The Seven Streams of the River Ota

Updated February 11, 2017 | Infoplease Staff
Conceived by:Eric Bernier, Normand Bissonnette, Rebecca Blankenship, Marie Brassard, Anne-Marie Cadieux, Normand Daneau, Richard Frechette, Marie Gignac, Patrick Goyette, Ghislaine Vincent, Macha Limonchik, Gerard Bibeau and Robert Lepage
Director:Robert Lepage
Sets:Carl Fillion
Costumes:Marie-Chantale Vaillancourt and Yvan Gaudin, assisted by Sylvie Courbron
Lighting:Sonoyo Nishikawa
Opened: 12/96 at the Majestic Theater
Cast:Patrick Goyette, Rebecca Blankenship, Marie Brassard, Normand Daneau, Richard Frechette, Marie Gignac, Anne-Marie Cadieux, Eric Bernier and Ghislaine Vincent

This visual masterpiece by French-Canadian director Lepage is an ambitious, exhilarating and rambling portrait of human resilience. The epic leaps continents and switches languages to blend a variety of narrative techniques, from film, farce and documentary to the novel and even Japanese puppetry. The cathartic seven-hour work splits into two performances, winding along the seven tributaries of the Ota, a Hiroshima river. Seven interrelated stories begin at a woman's cottage in Hiroshima in 1945, where an affair impacts the next 50 years through parallel events. Visionary storyteller Le-
page's drama delicately balances order and chaos, as he sets the action in the cottage's rooms and beyond through mirrors, video screens and stage sets, to glean an almost cinematic effect. With such grandiose ambitions, no actor in particular stands out in the harmonious ensemble. Instead, the star is the immense, breathtaking world that Lepage has created.

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