How might Robert Lepage's philosophy of the communion between actor and audience be applied in a New Zealand context? : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in English at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Author: Edgecombe, Nigel

Publisher: Massey University

Type: Thesis

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Massey University


We want to be accessible, to speak to the general public, and not to a select few ... I don't want to communicate, 'communiquer,' I want all of us to commune, 'communier' with the public, and the public with us. You know 'communier' in our religion? To partake of the body and blood of Christ? That's what I want us to do, but with the public. We give them our body and blood. We become a whole. We share an experience, not an idea. (Robert Lepage in "Theatre Of The Miraculous" by Alberto Manguel, 37). How might Robert Lepage's philosophy of the communion between actor and audience be applied in a New Zealand context? While many directors wish to communicate with the audience, Robert Lepage endeavours to expand and transform this communication, developing his own concept of theatre, often referred to as a 'communion' between actor and audience. Having watched several of Lepage's productions, including Tectonic Plates, Le Polygraphe, The Dragons' Trilogy, and Seven Streams of the River Ota, as well as the films NĂ´, Le Confessional and Possible Worlds, I was inspired to discover why his theatre resonates so profoundly with those who view it. Through my readings of Charest, Dundjerovic, Donohoe, and Koustas, and articles from The Canadian Theatre Review my immersion into Lepage's work continued, and I began to sense how personal and cultural elements intertwine in his productions. While in his work Lepage is often telling his personal story, he is also telling stories with a more multicultural and global significance. Lepage's theatre is also full of significant transformations that can often create a sense of mythic resonance for audiences, by mirroring their individual or cultural rites of passage. Furthermore, the theatrical narrative in Lepage's work continued to remind me of the varied and tumultuous cultural aspects of the country which I grew up in, New Zealand. I became fascinated by the idea of discovering Lepage's theatrical methodologies, with an express desire to find ways for my own theatre endeavours to emulate his, enabling me to create my own stories, based on a New Zealand cultural history. [From Introduction]

Subjects: New Zealand Theater, Lepage, Robert, Criticism Interpretation

Copyright: The Author