Robert Lepage: A young, confident artist
Director, writer, actor Robert Lepage is one of Canada's most renowned figures in performing arts. Highlights from his astonishing oeuvre include epic plays, The Dragon's Trilogy and Needles and Opium, award-winning films, Le Confessional and Far Side of the Moon, and even rock shows. This Quebec native continues to push artistic boundaries, earning his reputation as this country's creative genius.
His fluent use of both Canada's official languages signals the attitude of a new generation of Quebecers. Lepage is part of an emerging group of Quebec artists who have no qualms about speaking English. "I don't think we have to save the language like we used to," says Lepage in this CBC-TV report. "I think it's strong enough now." Lepage's Circulation enjoys critical and popular acclaim for blending culture and language.
• Circulation won the 1984 award for Best Canadian Production at La Quinzaine Internationale de Théâtre de Québec festival.
• Lepage believes in a collaborative, collective approach to theatre. He describes it as a backward method. Circulation, for example, began with a seemingly insignificant object - a map of the United States - rather than preconceived themes and ideas. He talks about this process with CBC's Peter Gzowski.
• Lepage described Circulation as 1/3 English, 1/3 French and 1/3 movement.
• In 1985, Lepage achieved international acclaim with The Dragon's Trilogy. It's a six-hour play divided into three acts, spanning over three decades, three Canadian cities and three languages. The play follows the lives of two Quebec girls, centring on themes of war, exile and cultural identity.
• The Dragon's Trilogy toured over 30 cities on three different continents before it wrapped up in 1992.
• In 1994, Lepage founded his multidisciplinary company Ex Machina, bringing together people from the world of performing arts including writers, actors, set designers, opera singers and puppeteers. The artists then collaborate to reinvent performances. Lepage didn't want to limit the company by using the word theatre in its name.
• Ex Machina was the foundation for such critically praised productions as The Seven Streams of the River Ota. Developed in three stages between 1994 and 1997, this epic seven-part, seven-hour production traced the lives of seven characters living on three continents over a period of 50 years. It dealt with everything from the Holocaust to AIDS and the aftermath of Hiroshima.
Program: The Journal
Broadcast Date: Dec. 17, 1984
Guest(s): Robert Lepage
Reporter: Josh Freed
Scenes from Circulation written and directed by Robert Lepage.
Last updated: October 29, 2014
Page consulted on October 29, 2014
All Clips from this Topic
The director talks about his collaborative, 'backward' approach to the...
Lepage symbolizes the new generation of Quebecers.
Lepage takes his collaborative approach to a grander scale.
International cast rehearses for Tectonic Plates.
Lepage becomes the first Canadian to direct Shakespeare at London's Ro...
The burden of Lepage's celebrated reputation.
World-renowned director talks about his future and his latest one-man ...
The renowned theatre director adds opera to his long list of accomplis...
The theatre artist makes his film debut with 'Le Confessional.'
Lepage's isolated adolescence in Quebec City.
Director, writer, actor Robert Lepage is one of Canada's most renowned...