Denis Marleau, Compagnon des arts et des lettres du Québec

9 June 2021 Denis Marleau – Compagnon des arts et des lettres du Québec

In forty years of stage production, adaptation, set design, and technological phantasmagoria, Denis Marleau puts playwrights in our path. With his unusual virtuosity, a few degrees of separation are removed between us and Molière, Shakespeare, or Tchekhov. But naming only these giants of theatre does not offer a faithful reflection of Denis Marleau’s reputation for exploration.

Under the auspices of UBU, he has brought audiences closer to the genius of local and far-flung authors whose work was still largely unexplored, without compromising just to please. His company’s repertoire readily embraces the margins, showcasing the director’s iconoclastic vision.

Against the grain or ahead of his time, Denis Marleau strives to be where he is least expected. His commanding, ambitious mise-en-scènes, that have the vision to integrate new technologies, have positioned him as one of the great ambassadors of Québec theatre on the international stage. He is such a part of the avant-garde that he was even the first director from Québec invited to the Comédie-Française.

Driven by a vital need for transversality, Denis Marleau builds bridges with dance, music, literature, visual arts, and even the fashion of Jean-Paul Gaultier. Show after show, he carefully probes theatrical performance, exploring new avenues for acting and fuelling reflection to put the text first. Because a text that makes a stopover in Denis Marleau’s mind will have a final destination that is as unexpected for the audience as it is promising for the theatre world.

«SOIFS Materiaux». Crédit : Yanick MacDonald (2019)

“SOIFS Materiaux”. Credit : Yanick MacDonald (2019)


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.


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