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Champagne, Dominic

CTE photo
A scene from
Cabaret Neiges Noires,
co-written by Dominic Champagne

Quebec playwright/director, born in 1962. He studied at the National Theatre School of Canada, where he has also taught.

Dominic Champagne is part of a wave of writers who are also actor/producer/directors. With his company, Théâtre Il Va Sans Dire, he has mounted many of his own plays including Lolita, La Répétition (1989), Cabaret Neiges Noires (co-written, 1992), and L'Asile (March, 1999).

His plays have been presented around the world in French and English. La Répétition (1993), translated into English by Shelley Tepperman as Playing Bare, is his most popular solo effort, and has seen productions in Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Pittsburgh and Vancouver. It enacts the consequences of an actress's decision to play Lucky in Waiting for Godot, when she discovers that the lives of the actors she has cast correspond with the roles of Vladimir and Estragon.

La Cité Interdite (1992, translated by Shelley Tepperman as The Forbidden City) was presented as a staged reading by Ruby Slippers Theatre and Pink Ink in Vancouver in 1996. Inspired by the Quebec October crisis in 1970, it portrays the revolutionary struggles of three brothers

Dominic Champagne has also directed his own works, and Samuel Beckett's En attendant Godot/Waiting for Godot at the Grand Théâtre de Quebec (1984). In 1998 he directed an acclaimed production of Wajdi Mouawad's adaptation of Don Quixote for Théâtre du Nouveau Monde/TNM; the work went on to win a Masques Awards for best Montreal production. In 2000, he directed his co-adaptation (with Alexis Martin) of L'Odysée for his company, the TNM and the National Arts Centre. He directed his play, La Caverne, at Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui in April, 2001.

He has written and directed three shows for Cirque du SoleilVarekai. (2002), ZUMANITY with René Richard Cyr, and Love - a Beatles show (2006).

CTE photo
A scene from the Theatre Junction, October, 2000 production of Playing Bare/La Répétition

He was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for his plays La Répétition and La Cité Interdite, and received the Prix de l'Association québécoise des Critiques de Théâtre for the former. He received the Prix again in 2000 for L'Odysée, as well as the Capital Critics Circle Award for the same piece.

His plays are guided by his own gentle cynicism and reflect that kind of humour. He has been labelled a spokesman for Generation X, a brand he despises. But his philosophy of theatre bespeaks the acidity generally attributed to the group: "I can't help but notice," he said in interview, "that the utopia proposed by the [gurus] of the 60s [has become] a monumental flop...[My attitude to theatre is this:] If we feel pleasure among the actors and creators of a play, that pleasure will communicate itself to the audience."

Dominic Champagne has also written and directed for television (notably the Masques Gala). He lives in Montreal with his family.

Profile by Gaetan Charlebois.

Last updated 2020-07-17