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© Julie Charland

Le désert mauve

Salle Jean-Despréz, Maison du Citoyen 25 Rue Laurier Gatineau
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© Julie Charland
The desire for poetry always springs from danger and passion, from a state of personal or collective tension. Nicole Brossard
  • Written by Nicole Brossard and Simon Dumas
  • Directed by Simon Dumas

How do you construct a story—maybe even a reality? A hybrid of presentation, theatre and film, Le désert mauve tackles Nicole Brossard’s genre-defying novel of the same name. Within the blinding void, the thoughts of a teenager on the run generate a series of images that accumulate like so many distressing mirages.

Fifteen-year-old Mélanie is driving through the Arizona desert, circling the motel where she lives with her mother. Thirsty for the absolute, beset by existential questions, the young woman is desperate to escape boredom and discover who she is in a world gradually losing its humanity.

Nicole Brossard writes about adolescence in all its defiance and intensity, and has published some 40 titles since 1965. An award-winning poet, she periodically returns to the novel form to gauge its relationship to the real. The stage direction and visual elements of this adaptation of her iconic novel are the result of an artistic encounter between the author and Simon Dumas of Rhizome, which produces multidisciplinary projects based on literary works.

As they talk about creative issues and unfold the story of Le désert mauve, images pile up on the walls and furniture of what looks like a motel room. Within the theatre space, new layers of fiction are taking shape.

Performance is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes with no intermission.

© Julie Charland
© Rhizome
© Rhizome
© Rhizome
© Rhizome
© Marc Dubé


  • Written by Nicole Brossard and Simon Dumas
  • Directed by Simon Dumas
  • With Nicole Brossard and Simon Dumas
  • Video appearances Nicole Brossard, Evelyne de la Chenelière, Simon Drouin, Valérie Laroche, Todd Picard, Judith Rompré and Arielle Warnke St-Pierre
  • Voices Lise Castonguay, Marie Gignac and Mélissa Merlo
  • Assistant directors Geneviève Allard, Anne-Marie Desmeules and Lola Tillard
  • Sets, costumes, props, production design (touring) Julie Lévesque
  • Lighting Renaud Pettigrew
  • Sound design Chantal Dumas
  • Technical design and additional sound Marc Doucet
  • Images, video, editing and projections Marco Dubé
  • Tour coordinator Annick Beaulieu
  • Touring assistant Olivier A. Dubois
  • Produced by Rhizome
  • Presented by NAC French Theatre and Salon du livre de l’Outaouais