Chapo Ba: Theodore Beaubrun, Alias Languichatte

Written by Kat with 6 Comments

In which we give props to a Haitian who really made an impact on our culture in one way or another. Today’s chapo ba goes out to Mr. Theodore Beaubrun.

Mr. Beaubrun was a dramatist, a screenwriter, a poet, a thespian. Born on December 26, 1918 in Port-au-Prince, he started out doing plays in his early days, and had the stage name Languichatte, a French-Creole term for “Cat’s tongue”. Once Haitian television came of age, Beaubrun was a pioneer in the field, bringing his theater plays to the small screen to the delight of Haitian viewers who were eager to see a slice of their every day life instead of imported fare from the USA and Europe. And a slice of their every day life, Beaubrun gave them, poking fun at Haitian pretensions, especially their scorning Creole over the French language, their social prejudices, and cultural defects night after night, creating a phenomenal following that lasted up until the last episode. At one point, he ventured into films, writing and producing Founerailles. He also continued to delve into theater, writing the highly acclaimed “La Vi Nan Nouyòk”, a piece that examined the lives of Haitian immigrants in Brooklyn.

Today Theodore Beaubrun is credited for paving the way for such Haitian comedians as Tonton Bicha, Jesifra, the late Tonton Nord, and Haitian novelist Gary Victor’s creation Piwouli brought to life by Ricardo Lefevre. Many feel that he wasn’t appreciated enough while he was still alive, but that is often the reality for most artists. Today Beaubrun’s legacy lives on on DVD and on YouTube. One thing is for sure, is that he’ll never be forgotten by his fans.

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