A bubbling world

Sport? Art? Performance? Even Jean-François Mailhot is not sure of the best term to use to describe improvisation, the fragmented environment in which he is immersed. Certainly, the craze for this activity is such in Sherbrooke that holding a very first municipal tournament on Saturday was only obvious to him and his troop from L’Abordage.
It have less than seven improvisational movements operating in the area of the Queen of the Eastern Townships. “It’s a league for 27,000 people, we calculated it! Comically argues Mr. Mailhot. Even if several leagues share players and coaches, the Sherbrooke improvisation world is not a closed circle and recruits new players every year, he insists. “But once you get in, you don’t want to get out!” Admits the man who holds the position of finance director for L’Abordage.

As part of the very first Mayor’s Cup, on Saturday, the stage of La Petite Boîte Noire was trampled by players from the Sherbrooke University Improvisation League (LUIS), the Sherbrooke Cégep Improvisation League (LICS) ), the Stoke Friendly Improvisation League (LIAS), LeShack, La Misson and L’Abordage.

“The Frontier is the oldest of the leagues in Sherbrooke, since it is 27 years old,” comments Mr. Mailhot. As the dean league, we said to ourselves “why not bring all this beautiful environment together and make it a common event? ””

Accompanied by the Frayeurs d’Ailleurs in the animation, the teams clashed in front of a euphoric crowd throughout this day organized around Sherbrooke pride. During its passage, La Tribune was also entitled to a creative improvisation sung under the theme of “Talbot Prison Blues”.


“The beauty of improvisation is that it is ephemeral,” explains Mr. Mailhot about this discipline that originated in Montreal in the late 1970s. Theater, cinema is written. It’s just as beautiful, but we, the events, the stories and the improvisation we make, they will never happen again. ”

Spectators, who still work as jurors, can often expect to laugh out loud, but dramatic or horrifying moments are just as likely, he recalls.

Sabrina Pariseau, a seasoned player at l’Abordage for 15 years, says she was won over by the freedom that improvisation offers. “I would also say access to the imagination and the encounters that we meet,” adds one who also gravitates in the theater.

If the players do not seem to lack confidence on stage, Ms. Pariseau argues that most improvisers are rather shy. “It’s the game, the gang effect and the team effect that keeps you like a returning warrior. Whether it has been well or badly, we are always happy to welcome our player again. That’s what makes you feel good. For a good improvisation, sometimes, you have to plant yourself two or three times before, but that’s part of the game. The public expects that, too, to see very very spontaneous moments that are successful, but also often failures that are very funny. ”

“I think the secret is to trust yourself, to let go and not be afraid of ridicule,” adds Mr. Mailhot. No matter what we do, if we believe it, the public will believe it. ”

The L’Abordage team finally got their hands on the Golden Bowen, named in honor of the city’s first mayor. The current mayor, Steve Lussier, himself presented the trophy to the winners after having carried out the “throw of the puck” of the grand final.

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