STATEMENT: NAC flags Fly at Half-mast in Honour of Legendary Theatre Director André Brassard

It was with great sadness that the National Arts Centre (NAC) learned of the death of theatre legend André Brassard, who served as artistic director of the NAC's French Theatre from 1982 to 1990.

Unparalleled stage director, tireless champion of local and international authors, and dedicated teacher, André Brassard played a central role in Quebec’s theatre community for more than 30 years. Between the premiere of Michel Tremblay’s Les Belles-sœurs in 1968 and the stroke (1999) that eventually sidelined his career, Brassard directed five generations of actors, from emerging talents to seasoned veterans, in some 140 productions, several of which were landmark events.


“André Brassard will be remembered as a towering figure in the world of theatre,” said NAC President and CEO Christopher Deacon. His originality, his vision and his passion for theatre have had a significant impact on the cultural landscape of Quebec and Canada. We send our condolences to all his loved ones.”

The NAC’s flags will fly at half-mast this week in honour of André Brassard


The NAC paid tribute to the renowned director back 2016 with Échos – André Brassard, a multimedia exhibition presented at the Centre. In attendance for the occasion were the artistic director at the time, Brigitte Haentjens (2012-2021), and two other former artistic directors, Robert Lepage (1990-1993) and Jean-Claude Marcus (1993-2000).

The success of Les Belles-sœurs enabled Brassard to direct a number of productions that cheerfully combined the tragic and the popular, the sacred and the profane. During the period from 1980 to 1990, the playwright subscribed to the dual principle of theatre that did not hesitate to reveal its artifices, and stage design that exerted pressure on the actor. During the decade from 1990 to 2000, Brassard refocused his practice on directing, his original passion.

The last NAC French Theatre work directed by André Brassard was Oh les beaux jours by Samuel Beckett, with the late Andrée Lachapelle. This ESPACE GO production was shown at the NAC Studio in the fall of 2008.


1946: Born in Montreal
1968: Opening of Michel Tremblay’s Les Belles-sœurs
1975: Opening of Shakespeare’s La Nuit des rois (Twelfth Night)
1982–90: Artistic director, National Arts Centre French Theatre
1984: Opening of Michel Tremblay’s Albertine, en cinq temps (Albertine, in Five Times)
1987: Opening of Jean Genet’s Les Paravents (The Screens)
1987: Opening of Michel Marc Bouchard’s Les Feluettes ou La Répétition d’un drame romantique (Lilies)
1992: Opening of Samuel Beckett’s En attendant Godot (Waiting for Godot)
1992–2000: Director of Acting and Playwriting programs, French section, National Theatre School of Canada
1999: Suffered a stroke



Carl Martin
Senior Advisor, Strategy and Communications National Arts Centre


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