Vol. 12 No. 1 (Spring 1991)

Forum - A MISSIONARY OF THE FRENCH LANGUAGE THROUGH DRAMA: MADAME JEAN-LOUIS AUDET (1890-1970)

Muriel Gold

'Je ne comprends pas pourquoi les Canadiens-français se meurent pour leur langue, alors qu'ils ne la parlent pas correctement.' 1

Madame Jean-Louis Audet's life was linked with her mission to convince educators that every French-Canadian child, rich or poor, should learn to speak French correctly. She dedicated her own life to the teaching of the French language. It was her belief that the self-confidence one developed from speaking well extended itself to pride in one's culture. She taught 'Standard French,' a language spoken, at least in theory, without trace of locality or region. Madame Audet prided herself on the fact that no one could trace her own origins from her pronunciation or the patterns of her speech.

Her grandson, Pierre Audet, Director of F.O.U.G. Advertising Agency, recounts a story of his gregarious and charismatic grandmother. When he was fifteen years old, she took him to Paris. There she introduced him to some famous theatre personalities whom she sometimes met in unorthodox fashion. One evening in a café, she spotted Jean Cocteau seated at a nearby table. Without hesitation, she approached the famous writer and introduced herself. Cocteau, evidently charmed by her vivacity, invited them to join him. Pierre Audet recalls the merriment that ensued. Cocteau was intrigued by Madame Audet's perfect command of the language, the geographical source of which, try as he might, he was unable to identify. When they parted Cocteau had learned a great deal about the province of Quebec.

By the late 1960s, the advent of the Quiet Revolution in Quebec had begun to manifest itself in the theatre, notably through the works of playwright Michel Tremblay. His objective of legitimizing 'joual' by bringing working-class people and their language to the stage conflicted with Madame Audet's goal of instilling pride in a people through their ability to speak a 'cultivated' French. Madame Audet's vision of Quebec language appeared doomed to oblivion. Today, twenty-one years after her death, her ideas on language, particularly in the school system, have not been realized. Her primary goal has become, for the time being at least, passé.

Audet's secondary goal, however, of developing actors, has had enormous influence. Through her protégés she has been instrumental not only in bringing European culture to Quebec, but also in bringing Quebec culture to Canada and beyond. 'Directice-fondatrice' of a major Montreal school of speech and drama, Madame Audet was born 101 years ago in Sorel, Quebec. This dynamic and passionate teacher launched hundreds of leading Québécois actors such as Geneviève Bujold, Yvette Brind'Amour, Andrée Champagne, Robert Gadouas, Marjolaine Hébert, Dominique Michel, Monique Miller, Gilles Pelletier and Gisèle Schmidt. 2 Thousands of French-speaking children were directly influenced by her commitment to phonetics, her work on the voice, her theatre presentations, and her knowledge of literature.

Born Yvonne Duckett, she was the child of a 'mixed marriage.' Like the poet Emile Nelligan, her father was Irish and her mother French Canadian. But whereas Nelligan experienced parental disapproval of his art, Yvonne was encouraged to indulge her love of acting; as a small child she improvised little plays and sang for the family group. One of six children (three boys and three girls), she displayed her intellectual capacities, competitive spirit, and ambitious nature by teaching herself Latin and Greek, thereby emulating her brothers who had the advantage of attending classical college. 3 This interest in languages remained throughout her long life.

By the age of sixteen she decided that she would be either an actress or an opera singer, or both. She studied singing with Professor Salvator Issaurel, and French diction with Professor René du Roure of McGill University. 4 Following her marriage to Dr Jean-Louis Audet, a dentist, in 1912, she studied at Le Conservatoire LassaIle with Georges Landreau, who was devoted to French phonetics. When Madame Audet commenced classes, he had just published his first book on the subject. 5

Three years later Madame Audet received her Grand Diplôme D'Honneur from Le Conservatoire, and in 1930 was awarded her Diplôme universitaire d'élocution française by the University of Montreal. Both diplomas were granted 'avec grande distinction.'

In 1933 she opened the studio which was to become a Montreal landmark for young drama students and their mothers, in the large finished basement of her St. Hubert Street triplex. By 1960 she was giving two or three courses a day six days a week. In addition, she was teaching phonetics at various convents or schools such as l'Ecole Supérieure d'Outremont, and Le Conservatoire National de Montréal. For twenty years she gave courses at I'Ecole Vincent d'Indy d'Outremont; for ten years she taught classes at the University of Montreal; she also instructed at Le Conservatoire d'Art dramatique de la Province de Quebec.

Actress Marjolaine Hébert, director of the Théâtre de Marjolaine, recalls that in addition to her full teaching schedule Madame Audet held Sunday rehearsals for twice-weekly concerts presented by her students at city schools and various other locations. Wearing simple costumes, the youngsters would interpret folkloric songs and dances 'd'une manière vivante et naturelle.' Some of them would present the poems or monologues that they learned in class; a variety of scenes from the classics, such as L'Ecole des femmes by Molière, were sometimes performed, and on occasion she took these shows to schools out of town.

From 1936 to 1950 Madame Audet also introduced her youngsters to radio productions, directing them in Le Petit-Monde, a weekly half-hour series aired on CRCM, CHLP, CKAC and CBC consecutively. On this show, the children presented recitations and short dialogues which had been learned in class, while one of the older pupils, as host, introduced each number.

Madeleine et Pierre, 1937 to 1950, was a fifteen-minute series on CKAC five days a week, written and directed by her son, André Audet. It was sponsored by The Kellogg Company of Canada, and as a commercial venture, had to be of a more professional calibre than Le Petit-Monde. The cast consisted largely of Madame Audet's more experienced students; moreover, characters in the scripts were often created to suit particular children. In 1941 André Audet staged the show at the Monument National, and from that time on wrote an annual stage revue in which he featured the radio cast. 6

Although Madame Audet constantly involved her students in radio and stage productions, her primary goal remained voice and speech training. Determined to 'improve the standard' of spoken Canadian French, she attempted to reach as many children as possible. In keeping with this goal, she accepted in her studio all students, regardless of financial situation. As a result, the classes were always a mixture of the rich and poor; indeed her lack of interest in finances was such that, according to her son Jean-Marc Audet, seventy-five percent of her pupils were non-paying.

Without denying her French-Canadian heritage, Madame Audet insisted upon an international outlook. As a specialist in language teaching, she participated in the annual Congrès de la langue française, and eventually served on the board of La Société du parler français au Canada. 7 Always interested in diverse languages and cultures, she journeyed each summer to universities in different parts of the world where she took courses in phonetics. 8 The results of her travels, her studies, and her years of teaching, are embodied in three lengthy studies: Les Monologues du Petit-Monde, 'Manuel de français oral: Phonétique et diction' and 'Les Voyelles.' 9

Fortunately, Madame Audet received community recognition in her lifetime. In 1965 she was awarded the Medal of l'Alliance française for her constant efforts to give her people 'le trésor de la liberté' for, as David Benoit remarks, 'un peuple n'est libre que s'il s'exprime dans la langue.' 10 But over and above language, she sought to impart to her students their literary heritage. At the dinner preceding the presentation of the medal, Lise Lapierre movingly summarized Madame Audet's contribution:


 
Lorsque j'avais dix ans, vous m'avez fait connaître Alceste, Néron, Britannicus; vous m'avez présenté mes amis d'aujourd'hui: Sophocle, Eurypide, Aristophane, Shakespeare, Racine, Molière, Corneille, Mariveaux, Beaumarchais, Musset, Hugo, Lamartine, Voltaire, Rousseau ... Ah, combien d'amis fidèles n'avez vous pas lancés pour la route de mes désespoirs pour qu'ils me tendent la main aux heurcs les plus noires de ma vie! J'avais DIX ans. Merci, madame. Dix ans ... 11


After a long and energetic life, Madame Audet died in October, 1970, at the age of eighty.
 

Her Philosophy: 'La femme au service de la langue française'

As a member of the Board of the Société du parler français au Canada, Madame Audet was a direct successor to the dedicated amateur linguists of the mid-nineteenth century. Her education at Le Conservatoire Lassalle had qualified her as a phonetician, furnished her with an 'international' French pronunciation, immersed her in classical literature, and inspired her dedication to conserve the 'purity and spirit' of the French language. By the time she opened her studio she was steeped in a rich cultural French tradition. Devoted to the classics, she exposed her students to what she considered first-rate literature, and frequently took them to see professional theatre. Although the development of actors was a secondary goal in her work, an outstanding number of leading French-Canadian actors evolved out of her training program. Her insistence on a secure foundation in phonetics equipped them with vocal technique. Her emphasis on natural and sincere qualities of movement and speech promoted spontaneity. Exposure to the classical masters facilitated creative acting. In addition, her nurturing of the personality, and her encouragement of individual interpretation and a subjective approach to literature, provided students with a solid foundation on which to build a career in theatre.

As a French Canadian, Madame Audet was aware of the distinct Québécois expressions which differentiate Quebec French from the language of the mother country. Accordingly, she allowed some latitude for pronunciation, but in general, her attitude toward the instruction of language remained rigid and exact throughout her life.

She criticized the methods of classroom teachers who taught written French to the exclusion of oral French. Since the students were ignorant of 'correct' pronunciation, there was little value in their being taught written grammar. She found it ironical that when learning a foreign language, one is first taught phonetics; in Quebec, however, the elementary phonetics of domestic language was being ignored. She insisted that each school employ a specialist in oral French, and maintained that the simultaneous teaching of the two aspects of the language - oral and written - would produce a new generation which spoke and wrote its language precisely. 'Provincial' speech would then disappear and a 'langue française moderne' would emerge. 12

Madame Audet insisted that the teaching of exact sounds should commence at the nursery-school level, so that common speech faults of French Canadians could be rectified at an early age. She noticed that young children's ears were generally sensitive to nuances of beautiful-sounding vowels, and provided that the teacher produced these sounds perfectly, the pupils would quickly acquire the exact pronunciation, without rules or explanation. The difficulty in vowel pronunciation was less marked in small children than in adolescents and teen-agers whose ears had to be re-trained because they had lost their former sensitivity to sounds. Madame Audet maintained that there was no fixed length of time required to educate the ear, but that the aptitude of the individual student was the determining factor.

She was convinced that the power of voice and speech was capable of altering individuals and nations. Speech released personal expression and promoted communication; speech was theatre; a nation's speech vitalized its innate spirit and cultural expression. Body movement and gesture, subordinates to the speaking voice, were commentators upon speech. They merely served to underline vocal inflections, and were motivated by the spoken word. At the same time, Madame Audet believed that gestures grew out of personality, and that the teacher, therefore, should not impose them. 13

Voice, however, was the key to the discovery and expression of personality. Madame Audet believed that the acquisition of a solid foundation of vocal skills freed the individual to express his/her latent personal identity. Similarly, vocal training furthered communication; as she phrased it, 'Personne n'est insensible au charme d'une belle voix.' She recommended that vocal charm be developed through regular voice exercises, followed by the induction in oneself of a happy frame of mind. 14 This philosophy is allied with the Victorian principle of laughter being the best medicine, but also closely parallels the thinking of modern Developmental Drama practitioners and acting teachers who associate relaxation with emotion and speech. 'Je me plais toujours à vanter les systèmes modernes d'éducation par la Joie.' 15 While her emphasis on joy has much in common with contemporary thinking, her views on relaxation exercises differ. Although Madame Audet stressed the value of relaxation in speech work, she was singularly opposed to specific types of exercises designed to teach relaxation. Relaxation was achieved, she believed, by altering the mental image; tension was automatically eliminated by changing from one activity to another. An atmosphere of tranquility, security and enjoyment was further established by her ritual of commencing and terminating lessons at the piano. 16 A prime requisite for learning, this secure climate advanced the child in his or her difficult vocal studies.

Although Madame Audet stressed the mechanics of voice and speech, she knew that this technical approach was but one aspect of projecting inflection and meaning. Original speech and original acting demanded logical and emotional phrasing to enrich vocal interpretation. In other words, inflection was guided by a combination of thought, emotion, and vocal technique. Her view in that context resembles that of contemporary speech authorities:


 
The voice, however perfect, will never touch the heights unless it is directed by a sensitive perception of the meaning and emotion to be conveyed, [unless] it acquires a disciplined freedom; disciplined in the sense that it is flexible, pliant, and responsive to the intention. 17


When the student attained the balance between personal expression and vocal discipline, his or her latent personality emerged.

This cultivation of the personality and emphasis on the individual at a time when choral speech was popular, place Madame Audet ahead of her time. She was convinced that choral work, even in its best sense as 'a co-operative enterprise of teacher and every single member of the class for the interpretation of poetry,' 18 stifled personality. Her progressive attitude toward individuality becomes all the more significant when one considers that she taught in a period of educational regimentation within a comparatively depersonalized, monolithic society.

Among the students who had been exposed to the study of diction, Madame Audet noticed an additional problem. These young people were in effect speaking two languages: French Canadian, which was 'ni français, ni anglais,' 19 and what she referred to as their 'langue du dimanche:'

L'enfant parle correctement pour jouer son rôle, pour dire son monologue, puis, crac! sauf quelque mots par-ci par-là, il retombe dans sa langue première, une langue étriquée, sans couleur. 20

Madame Audet was not disturbed by psychological reasons for maintaining accents. She was of the opinion that there were two ways of speaking language - correctly, and incorrectly. In order to make proper diction become habitual speech, she advocated the use of correct pronunciation at all times in all situations.

She considered that the French-Canadian people had a personal debt and obligation to their ancestors, to keep 'le véritable esprit français' alive in Canada. Because cultural survival, she believed, was retained through the national language, she advocated a thorough reorganization of phonetic instruction in the schools. She felt that 'la langue maternelle' was an inheritance to be passed on from one generation to the next; thus the best way to improve the language on an extensive scale was through a revolution in phonetic instruction. It was the duty of educators to provide youth with a 'purer' pronunciation and a richer vocabulary as a cultural base. This combination of 'correct' speech with exposure to fine French literature would result, she was certain, in a new generation of French Canadians with a strong sense of cultural identity, whose basic thinking, like their manner of speaking 'soit bien française.'

Methodology

Madame Audet's studio functioned as a classroom for both pupils and mothers: she encouraged the latter to observe classes so that they too could benefit from phonetic instruction. Possibly she felt that the mother's improved French would alleviate the child's fear of ridicule; mother and child would both begin to speak a cultivated French at home. Jean-Marc Audet recalls that Geneviève Bujold, now an international star, attended the studio with her mother. He credits his mother not only with Bujold's early training, but also with acting as her mentor when crucial decisions surrounding her career had to be made. It was Madame Audet who advised her to leave Le Conservatoire in Montreal where she was studying and seize the opportunity to work with the renowned film director Alain Resnais in Paris when the opportunity presented itself. This decision marked the beginning of her career as an international film star.

Madame Audet also included four or five more experienced children in a class of new students. She noticed that these older students' ease would project to the others, and help reduce shyness.

Madame Audet's exercises are detailed in her book, Les Monologues du Petit-Monde. Unlike contemporary speech practitioners, who commence with breathing exercises, Madame Audet began 'le cours des petits,' conducted for children from three to eleven years, with articulation exercises. These exercises for lip flexibility were done by the class as a group; then individually, starting with the words 'papa,' 'maman,' etc., in order to discover individual faults of students. Madame Audet expected her youngsters to practise these exercises carefully and slowly every day, keeping the rhythm and measure of the syllables, at the same time remembering to breathe properly and articulate well.


 
Ba, bé, bi, bo, bu.
Bla, blé, bli, blo, blu.
Cra, cré, cri, cro, cru.
Jma, jmé, jmi, jmo, jmu.
Fa, fé, li, fo, fu.
Va, vé, vi, vo, vu.
Chta, chté, chti, chto, chtu.
Chla, chlé, chli, chlo, chlu.
Ksa, ksé, ksi, kso, ksu.
Pa-pa, ma-man (3 fois). Toi et moi (3 fois).
Oui - aujourd'hui - toujours (3 fois).
Ce bel enfant est grand, aimant; il s'appelle Jean Clément (3 fois).
Le bambin prend son bain (3 fois).
Léon passera un an à Milan (3 fois).
Fruit cuit, fruit cru (3 fois).
IL-LU-SI-ON (3 fois avec la voix, 3 fois sans la voix).
Bonjour, lundi. Comment vas-tu, mardi?
Très bien, mercredi. Je viens de la part de jeudi, te redire vendredi, qu'il faut t'apprêter samedi, d'aller à l'église dimanche. Combien ces cinq saucissons-ci? Ce sera cinq sous ces cinq saucissons-ci.
Le chasseur chasse avec son chien.
Six chasseurs chassent avec six chiens.
Soixante-six chasseurs chassent avec soixante-six chiens.


The child was to take a particular stance during exercises:


 
Position. - L'enfant se tient très droit, debout, les mains derrière le dos.
Attitude ferme sans raideur. Il faut bien séparer les sons de la même ligne, mais sans respirer, et ne pas lever les épaules en aspirant. On respire après chaque ligne. 21

In keeping with her strong belief in the individual in voice work, however, Madame Audet never gave the whole class the same material to study: each student was presented with a piece that suited his or her personality. She knew that 'l'uniformité engendre la monotonie, l'ennui, et finalement, l'inattention.' 22 While she insisted on a standard pronunciation, Madame Audet encouraged individual interpretation. This individual interpretation grew out of the child's particular pitch, timbre and voice register, and out of his or her subjective manner of expressing feelings. The teacher's role was simply to correct basic faults; it was not her function to impose her own intonation. This approach allowed a give-and-take between the student and his or her material. Exposure to literature, then, enriched the child's imagination and appreciation; the child in turn enhanced the literature by marking it with the stamp of his or her own personality.

Although Madame Audet enforced a particular stance on her students, she did not impose gesture. She insisted only that the gestures they chose be motivated and natural. As with intonation, she believed that the teacher must allow the student individual expression; she must merely guide him or her to employ gestures that were 'juste, simple, complet.' Classical styles, however, demanded a more formal, stylized type of gesture, and required a conventional technique.

In special cases, Madame Audet worked privately with pupils to correct speech impediments. She provided them with exercises, then showed them how to verify proper placement of the vocal organs with a mirror. This combination generally accomplished the task within a month's time; it also built up sufficient confidence in the child to enable him or her to join the class. 23

Confidence was considered to be a vital factor in every student's progress. Madame Audet's approach to building self-confidence was unlike that of Developmental Drama practitioners who provide students with imaginary situations in order to help them to develop their own resources. She furnished her students with texts, and within a framework of sight readings, prepared speeches, and articulation exercises, she encouraged them to develop their own interpretative skills under her guidance. This was the springboard which would lead them to project their own latent personality.

She was convinced that regular vocal exercises and a happy frame of mind were an essential combination in the development of 'charm' in the voice. She further provided them with poems to recite in order to develop tone colour and a sense of rhythm which she felt were generally lacking in French-Canadian speech: 'la voix est grise, les phrases précipitées, la respiration mal réglée.' 24 Moreover, she supplied them with beautiful descriptive verses in order to 'poser la voix sur le médium,' and graded her material from simple poems to dramatic material for the more experienced pupils. She felt that first of all the teacher must search and find the 'timbre' of each pupil, then gradually give a repertoire of varied pieces, poetry and prose, of different styles: anecdote, lyric, comic, and oratory. She was convinced that: 'des scènes dialoguées sont excellentes pour habituer l'élève a sortir de lui-meme et pour l'inviter à l'Art Dramatique.' 25 Because she noticed that the young child was closer to nature than the adult, Madame Audet chose themes of animals, flowers, and lakes in the poetry and fables which she gave her pupils to study. These were written by French Canadian as well as French writers. 26

L'enfant est plus près de la nature que l'adulte. Il vit d'une vie instantanée, perdu tout entier dans la perception du présent. Il est heureux près des fleurs, des animaux, des arbres. 27

Madame Audet was of the opinion that legends and tales were excellent sources of material for the teaching of diction to young children. She advised the mothers of her small pupils to allow their youngsters to believe in these 'beaux contes qui ont enchanté notre enfance'; she felt that imaginative stories had their place in the education of three- to seven-year olds. It was too soon for them to face cold reality. As her students grew older, she would explain the symbolism and underlying meanings in the fiction. Her standards of repertoire remained high: 'Dans toute pédagogie, et surtout dans la pédogogie spéciale de la petite enfance, ce sont les qualités de bons sens et de bon goût, qui assurent la victoire.' 28

Madame Audet believed that fables were the purest models of literature for recitation. Because La Fontaine's messages could really only be understood by adults, very often the younger pupils would pout if they were asked to recite them. She suggested to school teachers that children be asked to recite fables 'comme récompense' rather than 'comme pensums, which was their usual practice. 29

In an effort to further foster an appreciation of literature, Madame Audet exposed her students to first-quality playwrights. She gave her young students in the Section d'Art Dramatique such ingénue roles as Agnès in Molière's L'Ecole des femmes, and Toinette in his Le Malade imaginaire:


 
Dans une classe de jeunes élèves, on comprendra facilement que l'ingénuité est la rose qui fleurit le plus souvent. Les pièces de Molière, de Musset, de Marivaux, font une place d'honneur à l'ingénue, ce petit être exquis, moitié ange, moitié démon et ouvrant sur la vie ses grands yeux étonnés. 30


Madame Audet thought it important to vary each pupil's repertoire because she noticed that affectation sometimes developed in students who had repeated success with the same piece. New material demanded intense concentration and thus diverted the student's attention from audience response. She thus sought to avoid


 
la recherche exagérée des nuances, des détails, des arrêts trop prolongés, des petits airs entendus, comme si le public était incapable de comprendre. A ce jeu-là, on deviendrait vite cabotin. 31


This emphasis on 'sincere' acting, coupled with vocal training, formed a solid foundation for those students who entered the professional theatre. Others, who became oral French specialists, radio announcers, commentators, lawyers, or politicians, similarly benefited from Madame Audet's influence.

Unlike some of her contemporaries 32 who were creating 'stars' out of small children, and thus encouraging stagedoor mothers, her approach remained process-oriented: student development was her prime concern.

In retrospect, Madame Audet viewed herself as a missionary of the French language. With an almost evangelical dedication, she neglected finances, health, and social life to persuade educators that every French-Canadian child, regardless of financial situation, should receive phonetic instruction. Through lectures, interviews, and writing she battled for educational reform up to her old age, earning the gratitude of thousands of pupils whose lives she so strongly influenced.

Despite her efforts, it would seem that her concept of language and culture has not had the lasting influence on Quebec pedagogy that she would have wished. 33 Pedagogy follows the trends of national culture. Quebec language and culture, linked with the nationalism exemplified by Tremblay and Jean Barbeau, and championed by their followers, have taken precedence. However, her contribution to the evolution of theatre arts in this country has been immeasurable. With the advent of television in the 1950s, it was Madame Audet's students who had the cultural power. They were the trained radio and stage actors. Their strong foundation enabled them to adapt quickly to the new medium. Before long they became stars in their own province and eventually their fame extended to the rest of the country and beyond. It is therefore not surprising that most of today's leading Quebec actors on stage, screen and television (see list below) were, at one time, students of 'la marraine,' as Madame Audet was affectionately called.


Bibliography

Books

Audet, Madame Jean-Louis. Les Monologues du Petit-Monde. Montreal: Librairie Beauchemin Limitée, 1967.

Cole, Wilton. Sound and Sense. London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd., 1968.

Lassalle, Eugène. Comédiens et amateurs. Montreal: Imprimerie Du Devoir, 1919.

McAllister, Anne H. Steps in Speech Training. (Teacher's Book) Vols. I-V. London: U. of London Press, 7th ed., 1965.

Rumsey, H. St. John. Speech Training for Children. London: J. Garnet Miller Ltd., 1957.

Swann, Mona. An Approach to Choral Speech. Massachusetts: Walter H. Baker Co., 1937.

Turner, Clifford J. Voice and Speech in the Theatre. London: Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, Ltd., 1960.
 

Newspaper Reports

Béraud, Jean. 'Choses de Théâtre. Le Conservatoire Lassalle.' La Presse, Montreal 6 janvier 1963 p 9.

David, Benoit. 'L'Alliance Française honore Mme Jean-Louis Audet.' Le Journal des vedettes 5 juin 1965 p 34.

Lapierre, Lise. '. . . Leur métier, c'est grâce à Madame Jean-Louis Audet, et e'est pour cela qu'ils lui ont rendu un hommage aussi émouvant.' Echos vedettes 3 juillet 1965 p 15.

Thibeault, Marc. 'Mme Jean-Louis Audet: Elle a lancé Monique Miller, Marjolaine Hébert, Robert Gadouas, Yvette Brind'Amour, Andrée Champagne, Gisèle Schmidt, Lise Lasalle, Pierre Dagenais, etc., etc., etc.,!' Le Journal des vedettes 14 février 1960 p 19.


 

Some of Madame Audet's Better-Known Students

André Brassard, actor, director, former Director, French section, National Arts Centre, Ottawa

Yvette Brind'Amour, actress, director, founder and Artistic Director of Théâtre du Rideau Vert

Denise Bombardier, interviewer, broadcaster, dramatist

Geneviève Bujold, actress, international film star

René Caron, actor, acting teacher

Andrée Champagne, actress and politician

Robert Charlebois, chansonnier

Jean-Pierre Coallier, radio personality

Pierre Dagenais, actor, director, playwright, critic; founder and Artistic Director of L'Equipe (deceased)

Germaine Dugas, actress

Robert Gadouas, actor

Gabriel Gascon, actor, director

Jean Gascon, actor, director, co-founder of Le Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, former Artistic Director, Stratford Festival, former director general, National Theatre School (deceased)

Gratien Gélinas, actor, director, playwright, pioneer of contemporary Canadian theatre, creator of Fridolin, author of Tit-Coq, founder of La Comédie-Canadienne

Marjolaine Hébert, actress, founder and Artistic Director, Théâtre de Marjolaine

Pierre-Marc Johnson, politician

Gaetan Labrèche, actor, director, acting teacher

Guy Lafleur, hockey player

Pierre Lalonde, singer, animateur

Guy Maufette, actor, director

Dominique Michel, actress

Albert Millaire, actor, director

Monique Miller, actress

Pierre Nadeau, radio announcer

Gilles Pelletier, actor, director, founder and Artistic Director, La Nouvelle Compagnie Théâtrale

Beatrice Picard, actress

Jean-Louis Roux, actor, director, former Artistic Director, Le Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, former director general, National Theatre School

Gisèle Schmidt, actress


Notes

Forum - A MISSIONARY OF THE FRENCH LANGUAGE THROUGH DRAMA: MADAME JEAN-LOUIS AUDET (1890-1970)

Muriel Gold

1 GISELE SCHMIDT quotes MME AUDET in an interview with BERNARD FAUCHER, researcher for Télémédia Communications Inc. (written transcript. Nov 1990)
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2 MARC THIBEAULT, 'Mme Jean-Louis Audet.' Le Journal des vedettes 14 fév 1960 p 19
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3 Conversation with Madame Audet's younger son, JEAN-MARC AUDET, June 1972
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4 THIBEAULT, p 19
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5 GEORGES LANDREAU, son of Madame Lassalle, wrote La Phonétique française in 1928, the first book of its kind published in Canada; he then followed it with a Livre de 1'élève. JEAN BERAUD, 'Le Conservatoire Lassalle,' La Presse (Montreal) 6 janvier 1963 p 9
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6 Conversations with actresses MARJOLAINE HEBERT, MONIQUE MILLER, actor ROLLAND D'AMOUR and CKAC programmer JEANNETTE BROUILLET, Fall 1971; and JEAN-MARC AUDET, June 1972
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7 La Société du parler français au Canada was founded in 1902, its aim being 'l'étude, la conservation, et le perfectionnement de la langue française écrite et parlée au Canada.' MARK M ORKIN, Speaking Canadian French (Toronto: General Publishing Co 1971) p 14
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8 THIBEAULT, p 19
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9 'Manuel de français oral: Phonétique et diction' is an unpublished manuscript presented by Madame Audet to L'Institut de diction française in 1963, when she was its honorary president. It would appear that she wrote a second volume, 'Les Voyelles,' but I have been unable to locate it
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10 DAVID BENOIT, 'L'Alliance Française honore Mme Jean-Louis Audet,' Le Journal des vedettes 5 juin 1965 p 34
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11 LISE LAPIERRE, '. . . leur métier c'est grâce à Madame Jean-Louis Audet, et c'est pour cela qu'ils lui ont rendu un hommage aussi émouvant.' Echos vedettes 3 juillet 1965 p 15
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12 THIBEAULT p 19
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13 The student must be made aware, however, of technique in the formal use of gesture for artistic presentation. He or she must be familiar with the various styles, and realize that certain classical styles demand a corresponding type of gesture
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14 MADAME JEAN-LOUIS AUDET, Les Monologues du Petit-Monde. (Montréal: Beauchemin 1967) p 195
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15 Ibid. p 121
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16 Conversation with JEAN-MARC AUDET June 1972
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17 CLIFFORD J TURNER, Voice and Speech in the Theatre (London: Pitman & Sons 1950, 2nd ed) p 134. Madame Audet's emphasis on personal expression within a technical structure foreshadows the writings of 'authorities on speech' such as H ST. JOHN RUMSEY, ANNE H MCALLISTER and WILTON COLE
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18 MONA SWANN, An Approach to Choral Speech (Massachusetts: Baker, 1937) p 10
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19 '[A]ppreciable differences exist between spoken Canadian French and standard French ... Canadian French was subjected much more intimately to the influence of English . . .' ORKIN, p 73
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20 AUDET, p 204
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21 AUDET, p 11
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22 P 11
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23 AUDET, p 85
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24 P 223
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25 P 224
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26 GONZALVE DESAULNIERS and BLANCHE LAMONTAGNE were two Canadian writers whose work Madame Audet used. Ibid., p 118
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27 P 112
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28 P 164
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29 P 201
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30 P 230
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31 P 199
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32 Mademoiselle CAMILLE BERNARD, whose studio 'Théâtre des Petits' operated roughly from 1930 to 1965, trained children from the ages of two to ten years to become actors and singers. She placed them in professional companies which played in Montreal, and sent them on tours with these companies.
Conversation with actress MIMI JUTRAS, Nov 1971
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33 Conversation with JEAN-MARC AUDET, Oct 1990
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