by Ex Machina / Robert Lepage
Written, designed and directed by Robert Lepage
Robert Lepage agrees to recite Michèle Lalonde’s poem »Speak White« at a gala celebrating the anniversary of a famous night of poetry. That reading took place in the spring of 1970, and is considered as the founding event of Québec contemporary poetry. But as he rehearses, failure looms. No matter what he does, Lepage is simply unable to remember this poem which tells of the oppression of the Québécois population. In his desperation, he decides to try a timehonoured method of learning: think of a place you know well and put everything you want to remember in a specific location within it. Lepage decides to return to a place he knows from his childhood: Avenue Murray in Québec. Number 887 is the apartment block where Robert Lepage grew up with a taxidriver father, housewife mother and a grandmother suffering from Alzheimer’s. In the play »887«, the block not only exists in Lepage’s memory: it is also reproduced as a model on stage. Together with Lepage, we dive into the spaces of the past, into the cramped rooms of the Lepage family, but also those of their neighbours. It is the Québec of the 1960s and 1970s, a place full of contradictions and social conflicts, a place where various classes, identities and the French and English languages meet and collide.
Why can you remember seemingly useless things but not the truly important ones? How do the mechanisms of remembering and forgetting work? How do private experiences, individual histories, collective memory and official historiography fit together?
With: Robert Lepage
Creative Director and Designer: Steve Blanchet
Dramaturg: Peder Bjurman
Louisa Blair: English Translation
Assistant Director: Adèle Saint-Amand
Composer and Sound Designer: Jean-Sébastien Côté
Lighting Designer: Laurent Routhier
Image Designer: Félix Fradet-Faguy, Associate Set Designer: Sylvain Décarie, Associate Properties Designer: Ariane Sauvé
Associate Costumes Designer: Jeanne Lapierre.
Production: Ex Machina
Coproduction: Le lieu unique, Nantes, La Comète – Scène nationale de Châlons-en-Champagne, Edinburgh International Festival, Århus Festuge, Théâtre de la Ville, Paris, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Romaeuropa Festival 2015, Bonlieu Scène nationale Annecy, Ysarca Art Promotions – Pilar de Yzaguirre, Célestins, Théâtre de Lyon, SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs, on the occasion of Simon Fraser University‘s 50th Anniversary, Vancouver, Le Théâtre français / English Theatre – Ottawa National Arts Centre, Le Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, Montreal, Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, Théâtre du Trident, Quebec City, La Coursive – Scène nationale La Rochelle, Canadian Stage, Toronto, Le Volcan-scène nationale du Havre, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York, The Bergen International Festival, The Barbican, London, Holland Festival, Amsterdam, Chekhov International Theatre Festival, Moscow, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, La Comédie de Clermont-Ferrand, scène nationale, Onassis Cultural Centre – Athens, Théâtre de Liège, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Cal Performances, Berkeley, Performas Produções, São Paulo, National Performing Arts Center, Kaohsiung, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Winnipeg, Hong Kong Arts Festival, LG Arts Center, Seoul, Le Diamant, Quebec City, Theatre Royal Plymouth, DIVADLO - International Theatre Festival, Pilsen, Schaubühne Berlin.
Producer for Ex Machina: Michel Bernatchez
Associate Production for Europe, Japan: Richard Castelli-Epidemic
Associate Production – The Americas, Asia (except Japan), Australia, New Zealand: Menno Plukker Theatre Agent
Strobelights will be using during this performance.
Duration: ca. 120 minutes
With the support of the Friends of the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz e. V.
Ex Machina is funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the City of Quebec and the Embassy of Canada.
The »Artist in Focus: Robert Lepage« program is supported by the Embassy of Canada and the Québec Government Office in Berlin.