Les Filles du Roi is a new, tri-lingual musical that uses the deep relationships between language, art and culture to create opportunities for cross-cultural understanding. It serves Vancouver's Aboriginal, Francophone and new immigrant communities, with a focus on women and youth. Sung in a dialect of Iroquois, French and English, Les Filles du Roi traces the arrival of the historical filles du roi in the 1600s. Young fille du roi Marie Jeanne Lespérance finds her hopes for a new life are complicated by the competing interests of the people of Ville-Marie (later Montréal), the nearby Mohawk settlement of Kahnawà:ke, and the British settlements further south. Over the course of four tumultuous seasons, French, Mohawk, Métis and English characters build a complex web of relationships that sets the stage for the Canada we know today.
Fugue Theatre has commissioned Julie McIsaac and Corey Payette to create this project as a way to address the historical roots of the current debates about migration, cultural diversity, gender equality and Aboriginal sovereignty. The project is inspired by the writers’ personal connections to their Francophone and Aboriginal heritage and by the need to grow diversity in Canadian theatre. By combining artistic creation with community outreach to Aboriginal youth, women, Francophones and new Canadians, Les Filles du Roi disrupts our ideas, beliefs and actions: building a peaceful, equitable society lies in reclaiming the voices of the past.