Michel Tremblay has been a dominant figure of Quebec theatre since the late 1960s. He is also renowned as a novelist, translator and screenwriter.
In 1965 Michel Tremblay wrote Les Belles Soeurs, which was first produced in 1968 at the Théâtre du Rideau Vert, in Montreal. It was immediately acclaimed by critics and public alike and has since been performed in many countries. In 1973, the Paris production, presented at l’Espace Cardin, was declared “the best foreign production of the year ”.
In 1972, Michel Tremblay wrote his first full-length film script, Il était une fois dans l’est, which was directed by André Brassard in 1973. In 1974, the film represented Canada at the Cannes and Chicago Film Festivals.
Beginning in 1978, Leméac Editeur published the six novels that make up Tremblay’s Chroniques du Plateau Mont-Royal, all subsequently translated into English. In 1986, Leméac published a more intimate novel, Le Coeur découvert and its sequel, Le Coeur éclaté ” in 1993. In 1990, Les Vues animées, twelve autobiographical stories that revolve around a young boy’s discovery of French, American, and Québécois cinema appeared, followed in 1992 by Douze coups de théâtre, a second collection of autobiographical stories, and in 1994, Un ange cornu avec des ailes de tôle, on his discovery of literature. La nuit des princes charmants appeared in 1995 and Quarante-quatre minutes quarante-quatre seconds in 1997. In 1999, Lenéac published his latest work Hôtel Bristol, New York, N.Y.
Tremblay’s work now includes 22 plays, 3 musical comedies, 11 novels, 1 collection of tales, 3 collections of short stories, and 7 film scripts. He has translated and adapted a total of 20 plays by Aristophanes, Paul Zindel, Tennessee Williams, Dario Fo, Chekhov, Gogol and others. He has also written the lyrics for songs interpreted by some of Quebec’s best known singers, and in 1989 he wrote the libretto of an opera.
Michel Tremblay has received 6 grants from the Canada Arts Council, as well as many honours including Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de France in 1984 (promoted to “ Officier ” in 1991). In the same year he was named Chevalier de l’Ordre National de Québec.