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Friday May 17, 2013 in Books
For more than three decades, Robert Lepage’s dynamic multimedia performance works have been produced on stages worldwide. Celebrated for his bold, visionary aesthetic, Lepage has received several high-profile commissions in recent years, including two Peter Gabriel world tours, Cirque du Soleil’s Ká in Las Vegas, a dramatic staging of Wagner’s Ring Cycle at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and Lorin Maazel’s 1984 at London’s Royal Opera House.
Despite Lepage’s prolificacy, and his status as one of the pioneers of new media performance, little critical writing about his work has been published, particularly in English. Ludovic Fouquet’s The Visual Laboratory of Robert Lepage, translated for the first time into English, thus presents much-needed in-depth analysis of Lepage’s strategies and practices.
The book’s title references the experimentation so integral to Lepage’s creative process and the ways in which he and his creative arts company, Ex Machina, have always been attuned to the synergistic possibilities that emerge when art encounters science and technology. Whether as a playwright, actor, film director, or stage director, Lepage is forever in search of new mutations of form and expression, and his unexpected narratives often write themselves out of discoveries he makes when staging a piece – indeed stagecraft often guides story in Lepage’s creative realm.
This illustrated volume will be of keen interest for theatre practitioners of all kinds, from set designers to directors, from academics to fans.
ISBN 13: 9780889227743 | ISBN 10: 0889227748
6 W x 9.5 H inches | 416 pages
$29.95 CAN / $29.95 US
Backlist | Non-Fiction | Bisac: PER011040
QUOTES OF NOTE
“Fouquet’s impressively detailed observations reveal the alchemy taking place in Lepage’s ‘visual laboratory,’ as well as key influences that have driven his innovative, imagistic theatre from its beginnings … This book both reintroduces Lepage to scholarship and reminds us of the central position Lepage occupies in contemporary theatre practice.”
– James Reynolds
“The Visual Laboratory of Robert Lepage is essential reading for anybody interested in new-media performance and represents a valuable next step in the research of Lepage’s theatricality.”
– Aleksander Saŝa Dundjerović
“This book will be of great value to those interested in understanding the evolution of Lepage’s creativity, as well as to artists, teachers, and students making their own work with Lepage’s practice as inspiration.”
– Karen Fricker
“Ludovic Fouquet, in addition to being an avid spectator at many of Robert Lepage’s shows in Quebec and Europe, has been a privileged witness to the working sessions of the prolific playwright and attended many hours of rehearsal during research for this book.”
– Louise Vigeant, JEU: revue de théâtre
“In illuminating Lepage’s methods of creation (where the text often appears only at the end of a process of collective improvisation), [Fouquet] explores the wealth of the playwright’s work as well as his occasional failures.”
– Marie Labrecque, author of Une longue, longue marche
“Inarguably important to the field of imagistic theatre … This English-language translation comes eight years after the original French text, and it will undoubtedly appeal to artists, teachers, and students who wish to understand and draw inspiration from Lepage’s theatrical creativity. … There are many splendid instances of explication … Fouquet is also excellent in showing how Lepage dramatizes technology. … this book is of unquestionable value to theatre scholars and Lepage devotees …”
– Stage and Page
"Robert Lepage is the Wayne Gretzky of Canadian theatre, as dazzling and prolific on the stage as Gretzky was on ice, with name recognition anywhere in the world his game is played. Unlike the other Great One, Lepage plays multiple positions: writer, director, designer, actor. His arenas range from theatre to opera to circus. His moves are many and varied. He shoots, he scores."
– Jerry Wasserman, Literary Review of Canada
About the ContributorsLudovic Fouquet
Ludovic Fouquet is a visual artist, teacher, director, and founder of the multimedia theatre company songes mécaniques (Mechanical Dreams) in Blois, France.Rhonda Mullins
Rhonda Mullins is a freelance translator and journalist in Montreal. She has translated books, articles and film narrations. Mullins is also the managing editor of the online literary magazine carte blanche.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.