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© Julie Artacho

Malaise dans la civilisation

Alix Drufresne , Étienne Lepage

Alix Dufresne and Étienne Lepage shake up social and theatrical conventions, and allow us to observe complex, fascinating beings who transform the empty space of the stage into a universe filled with possibilities.


A Philosophical Vivarium

Some tourists show up at a theatre with no regard for decorum. By turns fearful or amused, clownish or careless, the four stooges explore, play, and test both themselves and the audience through a series of mundane, minor accidents. The absurdity sometimes becomes thought-provoking when they awkwardly ask philosophical questions. This small sample of humanity, linked together by improbable situations, gradually transforms the empty space of the stage into a universe filled with possibilities.

Through the sharp wit of their dramaturgy, the shrewd creative partnership of Alix Dufresne and Étienne Lepage shakes up both social and theatrical conventions, experimenting with the porous border between the stage and the house. Strange and playful, Malaise dans la civilisation allows us to observe complex, fascinating beings who innocently venture to the limits of morality. It’s touching—and disturbing.


Produced by Étienne Lepage

Directed by Alix Dufresne + Étienne Lepage

Written by Étienne Lepage

Created with and performed by Florence Blain Mbaye + Maxime Genois + Renaud Lacelle-Bourdon + Alice Moreault

Set and Costume Design Odile Gamache

Lighting Design Leticia Hamaoui

Music Robert Marcel Lepage

Technical Director, Lighting Design Assistant and Stage Manager Ariane Roy

Executive Producer DLD – Daniel Léveillé Danse

Co-produced by Festival TransAmériques + L’ANCRE – Théâtre Royal (Charleroi) + Maison de la culture Marie-Uguay + Espace Le vrai monde ? + Salle de diffusion de Parc Extension + DLD – Daniel Léveillé Danse

Presented in association with Théâtre Prospero

Premiered at Festival TransAmériques, Montreal, on May 28, 2022

World première

Written by Sophie Gemme

Translated by David Dalgleish


© Maxime Côté

Alix Drufresne (Montreal)

The creation of Malaise dans la civilisation was initiated by playwright Étienne Lepage, who wanted to combine his universe with that of theatre director Alix Dufresne. Organically sharing writing and directing duties, the long-time associates have co-authored a work together for the first time. 

Full biography
© Lucie Desrochers

Étienne Lepage (Montreal)

Étienne Lepage’s multiple works performed in North America and Europe notably include Rouge gueule (2009), for which he was a finalist for the Prix Michel Tremblay, and L’enclos de l’éléphant (FTA, 2011), which won the Prix du texte original from the AQCT.

Full biography