Émile Legault, director, dramatist, critic (b at Saint-Laurent, Qué 29 Mar 1906; d at Montréal 28 Aug 1983). Ordained a Catholic priest in 1930, he became a teacher and founded, in 1937, a troupe of young actors at Montréal's Collège de Saint-Laurent. This troupe, the Compagnons de Saint-Laurent, would last 15 years and prove to be the most influential theatrical company in the history of Québec. With Legault's guidance and dedication it moved from an early emphasis on religious theatre to classical and contemporary plays, a tendency heightened after his year of drama studies in Paris. Former members of the Compagnons went on to provide leadership in all aspects of the performing arts in Québec for the next 3 decades.
After the troupe disbanded in 1952, Legault turned to composing dramatic texts on religious themes, such as Premiers gestes (1954), Le Grand Attentif (1956) and Kermesse des anges et des hommes (1960). A perceptive critic, he was the author of many articles on stage arts in Canada and of a volume of memoirs, Confidences (1955).