The Conquest of Mexico




This story has been handed down to us from the witnesses and survivors of the 1520 siege by Hernando Cortes of Mexico City. Written in the Nahuatl language and saved from oblivion by the Franciscan friar, Bernardino de Sahagun, it was translated into French by Tsvetan Todorov. For more than two years, Yves Sioui Durand worked fervently on the adaptation of this text for the stage. Far from a simple reconstruction, this enormous production was directed by Jean-Pierre Ronfard one of the great Quebec stage directors. His commitment and his discipline have been an abiding source of inspiration for Ondinnok. The playwright and the director went to Mexico City and Merida in order to deepen their research for the production. Performed by a cast of seventeen actors drawn from many ethnicities both aboriginal and not, The Conquest of Mexico was a unique theatrical experience within Quebec dramaturgy. The production was created at Espace libre in coproduction with the Nouveau théâtre expérimental. Even today, it remains one of the foundation creations of Ondinnok.

Production dates

1991    April 9 to May 4 – Montreal, Espace libre Theatre

The Team

Playwright: Yves Sioui Durand

Director: Jean-Pierre Ronfard

Assistant Director: Alexandre Buysse
 Actors: Crystine Albertoni, Daniel-Paul Bork, Luis Cerpa Orellana, Vincent Graton, Alberto Guevara, Fernando Hernandez Perez, Catherine Joncas, Robert Lavoie, François Papineau, Patricia Perez-Robles, Véronique Régis, Yolanda Segura, Yves Sioui Durand, Christian St-Denis, Michèle Taina Audette & Véronique Watters

Set & Costume Designer: Yvan Gaudin
 Composer/Musician: Michel Smith
 Production Director/Stage Manager: Hélène Gaudin

Technical Director: Sylvain Malo

Lighting Designer: Michel Beaulieu

Producers: Ondinnok & Nouveau théâtre expérimental