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Much ado about language? Brossard denies English Shakespeare in the Park

WATCH ABOVE: According to the Repercussion Theatre, it's been shut out of performing in Brossard because its plays are in English. As Global's Tim Sargeant reports, the non-profit organization is hoping the city will change its mind.

BROSSARD – “It’s just shocking,” said Amanda Kellock.

The artistic director of Repercussion Theatre is disappointed because Brossard won’t allow Shakespeare in the Park to be performed outdoors in its city.

Why? Because the plays are in English.

“[It’s] surprising, considering they have such a high population of Anglophones,” Kellock told Global News.

After approaching Brossard for permission to perform next summer, Kellock received an email stating that the city won’t allow a play to be performed in English.

“An actor who can perform Shakespeare in English is not the same actor who can perform Shakespeare in French and so, unfortunately, we can’t afford to do both of those things,” she said.

A spokesperson for the city told Global News that Repercussion Theatre was denied permission to perform because it does not allow outdoor shows in parks for adults – in either language.

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Kellock insisted her company has been putting on Shakespeare in the Park performances in many Francophone cities in Quebec without any problems, so it shouldn’t be different in Brossard.

“I would love to know if the people of Brossard know that this is the policy because we routinely get emails from people in the South Shore saying ‘why don’t you ever come out here?'” she told Global News.

The City of Brossard told Global News it has spoken with the Repercussion Theatre to discuss the possibility of having Shakespeare in the Park performances.

The issue will be discussed at a future council meeting.

City spokesperson Alain Gauthier insisted this is done for all outdoor performances and no special status will be given.

The city also continued to insist the debate is not rooted in a language issue.

“They got in touch and said that they want to reconsider the proposal in the New Year,” said Kellock.

“They said the response they got from media and residents was pretty significant.”

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She added there is still time to organize a play in Brossard next summer.

If that happens, the group believes all of this language kerfuffle could end up being “much ado about nothing.”

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