Quebec Studies

Book Reviews

Quebec Studies (2017), 64, (1), 183–205.


Book Reviews Edited by Amy J. Ransom Book Reviews Literature KOUSTAS, JANE. Robert Lepage on the Toronto Stage: Language, Identity, Nation. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016. Pp. 214. ISBN 9-780-77354-675-2 It is somewhat surprising that there are not more critical book-length studies written about Robert Lepage’s theater, given the number of plays he has produced, their popularity, the innovative staging techniques, the transcultural processes at play, and their multilayered notions of identity. A few books have been published, of course, including two by Aleksandar Dunkjerović as well as a co-edited volume by Joseph Donohoe and Jane Koustas, but the scholarly production does not reflect Lepage’s productivity nor its cultural significance. Furthermore, few of these studies closely examine his dual Québécois/Canadian identity. Written by Jane Koustas, professor of French at Brock University, this book is therefore a welcome contribution on Lepage’s theater in particular, as well as to studies focusing on transnational, transcultural, and multilingual dimensions of contemporary theater. Koustas focuses specifically on the context of Toronto’s theater scene and its reception of Lepage’s productions. Lepage’s agility in maneuvering the Toronto scene, claiming that it is “à la fois chez moi et un pays étranger” (11), has led to what has been called his “ongoing ‘love affair’ with Toronto” (6). In general, Toronto’s reception of Lepage’s plays has been more positive and generous than Québec’s, in spite of the fact that on several occasions, his plays were being performed before they were completed. Through a study of this “love affair,” Koustas’s aim is to demonstrate that Lepage’s theater has had a tangible impact on Canadian theater in the ways that it questions notions of language, identity, and nation, hence her subtitle. Lepage has also contributed significantly to the Québec Studies, 64

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