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Hausvater, Alexandre

Director born in Bucharest, Romania in 1949.

Alexandre Hausvater immigrated to Israel with his mother and then moved to Ireland where he studied, joined the Abbey Theatre, and became director of the company's experimental wing. After another stint in Israel presenting political theatre, he came to Montreal in 1971 where he established the Montreal Theatre Lab. Soon, however, he was freelancing in both French and English.

Hausvater's work is usually controversial as he experiments with image as well as text. For him, a script is merely a guideline and this applies as much to his approach to the classics (Trojan Women, King Lear, Hamlet, As You Like It) as to the modern (The Seagull, M. Butterfly, A Clockwork Orange). His vision often includes violent pictures, nudity, and direct provocation of the audience. In many cases he has been attacked as ardently as he has been defended. This is not to say that his work is always pure provocation or politics; in his adaptation of Lear - done Cabaret style - the actor playing the lead was quite clearly desperately ill (and in fact died soon after the production); the effect was wrenching as in moment after moment the performer was stripped down and his hauntingly skeletal body actually highlighted the pathos of the work - the loss of power (both political and physical) due to age. It was a Lear that will never be forgotten by those who saw it.

Alexandre Hausvater has directed over 150 productions all over the world, bringing his skills to the ex-Communist countries, back to Israel and the United States. He has worked at the Théâtre de Quat'Sous, Saidye Bronfman Centre, Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui (he directed the premiere of Normand Chaurette's Je vous écris du Caire, October, 1993) and Théâtre la Licorne among others in Montreal.

He has also taught, including at the Université de Québec à Montréal and the National Theatre School of Canada.

In the early 2000s, he returned to Europe.

Profile by Gaetan Charlebois

Last updated 2020-04-17