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"Divine Comedy" Features Play With Franciscan Church Roots

"Saint Felix and His Potatoes" playwright, Henri Brochet, was passionate about producing works with religious themes. Brochet's play is one of two faith-based comedies presented in The Storm Theatre and Blackfriars Repertory Theatre co-production "Divine Comedy, directed by Peter Dobbins."

During the early 20th century, Henri Brochet, along with mentor Henri Gheon, created earthy, often comic, yet sublime new works for the French theater, modeled on the great works of Medieval Theater.

Henri Brochet in his study.

The creative duo founded Les Compagnons de Notre-Dame in 1920. The theatre company's successor, Les Compagnons des Jeux, is the oldest French theater troupe in operation. Since its inception, the troupe has presented more than 260 shows of all genres and from all eras.

Fast Fact: Brochet launched the magazine "Jeux, tréteaux et personnages"(Games, Trestles and Characters), which regularly published plays.

The roots of Les Compagnons des Jeux are closely linked to the Catholic religion. Les Compagnons de Notre-Dame was established in the basement of the Franciscan church, Our Lady of Seven Joys. Founded in 1911, Our Lady of Seven Joys was one of the first parishes of Trois-Rivières, and given its name by Notre Dame. At the time, all theatre entertainment was required to be approved by the Church.

Fast Fact: The Seven Joys of Our Lady are: (1) The Annunciation; (2) the Visitation; (3) the Birth of Our Lord; (4) the Adoration of Jesus by the Magi; (5) the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple; (6) the Resurrection of Our Lord; (7) the Assumption of Mary in body and in soul into Heaven.

The “Divine Comedy” ensemble features Dinh James Doan, Meaghan Bloom Fluitt, Ian Geary, Kurt Kingsley, and Jose Sanchez, and Rev. Andrew O'Connor.

The creative team includes Peter R. Feuchtwanger (scenic design), Jeannipher Pacheco (costume design), Michael Abrams (lighting design), and Alex Santullo (sound design).

Performances begin Sept. 30, and run Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. with a special added performance Oct. 3, Saturday matinees at 2:00 p.m. on Oct 1, 8, 15 and 22. Tickets are on sale now for $18 and can be purchased at SmartTix at 212-868-4444 or

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