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Athabasca University

Marcel Dubé

Since his debut as a young playwright in the 1950's, Marcel Dubé has been a tremendously important figure in Canadian theatre history. He has written a staggering number of dramatic scripts for the stage, television, and radio and has widely contributed, as a journalist, to numerous francophone periodicals. His brilliant career has inspired many.

He was born in Montréal’s East End in 1930 and completed his secondary studies at the Collège Sainte-Marie de Montréal founded by the Jesuits. Dubé began writing and producing plays that enjoyed remarkable popularity while still a post-secondary student at the Université de Montréal. In 1951 he founded a theatrical troupe with friends called La Jeune Scène. He also received a grant to study theatre in France.

His early plays including De l’autre côté du mur (premiered 1952), Zone (premiered 1953) and Un Simple soldat (premiered 1958) characterize working-class Québécois life. The plays were innovative and very well received by an enthusiastic populace. Dubé has been credited with laying the groundwork for a regional Québécois theatre.

His dramas are usually set between the time following World War I through the Quiet Revolution. Les Beaux Dimanches (1965) parodies the middle-class andwidely considered a Canadian Classic. Florence (1960) explores the transitions brought on by the women’s movement and the Quiet Revolution.

Marcel Dubé is an ardent supporter and activist for the preservation of the French language in Canada and abroad. In 1979 he cc-founded the Secrétariat des peuples francophones. He also served on the board of the Conseil de la langue française and was president of the Rencontres francophones du Québec.

His many awards include le Prix Athanase-Davide (1973), la Médaille de l’Académie des lettres du Québec (1986) and multiple Governor General’s Awards (1962 and 2005). He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and an Officer of the National Order of Quebec. In 2006 he was awarded le Prix hommage Québécor. (Marlene Wurfel)

Updated February 12 2015 by Student & Academic Services

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