Marguerite : le feu

  • Show
  • Theatre
The 2023 archive

Émilie Monnet

Canada / Creation 2022

Marguerite Duplessis was the first enslaved indigenous woman to challenge the Quebecois government in court to have her nationality recognised and claim her freedom. What if her struggle continued well beyond the 18th century?

Marguerite : le feu, Émilie Monnet, 2023 © Christophe Raynaud de Lage


Émilie Monnet discovers Marguerite Duplessis. They may live two centuries apart, but this encounter on the Island of Montreal will take her on twin journeys: a physical one to Martinique and an intellectual one throughout the world. For Émilie Monnet, it’s about thawing the glaciers that constrain history and fan the fires of solidarity. How can one reinvent a memory revolving around that native heroine, the first enslaved person to demand rights from the Quebec court? The author, actor, director and activist of Anishinaabe descent decides to dig up the past to bring up the darkest hours of colonisation, the patriarchy, and accomodations between heirs. On the stage, a dreamlike journey unfolds, facts resurface, and four women revive the fire Marguerite tried to light. Using poetry, indigenous languages, interviews, songs of mourning and hope, they all embody Marguerite, fully aware that memory is short-lived and that one has to relentlessly reiterate demands for reparation to be heard and become in turn “a good ancestor.” A hymn to memory and to those things that bind us to the past. When will we finally acknowledge history and offer reparations?

Marguerite : le feu by Émilie Monnet is published by Les Herbes rouges

Interview with Émilie Monnet

A dossier prepared by dramaturg Marilou Craft is available online on the Théâtre Espace Go (Montreal) website. In four parts (Slavery and gendered violence, History of colonialism in New France, Marguerite's story and the trial, Sources and resources), it reports what is known about the life of Marguerite Duplessis, summarises the history of slavery in Quebec and highlights the consequences of colonialism on contemporary Quebec society. Read here


With Anna Beaupré Moulounda, Catherine Dagenais-Savard, Émilie Monnet, Tatiana Zinga Botao
Text Émilie Monnet
Translation for surtitles Elaine Normandeau
Dramaturgy Marilou Craft
Stage direction Émilie Monnet, Angélique Willkie
Staging collaboration Mélanie Demers
Music Laura Ortman, Frédéric Auger
Set design Max-Otto Fauteux
Lighting Julie Basse
Video Caroline Monnet
Sound Frédéric Auger
Costumes Korina Emmerich, Yso
Assistant director Érika Maheux- Chapman
Voice Dominique Cyrille
Video Integrator Dominique Hawry
Sound Manager Frédéric Auger
Video Manager Marie-Frédérique Gravel
Technical Director Romane Bocquet
Tour Manager and Surtitles Management Élise Di Pierro
Production Dominique Sarrazin
Administration Dumont St-Pierre
Communications Jean-Matthieu Barraud
Diffusion Cusson Management, La Magnanerie MAG.I.C


Production Productions Onishka
Coproduction Espace Go
With the support of the National Arts Centre's National Creation Fund, Cole Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des arts de Montréal, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Territoire Création programme Théâtre de la Ville (Canada), Théâtre du Bic (Canada), Théâtre Hector-Charland (Canada), Émergence théâtrale autochtone du Centre des auteurs dramatiques in partnership with the Cole Foundation
In partnership with France Médias Monde
Residencies Théâtre Le Diamant (Canada), Centre du Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui (Canada), National Theatre School of Canada, Salon 58

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La matinale - 7 July

  • Café des idées
Julien Gosselin, Tim Etchells, Émilie Monnet, Elevator Repair Service

The 2023 archive


  • Le souffle d'Avignon
  • Reading
With the Scènes d’Avignon

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Bienvenue au Club

Pulling out all the stops
  • Café des idées
A France Culture programme

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