Omi Mouna: Or, My Fantastic Encounter with My Great Grandmother
Inspired by real life events, Omi Mouna is a tragicomic play that the actor, Mohsen El Gharbi, improvises every evening. A man investigates the source of the violence he suffered as a child. Dominated by fear of having inherited his father’s brutality, Mohsen goes to Tunisia to film his great-grandmother, Omi Mouna, and retrace the history of her family. He finds himself thrown back to when she was a young girl, martyred by a tyrannical husband. Mohsen then becomes an invisible witness of dramatic events.
Inspired by fragments of memories, Mohsen, like an archaeologist, reconstructs the significant events in the life of Omi Mouna and discovers a long history of women’s resilience and struggle. The monodrama unfolds on a bare stage, where the actor, by his acting alone, manages to resuscitate a whole world. This story comes to us with humour, self-mockery, and tenderness. Mohsen El Gharbi, playing a multitude of characters, immerses us in a fantastic and funny world that can also hurt. Omi Mouna is a poetic mural that tries to understand the violence that perpetuates in the world.
Dates & Times
Oct 1 9pm, 2 7pm & 3 2:30 | 80 min
Victoria Park Tent, KITCHENER & Online
Content Warning: Depictions of domestic violence against women and children.
About the Creator
Mohsen El Gharbi is an author, actor and director born in Antwerp by a Flemish mother and a Tunisian father. Mohsen is a graduate of the LASSAAD International Theatre School (Jacques Lecoq pedagogy, Brussels). He refined his training with Ariane Mouchkine, Dario Fo, Yoshi Oida. He has been living in Montreal since 1997.
He is the author of five solos, Omi Mouna, Once upon a time… Omi Mouna, The Last Role, Just for Die – Monologue of a Failed Kamikaze! and most recently Omi Mouna or My Fantastic Encounter With My Great-Grandmother.
He has participated in several theatre productions, including Trois (Mani Soleymanlou), L’énigme Camus – une passion algérienne (Jean-Marie Papapietro), The Poster (Arianna Bardesono), Mr. Goldberg Goes To Tel Aviv (Guy Spring), L’orangeraie (Claude Poissant), Là où le sang se mêle (Charles Bender).
In 2016, he directed his first short film, The secret of Omi Mouna, selected in several Festivals ( 32ième Festival Inter. du Cinéma Vues d’Afrique – 36e Festival Inter. du Film d’Amiens (France) – 27ième Journée cinématographique de Carthage – 35e Rendez-vous du Cinéma Québecois, 20e MedFilm Fest Festival (Rome)… complete list on www.tukabe.com ).
Film credits include Après coup (Noël Mitrani), Montréal la blanche (Bachir Bensaddek), Pawn Sacrifice (Edward Zwick). Television roles include his character in Demain des hommes and he played in Cerebrum, Fait divers, Nouvelle adresse, Mémoires vives, Yamaska, 450 – Chemin du Golf, Mon meilleur ennemi, L’homme qui aimait trop, among others.
In the fall of 2019, he performed under the direction of Frédéric Blanchette in Le meilleur des mondes at Théâtre Denise-Pelletier and in Migraaaants (Margarita Herrera) at the Salle intime du Prospero.
He will perform Omi Mouna at the Impact Festival in English.
This will be the first time he performs one of his solo shows in English after having already performed in Dutch.
The Montreal English-language premiere will be produced by Infinithéâtre in November, 2021 and will be co-directed by Zach Fraser.
“Charismatic, versatile, this gifted artist (…) deconstructs before our eyes the various sources of his cultural baggage, manifesting dozens of lives to find the meaning of his own.” – Marie-Christiane Hellot, Revue Jeu
Special Thanks & Acknowledgement
L’acteur en marche
Collectif Honey Haloua
Canada Council for the Arts
Producer: L’Acteur en Marche & Collectif Honey Haloua
Playwright, Actor & Director: Mohsen El Gharbi
Translation : Leanna Brodie
Artistic advisor for the English version & diction coach : Zach Fraser
Artistic Advisor: Jean-Marie Papapietro
Dramaturgical Advisor: Patrick Cady
Lighting Designer : Armando Gomez Rubio
Lighting Adaptation : Audrey-Anne Bouchard
Stage Manager : Claude Lemelin
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