Brassard, Marie

Marie Brassard, actor, playwright (b at Trois-Rivières 11 Aug 1959). A graduate of the Conservatoire dramatique de Québec in 1985, she made her debut with innovative companies in the capital city: le Théâtre Niveau Parking in Un sofa dans le jardin (1988), a collective where she was a co-author, then in Passion fast-food (1990), both directed by Michel Nadeau; le Théâtre Sortie de Secours, with Tauromaquia (1990), directed by Philippe Soldevila; and particularly with le Théâtre Repère.

Marie Brassard soon began a very productive collaboration with Robert Lepage. She was the co-author of La Trilogie des dragons/The Dragons' Trilogy (1987), Le Polygraphe (1987) and La Géométrie des miracles/The Geometry of Miracles (Ex Machina, 1998). These productions, as well as Les Sept Branches de la rivière Ota/The Seven Streams of the River Ota (Ex Machina, 1994-1996), would be presented throughout the world, in America, Europe, Asia and Australia. She won the Critic's Prize for Best Foreign Actress (Barcelona, 1989-1990) for her performance of Lucie Champagne in Le Polygraphe, co-written with Robert Lepage, and which in addition won the 1991 Chalmers Award for best Canadian play. It was also under Lepage's direction that she would perform in Shakespearean repertoire - a trilogy of plays that toured internationally: Coriolan, The Tempest, in which she played Ariel, and Macbeth, in which she was none other than Lady Macbeth (1992-1993). Further to her work with Lepage, she remained associated with innovative theatre, appearing in plays by Alexis Martin, Oreille, tigre et bruit (Groupement Forestier du Théâtre, 1996); Dominic Champagne, Korsakov and L'Asile (Théâtre Il va sans dire, 1997-1999); and Diane Dubeau, Élyse II (Théâtre de la Nouvelle Lune, 1998). With Macha Limonchik and Anne-Marie Cadieux, she wrote and performed in Le Point aveugle, at the NAC in 1994. Brassard broke away from writing within collectives and became an author in her own right in 2001, founding her own company, Infrarouge. In this way, she put herself in a position favourable to creating three solos that placed her firmly among important contemporary authors. Jimmy, créature de rêve/Jimmy (2001), La Noirceur (2003) and Peepshow (2005) were all three presented at the Festival de théâtre des Amériques, before being presented abroad. In the intimate performances of this urban trilogy, the actor explores among others, the theme of identity and levels of reality, cheerfully mixing the real and the imaginary. She could metamorphose to portray diverse characters through her very clever use of the voice.

Brassard was cast in Robert Lepage's films Le Polygraphe (1996) and (1998). As was the case on stage, her role as Lucie Champagne in Le Polygraphe drew attention and won her a Genie nomination. She (along with Lepage) also won a nomination for the screenplay of this film. In addition, she shot The Claim de Michael Winterbottom (Grande-Bretagne/France/Canada, 2000) and La Loi du cochon d'Érik Canuel (2001). Although television did not appeal to her until recently, her role in Bunker, le cirque (2002) won a nomination for a Gémeaux prize.