René Richard Cyr
René Richard Cyr is one of the most versatile and prolific creators on the Quebec cultural scene. For 20 years, this acting graduate from Canada 's National Theatre School has pursued simultaneous careers as an actor, director, writer and producer in theatre, television, film and music. He has participated in over one hundred productions—both on stage and behind the scenes—with notable success in all fields.
This is Cyr's first creative alliance with Cirque du Soleil, where he is working in tandem with long-time collaborator Dominic Champagne on the writing and directing of Zumanity. In the past, the two have repeatedly teamed up to design the huge outdoor event celebrating La Fête Nationale, Quebec 's national holiday. They are also credited with the creation and artistic direction of Le plaisir croît avec l'usage, a TV program broadcast on Télé-Québec and hosted by Cyr. The program has won two Gémeaux (an award for excellence in Canadian French-language television production) for best variety show. The ongoing success of this dynamic duo stems from a natural affinity between two good friends—who also happen to be creative masters.
A man of many talents, Cyr is as eclectic as he is productive. As a theatre director, he frequently spotlights new works while staging memorable versions of well-known classics. He has also (among other things) directed numerous comedies, variety shows and theatre galas, and has even lent his lustre to musical theatre.
"I've put rock 'n ' roll into my theatre productions and theatre into my rock shows. But one recurring theme marks my artistic choices: the desire to give a voice to new talent," says the director. Since 1998, Cyr has been artistic director and managing co-director of Montreal 's Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui, an institution committed to producing Quebec drama.
The variety of awards showered upon this virtuoso testifies to the quality of his work in diverse cultural milieus. In 1985, 1986 and 1991, Cyr was honoured by the Quebec music industry association (ADISQ) for three different shows—one of them a Céline Dion production which netted him the "Director of the Year" award. In the 1990s, he twice won the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde's best direction award, while two more prizes (one awarded in Quebec , the other in Italy ) recognized his excellent acting in Michel Tremblay's Hosanna. The Quebec arm of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television also nominated Cyr for a Gémeau in two different categories: best direction on a short film debut, and best host of a televised series.
More recently, his accomplished directing of the play The Man of La Mancha, by Dale Wasserman, Joe Darion, and Mitch Leigh, earned him two prestigious awards from the public and his peers at the 2003 Gala of the Académie québécoise du théâtre.
René Richard Cyr was born in Montreal in 1958.