Dominique Quesnel, actor (born at Saint-Lambert, Que 8 Mar 1964). After leaving the NATIONAL THEATRE SCHOOL OF CANADA in 1988, Dominique Quesnel dedicated herself mainly to the stage, where she has appeared in more than 40 roles. While she prefers works from Québec, her strong acting style extends to the classics, particularly in the contemporary English-language repertoire.
It was André BRASSARD who offered Quesnel her first professional role in the premiere of Michel Marc BOUCHARD's Muses orphelines (THÉÂTRE D'AUJOURD'HUI, 1988), where she played the simple-minded Isabelle. After taking part in the revival of Fassbinder's Du sang sur le cou du chat, presented by Pigeons International and staged by Paula de Vasconcelos (1989), she was cast in a production of Wedekind's L'Éveil du printemps that united the cream of young theatre of the day on the QUAT'SOUS stage. This show marked the beginning of a fruitful collaboration with director René Richard CYR. In fact, they worked together more than a dozen times: in DUBÉ (Un simple soldat, Nouvelle Compagnie Théâtrale, 1990), TREMBLAY (En pièces détachées, THÉÂTRE DU NOUVEAU MONDE [TNM], 1994; À toi, pour toujours, ta Marie-Lou, Compagnie Jean-Duceppe, 1996; and in the musical version of Les Belles-Sœurs, Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui, 2010), Brecht (L'Opéra de Quat'Sous, TNM, 1991) and Ionesco (Rhinocéros, NCT, 1996, which won the audience prize). Among their Québec premieres were Daniel Danis' Le Langue-à-langue des chiens de roche at the Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui, and Sébastien Harrisson's Titanica, la robe des grands combats (2001); and Serge Boucher's Là with Compagnie Jean-Duceppe (2007). She continued her relationship with other directors such as Claude Poissant, who called on her to play Marivaux in Le Triomphe de l'amour (ESPACE GO, 1995), and to appear in Les Contes urbains (Théâtre Urbi et Orbi, 1996) as well as in the country world of Stampede by François Létourneau (Théâtre Petit à Petit [PÀP], 2011). Under the direction of Eric Jean, she appeared again at the Quat'Sous in the plays Hippocampe (2002) and Chasseurs (2007), co-authored by Pascal Brullemans, and in Une ardente patience by Antonio Skármeta (created by Les Gens d'en bas in 2005) as a fiery bar hostess. Director Dominic Champagne entrusted Quesnel with some of her greatest roles: first in the cult show Cabaret Neiges Noires (Théâtre Il va sans dire, 1992-1997), where her performance as the paraplegic Old Woman combining spastic gestures and heightened pathos are engraved in memory; and then in Lolita (Théâtre Il va sans dire/Théâtre de la Manufacture, 1995-1997), Don Quichotte (TNM/CNA, 1999), and L'Odyssée (TNM/CNA, 2000, revived in 2003), where she captured all the modulations in the intensity, stoicism and passion of Pénélope, an unobtrusive figure worthy of a Homeric narrative.
Endowed with a flexible physique that lends itself to metamorphosis, and with an extended range, Quesnel is that rare kind of actress who can portray simple enthusiasm (Danser à Lughnasa by Brian Friel, TNM, 2003), neurosis (Doldrum Bay by Hilary Fannin, Théâtre de la Manufacture, 2004) and vulgarity (Porc-épic by David Paquet, PÀP, 2010) as well as haughty grace (L'Odyssée).
On television, Quesnel often worked in the world of harsh realism, as in Omertà II, Fortier and Tag I-II. In movies, where she has held some fifteen roles, she made the most of varied registers in secondary roles dating back to Denys ARCAND's Jésus de Montréal (1989) up until the recent Les 7 jours du talion of Podz (2009), through Patrice Leconte's La Veuve de Saint-Pierre (2000), Julie Hivon's Crème glacée, chocolat et autres consolations (2001) and Stéphane Lafleur's Continental, un film sans fusil (2007).
Quesnel was a founding member of the musical group Les Secrétaires percutantes, who specialize in percussion.