Nation Theater presents the world premiere of LES FILLES DU QUOI? a comedic, bilingual wild ride thru ancestry, identity and storytelling by Abby Paige, June 16–26

 

We’ve all been there. Searching for answers to questions and only coming up with more questions!
Aided by fabulous characters and her audience, acclaimed Vermont writer & performer Abby Paige may just find her answers as Lost Nation Theater presents her new play Les Filles du QUOI?

June 16–26th at Montpelier City Hall Arts Center!

 

Playwright and actor Abby Paige, seen in such LNT shows as Judevine and Pride & Prejudice, is a 12th generation Vermont settler with French Canadian roots. She’s has created a stunning new autobiographical theater work investigating ancestry, identity, and storytelling.

To do this, Paige portrays a host of different characters, from new mom, to  journalist, to Jack Kerouac, to Ted Talker, to the ghost of an accused French-Canadian witch who has dreams of being a stand-up!

Lost Nation’s Founding Artistic Director Kim Bent is helming the production:

  • “Abby’s created a miracle with “Les Filles Du Quoi?.” The number of voices conjured in her script makes me think it could have been co-written by George Carlin, Maya Angelou, Moliere, Lily Tomlin, or David Budbill.

    And yet, this rigorous exploration of her Franco-American heritage remains, indisputably and entirely, hers”  - Kim Bent

With this comedic, bilingual one-woman show, writer and performer Abby Paige – who emigrated to Canada 100 years after her great-grandparents immigrated in the opposite direction - crosses the borders between English and French, the past and the present, the living and the dead, history (L’Histoire) and stories (les histoires), looking for answers.

  • “One of the central questions of the play is, “When is a story like a cage?” We all use stories to explain who we are, or who we want to be. The play is about some of the stories I’ve told myself. We can get trapped in those stories, like in a cage — and some of us feel really safe and comfortable in the cages we make!” – Abby Paige

And don’t worry: the show may be bilingual, but you don’t have to be! (Abby’s performance & subtitles will keep things clear!)


Abby has other questions:

  • What does “francophone” mean? 

  • What’s the deal with the queen?

  • Why is Jack Kerouac the only Franco-American anyone’s ever heard of? 

  • Is Celine Dion a Witch??

With and through her various characters, Abby crosses borders of time and place looking for the answers to those questions,, and many others! 

Bringing Les Filles to life with Bent & Paige are many of Lost Nation Theater’s favorite collaborators:  scenic designer Claiborne H Coyle, costume designer Nancy Smith, lighting & projections designer Samuel J Biondolillo with Jamien Lundy Forrest, and stage manager Marissa Mattogno. Textile artist Danielle Hogan comes to the project through Abby and is making her LNT debut.

  • "Solo work is so deeply humbling. As the performer, you feel really acutely how you are carried on the shoulders of others — the director, the designers, your crew. There is nothing really “solo” about it. That is especially moving with this show, because I have been so alone with it for so long, while I was writing it and then while it was laying dormant through the pandemic. To now see it blossoming in the hands of such a talented group of collaborators, it’s a big responsibility, to try to do them proud." - Abby Paige

Les Filles du Quoi? has “officially” been in development for five years. In 2017, when Paige was at LNT for David Budbill’s Judevine, LNT’s artistic directors Bent & Keenan coaxed her to share in a public conversation her budding project – at the time called “To All My Cousins.”  3 readings, 1 workshop and 2 years of pandemic postponement later, it’s the world premiere!

 

Paige says LNT is the “perfect place” to premiere the show.

  • “LNT is so dedicated to making theater that responds to place and community. There is something that can be especially transformative about seeing characters and stories that you recognize in an intimate way, and I respect so much how much Kim and Kathleen have built that into the life of their theater, telling stories about Vermont and that connect Vermont to the wider world.

Lost Nation Theater is the winner of many awards: 2020 “Theater of the Decade” - Broadway World, “Best in New England”- Yankee Magazine, and named One of the Best Regional Theaters in America by NYC Drama League is Sponsored by Capitol Copy, City of Montpelier, Vermont Mutual Insurance, Eternity, National Life Group, Vermont Arts Council and The World. Les Filles du Qoui? is also supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the New Brunswick Arts Board.

 

  • In Les Filles du QUOI?, Abby cuts through the complex chains that both connect & separate us, and imagines other ways of being together that are more honest and accountable. It’s an amazing achievement!” – Kim Bent

Come Be With Us! Just two weeks! June 16­–26.  7:30pm Wed–Sat’s;  2:00pm Sundays.
Get Your Tickets HERE

(or call us at 802-229-0492, 11am-3pm Tu-Friday. For in person (cash/check) advance ticket purchases, visit the City Clerk's office on the first floor of Montpelier City Hall.

Lost Nation Theater is wheelchair accessible, offers assisted listening, and large print programs. Please be sure to advise of any access needs when purchasing tickets so we may do our very best to accomodate you.