Presenting: Michael Nimbley


  • Michael Nimbley
  • Catherine Bourgeois



The following is the working script from Montreal-based artist Michael Nimbley’s presentation about his professional career. The script was co-created with his creative ally Catherine Bourgeois, the founder and artistic director of Montreal-based theatre group, Joe Jack & John. Joe Jack & John is a theatre company that produces original, bilingual, multidisciplinary shows combining video, dance, and the spoken word. Their artistic approach is deeply humanistic and inclusive; their creations represent a social microcosm by integrating professional actors with an intellectual disability or from diverse cultural backgrounds. During the time of VIBE, Nimbley was an artist-in-residence with the company. In establishing artistic residencies, Joe Jack & John are fulfilling their mission in a new way by inviting an artist living with a disability to initiate and direct a creation of their own. These residencies demonstrate a unique political stance. By handing power to an artist with an intellectual disability, they are furthering their research on marginalized aesthetics and voices. Their goal is to develop interdependent creative models and practices, promoting the emergence of underrepresented voices that have not been part of the dominant artistic trends. In doing so, they are disrupting aesthetic hierarchies and continuing to dismantle biases against artists who evolve outside the artistic establishment.

Author Biographies

Michael Nimbley

Michael Nimbley, who has participated in four of Joe Jack & John’s productions, is the company’s first Artist-in-Residence and has been developing his project Les waitress sont tristes since 2018. Les waitress follows one nomadic man’s journey through a labyrinthine universe as he constantly confronts the status quo… Meanwhile, the waitresses are constantly asking themselves: “Why are we sad? Why are we mad?” Music and escapism are the life rafts that these characters cling onto as they repeat the same gestures over and over again. Like a modern-day Western, Les waitress takes us on a wild ride that features a mountain, a bar, and a railway track. There are stories of drunken cats; souvenirs; beer bottles, and line dancing… Production is scheduled for the fall of 2022.

Catherine Bourgeois

Catherine Bourgeois has been making theatre since 2002. She began in set, costume, and lighting design before devoting herself to creating and directing performances for Joe Jack & John (JJJ), which she co-founded in 2003 and for which she designs and directs all productions. She won Best Director at the Gala des Cochons d’Or for her show AVALe in 2014, and for Just fake it in 2012. Just fake it was also awarded a LOJIQ grant. From 2006 to 2013, in parallel with her life at JJJ, Catherine worked as production manager and assistant to choreographer Margie Gillis, familiarising herself with many different artists, cities, and stages. From 2005 to 2008, she was an Associate Director at Imago Theatre. Other credits include directing Théâtre La Chapelle’s award-winning 2008 production of Michael Mackenzie’s The Baroness and the Pig. Catherine studied directing at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama as well as set design at UQÀM and at the Option-Théâtre in Ste-Thérèse. In 2018 she won the Mid-Career Artist Prize from the Faculty of Arts Foundation at UQÀM. She also teaches in the acting programme at the National Theatre School of Canada.



How to Cite

Nimbley, M., & Bourgeois, C. (2021). Presenting: Michael Nimbley. Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, 10(2), 325–332.