Grégoire Chabot | Obituaries | Newburyport Daily News
Gregory R. Chabot
23 August 1946 –
April 26, 2021
South Hampton – Franco-American playwright, actor and prominent cultural advocate Gregoire R. Chabot died at his home in South Hampton, New Hampshire on Monday April 26, surrounded by his daughters, granddaughters and four cats. He was 76 years old.
Chabot, the award-winning and prolific author of dozens of plays, essays and short stories examining Franco-American life and language, began writing and performing in the 1970s and was a key figure in the Franco renaissance -american that began at the turn of the century.
Born in Waterville, Maine to Marcel and Osithe (Michaud) Chabot, Grégoire spoke only French until the age of five. The dialect – a version derided by French teachers he met at school, but well known to his relatives in the mill towns of Lewiston, Auburn and Waterville – became a central part of his writing and of its cultural advocacy.
Writing in Franco-American French was not only the most faithful reflection of its characters, according to Chabot, but an essential part of the life and breathing of the Francophone experience of New England. In the tradition of Molière, one of his favorite authors, humor and satire have also played a preponderant role in his work.
Chabot graduated from Colby College with a degree in French Language and Literature, and received his MA in French from the University of Maine at Orono, remaining active at the University’s Franco-American Center and writing for the bilingual Farog / Forum. The forum.
As the Franco-American renaissance grew in the 1990s and 2000s, Chabot was invited – along with the theater company he founded called Du monde d’à Côté / People Next Door – to perform his plays in France, Quebec. , Louisiana and around the world. New England and Canada.
He worked as a teacher, editor, copywriter and communications consultant while continuing to write and perform plays on Franco-American life and thought. His works include a collection of three plays and their English translations titled Un Jacques Cartier Errant / Jacques Cartier Discovers America; a series of essays titled “Between Mania and Phobia”, and an ongoing column in The Forum titled “We Are so Screwed / V’la du sort”, among many others.
Chabot spoke about his work and his Franco-American experience in a dizzying number of courses, conferences and forums, and he was always eager to help new writers or enthusiasts. He sat on the board of directors of the Center de la Francophonie des Amériques de Québec from 2008 to 2010 focused on promoting and encouraging the voice of Franco-Americans in New England. He remained active in the organization for the rest of his life.
He enjoyed spending time with his granddaughters, daughters and extended family; stay awake until the early morning while singing; and acting – often combining all of the above. He had a decades-long relationship with community theater in Newburyport.
Chabot leaves his daughters, Michelle and Hillary; granddaughters Gwen Chabot and Claire Renales; son-in-law, Peter Ryan; and many cousins.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Grégoire Chabot Scholarship, which was established in his honor at the Franco-American Center at the University of Maine in Orono.
A private memorial service will be held at a later date.
Published on June 7, 2021