Ex Machina / Robert Lepage

Hydro-Québec Auditorium

Warning: The show contains stroboscopic effects.

Are your convictions so fragile that mine cannot stand in opposition to them?

The story begins in France during the reign of Napoleon I, in the peaceful Charenton Asylum, where the most famous resident is the irrepressible Marquis de Sade. Abbé de Coulmier, the director of the facility, believes he can rehabilitate this man who uses his writing to explore what is forbidden to humans, his sexual urges and his immoral desires.

Despite the Abbé’s pervasive presence, Sade continues to get his scandalous stories published with the help of the young laundress, Madeleine. Napoleon I sends Dr. Royer-Collard to the asylum to silence this crazy person whose work is jeopardizing the society’s moral foundations. But how far will he go to stop him?

Censorship and freedom of expression collide and come face to face in this landmark piece that questions both the responsibility of the artist when it comes to his work's repercussions and the very definition of morality, which is not as immutable as is often believed.

Quills, Doug Wright’s controversial work, is a collaboration of Jean-Pierre Cloutier and Robert Lepage.

13 years and up

Jan 11 to 28, 2023 — 135 minutes with no intermission $61 — $85


Photo - Christophe Manquillet
Photo - Christophe Manquillet
Photo - François Latulippe
Photo - Christophe Manquillet
Photo - François Latulippe
Photo - François Latulippe
Photo - Stéphane Bourgeois
Photo - Christophe Manquillet


Pierre-Yves Cardinal
Sophie Faucher
Pierre-Olivier Grondin
Robert Lepage
Jean-Sébastien Ouellette
Mary-Lee Picknell


Text Doug Wright
French Translation Jean-Pierre Cloutier
Directors and Scenic Designers Jean-Pierre Cloutier and Robert Lepage
Assistant Director Adèle Saint-Amand
Lighting Designer Lucie Bazzo
Sound Designer Antoine Bédard
Costume Designer Sébastien Dionne
Associate Set Designer Christian Fontaine
Properties Designer Sylvie Courbron
Wigs Richard Hansen
Makeup Design Gabrielle Brulotte
Production Manager Marie-Pierre Gagné
Production Assistant and Tour Manager Véronique St-Jacques
Technical Directors Catherine Guay and Paul Bourque
Technical Director (Touring) Jean-Félix Labrie
Stage Manager Francis Beaulieu
Sound Manager Stanislas Élie
Lighting Manager Elliot Gaudreau
Costume and Properties Manager Émilie Potvin
Head Stagehand Anne-Marie Bureau
Stagehand Louis-Philippe Cloutier
Technical Consultant Tobie Horswill
Set Construction Astuce décors, Conception Alain Gagné and Scène Éthique
Costume Construction Par Apparat confection créative and Sébastien Dionne
Robert Lepage's Agent Lynda Beaulieu
Production Ex Machina


  • Radio-Canada
  • Le Soleil Numérique

Public Sponsors of the Programming

  • Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec
  • Canada
  • Canada Council for the Arts
  • Ville de Québec