• Writer and director Émilie Monnet

Marguerite Duplessis is one of the many heroines omitted from history books. She is, however, the first slave and the first Indigenous person in New France to have mounted a legal fight for her freedom. Inspired by the resistance and thirst for liberty that drove the struggle of this early activist, Marguerite: le feu draws powerful parallels between the slave trade of African women deported to Martinique, the enslavement of Indigenous women, and the violence they still endure today. 

Following extensive historical research, Émilie Monnet has created a play about collective amnesia, recovered memory and resilience, and delivers a vibrant tribute to this unsung heroine. The writer and director continues her residency and exploration of new dramatic forms with this choral text for three performers, an intimate blend of singing, acting, sound work and documentary theatre. 

© Marguerite


Based in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montréal, the interdisciplinary artistic company Onishka (whose name means “wake up” in Anishinaabemowin) weaves interconnections between Indigenous peoples in Quebec, in Canada and around the world. The creators of each of the company’s projects work together to develop a way of relating to the world that draws on the philosophies, practices and knowledge of their diverse heritages. 

Often collaborative, Onishka’s creative process is inscribed in places, their changing seasons, and the interrelationships that unfold within them. Aiming to convey a sense of intimacy, Onishka’s original works shape spaces that amplify the voices of Indigenous people. Audiences for these creations are not so much spectators as witnesses invited to participate in a shared experience based on reciprocity. 

Creative team

  • Writer and director Émilie Monnet
  • Performers Aïcha Bastien N’diaye, Soleil Launière, and Marie-Madeleine Sarr
  • Soundscape and sound designer Frédéric Auger
  • Assistant director and production director Letícia Tórgo
  • Set designer Max-Otto Fauteux
  • Videographer Caroline Monnet
  • Lighting designer Julie Basse
  • Dramaturgs Marilou Craft, Angélique Willkie, and Lindsay Lachance
  • Stage manager Annie Préfontaine
  • Technical director Claudie Gagnon
  • Technical assistant Simon Reverin

National Creation Fund investment

The National Creation Fund's investment of $140,000 supported several creative residencies, additional dramaturgical research, and ensured the representation and creative contribution of members of the two communities involved in the project. 


Producer: Productions Onishka. Co-producers: Espace Go in association with the Centre du Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui (co-presenter). 

This project received funding from the Territoire/Création creative residency program and the Émergence théâtrale autochtone program of the Centre d’essai des auteurs dramatiques, as well as a creative residency at Salon 58 and a technical residency at Le Diamant and the National Theatre School of Canada.  

Developed with support from the National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund. 

Productions Onishka receives funding from the Conseil des arts de Montréal. Marguerite: le feu received funding from the Cole Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. 

Past performances

Presented by the Avignon Festival Jul 7 - Jul 11, 2023 Théâtre Benoît-XII (Avignon)

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