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Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Stage Play

RustWerk Refinery (Canada)

9/23, 4:30 pm, Next Stage Arts Project, Putney tickets

There are also special School Show presentations on
9/21, 9 & 11 am, Latchis Theatre, Brattleboro More info

Riel sits in a courtroom; a judge stands ready to sentence him to death by hanging. He must plead his case and we get to witness an important piece of Canadian history. Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Stage Play, is a bold portrayal of a young Canada going through some of the most difficult growing pains ever…

Based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Chester Brown, this brilliant staging addresses the trial of Louis Riel, who led a 19th century rebellion of indigenous Métis people in western Canada against the English government in Ottawa, to retain the rights to their Manitoba land.  An epic live-action version of the comic strip that is part adventure story, part history lesson, and a completely fascinating theatrical event, this award winning show works with a new puppetry style and aesthetic inspired by Chester Brown’s marvelous artistry. The 2 dimensional puppets whose simplicity belies their capacity for effective storytelling, play with our notions of what puppets can do, revealing a rugged and treacherous landscape both in life and politics.

a dazzling pageant of two dimensional puppetry

– The Montreal Gazette

…Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Stage Play is a haunting yet funny look at a man whose life continues to defy lazy hagiography, popping out of our country’s history with colour and passion in the 130 years since he walked to the gallows.

– Sarah Deshaies, Cult Montreal


This young Montreal-based company creates original works based on historical stories in both French and English. Rustwerk Refinery was founded in 2007 by Zach Fraser and Attila Clemann based on their shared aesthetic and background in physical theater and puppetry. “Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Stage Play” is the company’s 2nd full-length production which premiered in 2016 at the Festival de Casteliers and has since won multiple Montreal English Theater awards.