André Brassard’s brilliant path started in great darkness. A troubled childhood left him torn between the need to express himself and resistance to revealing himself. He was 22 years old when he set off the first bomb in his revolution, by staging Michel Tremblay’s Les Belles-sœurs. It was the first milestone in a journey dotted with memorable creations.
Family runs deep in the worlds of Michel Tremblay and André Brassard, such that Mr. Brassard has brought almost all his plays to the stage. Sharing the same ideals, they also dislike the same things, and both refuse to speak the truth in a language that doesn’t exist. By ridding Québec theatre of the petite-bourgeoisie, André Brassard gave homegrown theatre credibility and unprecedented international visibility.
Whether staging Racine or Shakespeare, Jean Genet or Normand Chaurette, André Brassard stands out for his intelligent reading of the text, humanity, and nuanced direction. He offers new readings of great works in the repertory and makes classics out of plays by contemporary Québec playwrights, signing 160 creations in almost 40 years. For this man of the theatre, trying to detect the opposing forces in each line is a fervent passion, the love of his life. If André Brassard were a character, he would no doubt like himself more, even playing the Misanthrope. But in life, this perpetual insurgent has never cast himself in the good role. It is his only error in casting.
”Encore une fois, si vous le permettez” by Michel Tremblay, showcased at Théâtre du Rideau Vert with Rita Lafontaine. Credit : Pierre Desjardins
About the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec
The Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec is a distinction bestowed by CALQ honouring those individuals who have played a prominent role in Québec’s artistic development.
The CALQ would like to thanks its partners, the Caisse de la Culture and the newspaper Le Devoir.