Message for World Puppetry Day

Message for
World Puppetry Day
UNIMA 2018
By Werewere-Liking Gnepo

A sculptured head
A painted figure
Is it human
Is it animal
Or even vegetable,
Made of roots or dead leaves
Is it mineral
Shaped straight from the mass of stone
Or from clay heavy with metals
Or is it just foam or rags…
It is or it represents a loved one
An Ancestor or a Guardian Spirit
But it could be a votive statue
A mask or a doll
What makes it a puppet
Is animation:
We wear a mask or carry a doll
We shake a jumping jack
We animate a puppet…
It can be a cane
An umbrella, a hand or a foot
As long as we can animate it
Give the illusion that it has its own life
A personality, a character,
A plan, a goal, its own destiny
A life it leads like all other beings
A life linked to its animator, its Creator:
A dialectical life, sometimes poignant,
More often comic and fantastic…

We cannot wonder about puppets
Without wondering about creation in general
And the creation of Life in particular
Especially, about the creation of living beings
Apparently independent
But whose dependence or interdependence
Often goes beyond mere Animation
To become pure Manipulation…
We cannot wonder about the Creator
And the kind of mockery
That drives these nagging questions
Without imposing upon us another mockery:
That of the eyes of the child in each of us
And in each member of our audience,
This is what helps us escape
Despair and impotence
When faced with the continual rise
Of intolerance and violence.
We need this child’s eye view
To believe in these animated figures
These “Ndjundju” or these “Kakamu”
These “Sogos Ba and their Sogos Denw”
Sometimes so fine and attractive
Often so strange and frightening
Which terrorize and amaze
In turn, no matter
But which captivate completely
All our attention and willingness
To believe in magic and all its possibilities
Of the Change of the world and all its mores
And we accept the puppets,
We listen to them silently
We admire their faces and their mouths
Such marvellous imitations and representations
Of our societal Guignols:
Politicians, religious folk,
Men and Women
Voices of Power or Business
All so Mafiosi
So terribly perverse
We are moved to tears to see the puppets revealing everything
Without censorship or bombing

Here too, home, in Africa,
They are, they make the “Jesters”
They have a power of their own
A being power, a power to be
They are a gift, an inheritance
They are knowledge
From generation to generation
They are initiation
Before being playful
They are arts of epic times
Where speech becomes too closely watched
From now on requiring shields
To protect “the widows and the orphans”
These impulses of inventors and creators…
They offer the freedom to aspire
To those unexplored universes
Where techniques of making
And especially those of animation
Compete
Within those global manipulations
(Both genetic and technological)
And extract their share of the market
As well as an honourable and honorific place
To the extent of their own merit
Puppets of Africa
Coming into the public arena
Reveal their atypical story
Made of beauty and mystery
Of dreams and marvels
To be bequeathed to the perpetuation
Of pure childhood
In the imagination of humanity
And, in this 2018 world celebration of puppetry art
I am especially proud and happy to have been chosen
To bring the Message of the Union Internationale de la Marionnette
In tribute to this art form that has not yet done
Revealing all the wealth of the human heritage
To the best consciousness of all humanity.
And I pray to all who have entrusted me with this noble mission
To, here, receive all my gratitude and respect.

 

Werewere-Liking Gnepo
Multidisciplinary Artist
Werewere-Liking Gnepo was born Eddy-Njock on May 1st 1950 in Bondé in Cameroon. She has lived in the Ivory Coast since 1978. This multidisciplinary Ivorian-Cameroonian artist is the author of around thirty published books, from novels to theatre, stories, essays, art books and poetry. She has been a painter since 1968 with many exhibitions all around the world. She is also a dramaturg, innovative puppeteer and director of numerous total theatre spectacles considered as African operas; several of these have made world tours; she is also an actress of the stage and screen, and a rap singer…

She was a researcher in traditional pedagogy at Abidjan University (LENA) between 1979 and 1985; she participated in the ‘revolution’ within ritual theatre and was the founder of the arts group Ki-Yi Mbock. She has developed a training system inspired by African initiation rites; within this training, she acts as a ‘star awakener’. This role has enabled her to support hundreds of young people in troubled circumstances to become successfully reintegrated within society as leaders; this led to her being awarded a ‘City Heroes’ prize from Prince Claus of the Netherlands in 2000. She set up the Ki-Yi Pan-African Foundation for Youth Training in Cultural Creation and Development in 2001 and continues this work today. She has received several prizes, such as the French Arletty Award, the Belgian René Praïle award and the Fonlon Nichols award from the University of Alberta; she is a ‘Knight of Arts and Letters’ in France, a Commander of the Order of Merit for the Ivory Coast, was a member of the High Council of French-speaking communities between 1997 and 2003. She received the Noma Award in 2005 and was winner of the book of the year in 2007 for, amongst others, her novel Amputed Memory. She is currently a permanent member of the Academies of Science and of African and Diasporic African Arts and Culture in the Ivory Coast.

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Updates from Quebec

The latest newsletter from the Association québécoise des marionnettistes (AQM)

 

Édition du 6 février 2018

Chères lectrices,
Chers lecteurs,

Si votre logiciel de courriel vous empêche de lire l’intégralité de ce message, c’est-à-dire jusqu’à la section babillard, cliquez ici.

Merci de lire attentivement la section Membres, qui comporte plusieurs informations importantes, dont celles relatives à la Journée de réseautage de Casteliers. Vous découvrirez aussi dans cette édition du Fil d’Ariane, comme à l’habitude, les prochaines formations offertes par l’AQM ainsi que celles d’autres organismes culturels, les événements, spectacles et prestations marionnettiques à venir.

Le prochain Fil d’Ariane sera publié le mardi 6 mars 2018. La date limite d’envoi de vos informations est le lundi 5 mars 2018.

Bonne lecture!

JOURNÉE DE RÉSEAUTAGE DE CASTELIERS
Afin de débuter l’organisation de la Journée de réseautage de Casteliers du vendredi 9 mars prochain, merci d’indiquer votre présence au réseautage au communications@aqm.ca afin que nous vous réservions de la place pour votre kiosque.

Nous avons aussi besoin d’une photo de vous (membre individuel) ou de votre compagnie (membre organisme) en noir et blanc de 2″ X 2″ que nous apposerons dans le document remis aux diffuseurs pendant l’événement.

Voici ensuite la liste des informations supplémentaires à nous fournir:

  • Spectacle / show : Nom du ou des spectacles (indiquer les langues dans lesquelles le spectacle est joué)
  • Public cible : indiquer les types de public (en français et en anglais)
  • Contact : nom de la personne ressource, courriel
  • Web : site Web

Prenez note que l’entête de l’espace qui vous est dédié sera votre nom (si vous êtes membres professionnels) ou le nom de votre compagnie. Conséquemment, les titres de spectacles ne figureront pas en entête, mais parmi les informations fournies.

La date limite pour nous envoyer ces informations est le 6 mars.

LA BOURSE RIDEAU

L’AQM sera présente à RIDEAU cette année à la place du marché le mardi 13 février prochain pour présenter son nouveau site web aux diffuseurs.

Si ce n’est pas déjà fait, profitez de l’occasion pour ajouter vos spectacles au répertoire du site web de l’AQM au www.aqm.ca. Si vous ne connaissez pas la marche à suivre, vous pouvez télécharger le tutoriel lorsque vous êtes connecté dans l’onglet “Tutoriel” en haut, à gauche.

RASSEMBLEMENT À L’ASSEMBLÉE GÉNÉRALE LE 14 FÉVRIER 2018

Le CQT et  les membres de la Coalition La culture, le cœur du Québec invite les membres de l’AQM à un grand rassemblement dans la capitale nationale, le 14 février prochain, à l’heure du lunch devant l’Assemblée nationale. Au moment où les crédits budgétaires sont à l’étude en prévision de l’élaboration du Budget provincial 2018-2019, il est plus qu’urgent de rappeler aux députés la nécessité d’un financement adéquat pour les arts ainsi que l’adoption d’un plan d’action en faveur des ressources humaines en arts et en culture.

Votre présence est essentielle, réservez votre place dans l’autobus au départ de Montréal. 

>  RDV à 8 h 30 pour un départ à 9 h (lieu de rencontre à confirmer)
>  Retour de Québec vers Montréal prévu autour de 14 h

Achetez votre billet par ici!

*Texte extrait de l’infolettre du CQT envoyée le 23 janvier 2018.

QUESTIONNAIRE SUR LE PORTRAIT ACTUEL DES MARIONNETTISTES MEMBRES DE L’AQM EN 2017

Comme plusieurs d’entre-vous le savent, l’AQM a dernièrement conçu un questionnaire qui nous permettra de récolter des statistiques sur la diffusion et la création des arts de la marionnette sous toutes ses formes sur les territoires québécois, canadiens et internationaux.

Le questionnaire est divisé en neuf sections mettant en lumière les créations, la diffusion, les projets de médiation culturelle, la formation continue, etc. de toute l’année 2017. La présence des marionnettistes sur la scène internationale est aussi soulevée, entre autres par la dernière section qui propose un bilan sur la présence des marionnettistes québécois(es) pendant le Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes de Charleville-Mézières du mois de septembre dernier.

Le formulaire ne vous prendra qu’environ 20 minutes à remplir et sera d’une aide incroyable pour le rayonnement des arts de la marionnette du Québec dans toute sa vitalité et sa diversité!

REMPLIR LE QUESTIONNAIRE

 

Baobab
Théâtre Motus

Vendredi 9 février 2018
14 h 00
La fête de la lecture et du livre jeunesse de Longueuil au Théâtre de la Ville

Représentations scolaires
Mardi 20 février 2018
9 h 10 et 13 h 15
Salle Desjardins Maria Chapdelaine

Informations : 1 (450) 616-1427

Partout ailleurs
Théâtre de l’Avant-Pays

Jeudi 26 janvier au jeudi 8 février 2018
10 h 00
Maison théâtre

Informations : (514) 844-6084

 

Au train où vont les choses
Les Chemins errants

Samedi 10 février 2018
14 h 00
Maison de la Culture de Verdun

Mardi 20 février 2018
9 h 30
Centre culturel et communautaire Henri-Lemieux

Dimanche 25 mars 2018
11 h 00
Place des Arts

Informations : 1 (819) 582-0852

Quichotte
Ombres Folles

Mardi 20 février 2018
13 h 30
Maison de la culture Frontenac

Dimanche 25 février 2018
15 h 00
Maison de la culture de Trois-RivièresLundi 26 février 2018
10 h 30
Maison de la culture de Trois-Rivières

Samedi 10 mars 2018
19 h 00
Maison de la culture Ahuntsic

Informations : (438) 882-6444

Mémoire de Lou
Théâtre de l’Avant-Pays

Dans le cadre du Conseil des arts de Montréal en tournée:

Vendredi 23 février 2018
19 h 00
Maison de la Culture de Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie

Dimanche 25 février
19 h 00
L’Entrepôt – Complexe culturel Guy-Descary

Mardi 27 février
9 h 30
Maison de la culture Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie

Samedi 3 mars 2018
14 h 00
Maison de la culture Le-Plateau-Mont-Royal

Informations : (514) 844-6084

L’allée des petits secrets
Des mots d’la dynamite

Samedi 25 février 2018
10 h 00 et 11 h 00
Salle de diffusion de Parc-ExtensionGratuit

Informations : (514) 528-7070
Mwana et le secret de la tortue
Théâtre à l’Envers

Samedi 25 février 2018
14 h 00 min
Maison de la culture Rivière-des-Prairies

Informations : (514) 544-9370
Flocon
Jessica Blanchet

Dimanche 26 février
19 h 00
Bibliothèque de Mascouche

Gratuit

Informations : (514) 544-9370
L’effet Hyde
Théâtre de la Pire-Espèce

Mardi 6 au samedi 24 mars 2018
Théâtre Aux Écuries

Informations : (514) 844-1811
Tommelisse
L’Illusion, Théâtre de marionnettes

Mardi 13 au dimanche 2 mars 2018
Studio Théâtre de l’Illusion

Informations : (514) 523-1303
Magie lente
Des mots d’la dynamiteSamedi 17 mars 2018
11 h 00
Bibliothèque Saint-Léonard

Centre national des Arts,  Ottawa: 
Représentations scolaires:
Mercredi 7 au 9 mars 2018
Représentation devant public:
Samedi 10 et dimanche 11 mars 2018 
11 h 00 et 15 h 00

Informations : (514) 528-7070

Les routes ignorées
Ombres Folles

Dimanche 18 mars 2018
15 h 00
Maison de la culture de Trois-Rivières

Lundi 19 mars 2018
9 h 30 et 13 h 10
Maison de la culture de Trois-Rivières

Informations : (438) 882-6444
Nordicité
Théâtre InclinéMercredi 21 mars 2018
19 h 30
Maison des arts de Laval

Informations : (450) 682-7223

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FORMATIONS OFFERTES PAR L’AQM
Cette formation veut combler un besoin d’approfondir des connaissances relatives au mouvement mécanique lié à l’expressivité d’une marionnette. Le stage est conçu comme un espace d’expérimentation dans l’intention de construire et d’animer des marionnettes surdimensionnées comportant des traits caractéristiques d’animaux en mouvement.
Du jeudi 1er au lundi 5 mars 2018
36 heures, 5 jours
Centre communautaire intergénérationnel (CCI)
999 rue McEachran, Outremont

Plus d’infos

Formation offerte par l’AQM 
Formateur: Igor Ovadis
Pour arriver à vivre sur scène d’une façon véritable, il faut s’occuper du silence. C’est cette notion qui sera au cœur des expérimentations. Que se cache-t-il derrière le silence? Le silence contient le rythme, les désirs, le conflit, les tensions qui donnent vie à ce qui est inventé sur scène. Igor Ovadis, dans sa formation de 25 heures, se basera sur les travaux de Stanislavski, le père du jeu moderne. Le stage tournera autour de son système,  une méthode de provocation; provoquer la vie, la relation, le conflit, les tensions, les désirs, les émotions par des actions physiques pour faire émerger la vérité scénique.
Mercredi 18 au dimanche 22 avril 2018 (dates à confirmer)
9 h 00 à 16 h 00
AUTRES FORMATIONS À VENIR
L’entrepreneuriat culturel. Entreprendre… et réussir!

Formation offerte par le Conseil régional de la culture de Laval
Formatrice: Yzabel BeauBien

Samedi 10 février 2018
9 h 00 à 17 h 00
Le Tiers Lieu
1200, boul. Saint-Martin Ouest, suite 130, Laval

Lire à voix haute
Formation offerte par le Chemin qui marche
Formatrice: Isabelle Forest

Samedi 10 et dimanche 11 février 2018
9 h 30 à 16 h 30
Vieux Couvent de Neuville
652 rue des Érables, Neuville, G0A 2R0

Informations:isabelle.forest@espaceartnature.com
(418) 876-2209

Plus d’infos

La rédaction efficace d’une demande de bourse

Formation offerte par le Conseil régional de la culture de Laval
Formatrice: Yzabel BeauBien

Samedi 24 février 2018
9 h 00 à 17 h 00
Salle de répétition 4e étage
397, boul. des Prairies, Laval

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13e édition du Festival de Casteliers

Pour la 13e édition, Casteliers est heureux d’accueillir onze spectacles de marionnettistes nord-américains, du Mexique, des États-Unis, de l’Ontario et du Québec, accompagnés d’une performance et une installation d’artistes des Pays-Bas et du Nunavik. Pour une première fois, une déambulation extérieure ouvrira le festival, où loups et cerf grandeur nature sauront transformer notre perception du paysage urbain. Aussi au programme, plusieurs nouvelles créations pour adultes et pour enfants, d’artistes renommés et de la relève, une soirée de courtes formes inspirée des slams américains et une conférence sur la marionnette comme un grand art!

Le Festival de Casteliers, une célébration du 11e art !

Cliquez ici pour voir la programmation!

Le Festival OUF!, Off Casteliers, célèbre son 5e anniversaire!

Ne manquez rien de la fête:

Le lancement de la programmation se fera le 13 février, au Café Atomic, situé au 3606 Rue Ontario E, Montréal, en formule 5 à 7.

Venez découvrir une centaine d’artistes qui participent cette année!

Pour vous impliquer comme bénévole, rendez-vous le 6 février à 18h au Café Reine Garçon, 611, rue Duluth, Montréal, ou écrivez-nous à festivalouf@gmail.com

Le festival se déroulera au Pavillon Saint-Viateur dans Outremont, tous les jours du 3 au 11 mars.

Pour plus de détails et pour ne rien manquer des événements spéciaux, suivez-nous sur FacebookInstagram et Twitter et visitez le festivalouf.com.

La lotterie d’UNIMA-CANADA!

À chaque année, Le festival Casteliers accueille des directeurs de festival, des diffuseurs et des artistes étrangers (Canada, USA, Europe). Tous ces invités sont logés aux appartements Trylon à Montréal où ils prennent ensemble leur petit déjeuner.

Cette année encore, en collaboration avec Casteliers et l’AQM, UNIMA-CANADA propose une occasion rêvée à 2 membres d’UNIMA-CANADA : Soyez à Montréal pour profiter du festival Casteliers et de son petit frère le OUF. C’est une loterie, vous n’avez qu’à envoyer votre nom!

Pour plus d’informations et pour participer c’est ici!

Une bonnne nouvelle pour le Théâtre des Petites Âmes!

L’AQM tient à féliciter le Théâtre des Petites Âmes qui s’est vu remettre le prix de l’AQCT pour le meilleur spectacle jeune public – Montréal pour son spectacle OGO!

Lire l’article ici!

Appel à jeunes auteurs

2019 marque le 90e anniversaire de la création de l’Union Internationale de la Marionnette (UNIMA). Afin d’honorer cette date, l’UNIMA propose une compétition ouverte pour jeunes auteurs intéressés pour créer un scénario ou un concept pour théâtre de marionnette qui sera joué à l’occasion des célébrations du 90e anniversaire.

L’UNIMA est à la recherche d’un scénario/concept pour théâtre de marionnette. Cette création sera adaptée dans le cadre de quatre productions distinctes et jouées dans quatre régions géographiques distinctes du monde : Afrique, Asie-Pacifique, Europe et Amérique.

Appel ouvert aux jeunes auteurs de théâtres de marionnette âgés de 18 à 30 ans !

Plus d’informations

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Appel de dossiers: Micro-Festival de Marionnettes Inachevées

Les Sages Fous sont à la recherche d’un projet inachevé en marionnette qui réclame la confrontation avec le public!

La 11e édition du Micro-Festival de Marionnettes Inachevées, organisé par Les Sages Fous, aura lieu du 20 au 27 octobre 2018.

Infos et inscriptions: info@sagesfous.com

Date limite: 1er avril 2018

Plus d’infos

Marionnettistes recherché(e)s!

Créations Jessica Blanchet est à la recherche de 2 marionnettistes pour sa nouvelle création destinée à la petite enfance, Petit pois, dont la première aura lieu en mai prochain.

Vous avez toujours voulu interpréter un scarabée bousier et une chenille poilue? Le grand-petit monde des insectes vous fascine ? Les enfants de 3 à 7 ans vous interpellent et vous voulez leurs partager votre brin de folie dans un spectacle amusant et rigolo ?

Pour plus d’informations et pour tout savoir (ou presque !) de la création, cliquez ici!

Appel à dossier: Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes de Charleville-Mézières 2019

Le Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes de Charleville-Mézières lance son appel pour la prochaine édition en 2019.

Pour vous inscrire, cliquez-ici!

Date limite: 31 juillet 2018

Appel à candidatures : Oeuvre de l’année 2018 à Laval

Le CALQ et le CRCL s’associent pour créer un Prix, assorti d’un montant de 5 000$, qui viendra souligner le travail d’un artiste, écrivain ou collectif lavallois.

Date limite: Vendredi 9 février 2018

Plus d’infos

Appel à candidatures : Prix SENTINELLES 2018

Le Conseil québécois du théâtre (CQT) invite les individus et les organismes du milieu théâtral professionnel à soumettre des candidatures pour les deux prix créés en vue de souligner l’apport indispensable des travailleurs culturels au développement de l’art théâtral québécois.

Date limite: Vendredi 23 février 2018

Plus d’infos

Retour au menu
Prochain Fil d’Ariane :  mardi 6 mars 2018 
Pour diffuser vos événements, vos spectacles ou vos annonces, faites-nous parvenir vos informations au plus tard le lundi 5 mars 2018, à communications@aqm.ca.
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Journal – Winter 2017-18

 

UNIMA Atlantic feature:  Theatre du Poulet

Hello! We are Chun Shing (Roland) Au and Carmen Lee, a couple originally from Hong Kong with a passion for theatre and puppetry arts with a message for environmental awareness. After travel to Ireland and Canada, we’re now settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The formation of Theatre du Poulet was inspired by participation in Mermaid Theatre’s ANIMOTION program in 2016. Our work reflects the sentiments of our generation that most of the world is in chaos. Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, South America and The Middle East are all facing issues. So how does theatre and the arts respond to the turmoil and improve people’s lives? It’s our belief that theatre and puppetry can serve as an international language to share a message of truth, goodness and beauty to achieve the goal.

We have created two productions in the past two years – Home.Sick and The Extinction of Hong Kongers.  Home.Sick  uses spoken drama, physical theatre and puppetry theatre to tell five true inspiring stories from five people we met in our travels in Ireland and Canada.

The Extinction of Hong Kongers is a 40- minute puppetry & documentary-style production. It was performed in 2017 – twenty years after the United Kingdom handed sovereignty of the city to China. The play explores the ongoing tensions between Hong Kong’s pan-democrats and the Chinese authorities, and examines whether the promise of “one country, two systems” has been realized.

With the use of recycled materials and cardboard, audiences are offered a glimpse of the past, as we build the old Hong Kong. Subsequent scenes use puppetry to portray how Hong Kong’s unique culture faces erosion and possible extinction.

Our website is being restored. Please check on our activities on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/theatredupoulet

Email: theatredupoulet@gmail.com


Newfoundland Update

from Tara Manuel, Shadowy Souls

 

I am currently the artist in residence at the Corner Brook Arts and Culture Centre, deep in the development of my original puppetry play, The Lady of The Falls. The play is about Friendship, Memory, and Being all in it together. The show combines shadow puppetry with Bunraku style puppetry, with action moving back and forth in front of and behind the screen.

Girl_Raven

Every aspect of the show is being created from scratch, so there are currently a lot of moving pieces! I have been really fortunate to find some excellent colleagues to work with me on developing this piece. Michael Rigler has created the beautiful shadow puppetry world, and is working on a short shadow puppet animation scene. Michael Waller, current Chair of Theatre at Grenfell Campus, is directing, Louise Gauthier, performance artist and clown teacher is puppeteering the Lady puppet with me, and also helping to paint the set!  Adam Brake, actor and Youth Theatre Director for Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador, is puppeteering Raven.

Our first performance will be on February 23rd at the Corner Brook Arts and Culture Center.  After that, we intend to prepare the show for touring, with our first engagement in the spring at the Iceberg Festival on the Great Northern Peninsula, NL. This work has been generously supported by ARTSNL, and by the Corner Brook Arts and Culture Centre.

In Other News:

A very young St. John’s puppeteer has a talk-style show on Rogers TV.  Jake Thompson is the creator behind NL NOW.  Jake has been a big Muppet fan since the age of two. He started a puppetry Youtube channel at the age of 11 in March 2016, and last year launched his show on Rogers TV. Through his main character, Gary Wheeseltin, Jake interviews St. John’s based entertainers.  His production is all kinds of awesome and he has quite a large number of episodes available for viewing on his website:

http://www.nlnow.ca/home.html


UNIMA Atlantic welcomes new members:

Marionnettes en Valise | Backpack Puppets

La jeune compagnie de théâtre de marionnettes Marionnettes en Valise (Backpack Puppets) a commencé cet automne à donner des ateliers de marionnettes à des groupes d’enfants. Les co-fondatrices, Annie Maheux et Camille Banville, se sont données comme mission d’éveiller le potentiel créatif des gens tout en construisant des ponts entre les cultures. Cet hiver, Annie donnera des ateliers en Afrique du Sud et au Sénégal et Camille, dans les territoires du Nord-Ouest et au Yukon. Elles resteront en communication afin d’établir un parallèle entre les différents groupes qui participeront au projet. Marionnettes en Valise (Backpack Puppets) met un point d’honneur à travailler à partir de contes et de matériaux recyclés afin de faire vivre la tradition orale et faire revivre les objets. La première étape de l’aventure s’est déroulée à Montréal, Qc, où Annie et Camille ont donné, ensemble, un atelier spécial Noël dans quelques centres communautaires, garderies et une école. En voici quelques souvenirs! 

p.s. Nous vous invitons cordialement à visiter notre site web pour apprendre à mieux nous connaître: marionnettesenvalise.com

Camille–
Pour Marionnettes en Valise | Backpack Puppets


Update from Nova Scotia

from Professor Dawn Tracey Brandes, Ph.D

Dr. Brandes has accepted a new position at a part-time faculty member in the Fountain School of Performing Arts at Dalhousie University.  She’s had an active year both as a scholar and teacher, and offered courses in both Modern and Contemporary Theatre at Dal, both of which included aspects of puppetry. Students in the Modern Theatre session read Edward Gordon Craig’s The Actor and the Ubermarionette, as well as Maurice Maeterlinck’s marionette play Interior and Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi. Dr. Brandes’ Contemporary Theatre class included a week on contemporary puppetry, with a focus on Handspring Puppet Company as well as the work of Blind Summit, Snuff Puppet and Hotel Modern among others. She will teach a class on Bread and Puppet Theatre in the second half of her Modern Theatre course, and hopes to broaden the scope of puppet studies with the introduction of puppet theory courses in the near future.

Dr. Brandes was among the organizers of a Puppetry and Material Performance Working Group at the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) conference, held in Atlanta this year from Nov. 16 – 19. The session included papers from 18 scholars, which generated robust discussion. A similar endeavour is planned for next year, with the goal of publishing an edited collection about puppetry inspired by the submissions.

Some further comments from Professor Brandes:

Puppetry International‘s Fall/Winter 2017 edition, focusing on Puppetry in Education, has been released. Our next edition will be on the theme of Puppetry in Therapy for the Spring/Summer 2018 edition. I’m the Peer Review Editor for the journal. You can learn more about Puppetry International here:

http://www.unima-usa.org/puppetry-international

There is is a lecture series at the University of King’s College that might be of interest! It’s called “Automatons!: From Ovid to AI,” and I’ll be presenting a lecture as part of the series on February 28 called “Imagined Puppet Life.” Here is the announcement: https://ukings.ca/events/automatons-imagined-puppet-life/. “


Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia update:

The Institute of Puppetry Arts – Spreading Magic Near and Far

Founded in 1998, Mermaid’s teaching wing now boasts alumni on several continents.  The Institute, which offers diverse classes at all levels of development as well as mentoring and outreach activities, has broadened its scope to include a teaching circuit in China directed to family participants, educators and community recreation leaders.  Plans for the future include the launching of a substantial well-equipped studio space designed specifically for Institute activities.

At home, the Institute offers specialized training for theatre artists who seek enhanced professional-level skills.  Based at Mermaid’s spacious headquarters in Windsor, Nova Scotia, the Institute’s three-week ANIMOTION intensive will be held from April 25-May 11, 2018.  The program offers a dual emphasis on animation and objects in motion, with students engaged in hands-on instruction, group creation, production, and puppet construction. 


About UNIMA International

The Union Internationale de la Marionnette (UNIMA) is the oldest international theatre organization in the world with 6000 members in 100 countries.   The organization represents an incredibly strong and diverse network of passionate artists, researchers and educators working n over 100 countries. Every four years, representatives from member countries convene for the congress and World Puppetry Festival  – the 2020 event will take place in the Gianyar regency of Bali, Indonesia.  Mark your calendars!

Other puppetry notes…

  • The Casteliers Festival brings puppetry professionals from around the world to Montreal – this annual event will be held Mar 8-11, 2018.  More details are available at: http://festival.casteliers.ca/
  • Don’t forget that the ACPA/AMCA members are encouraged to send updates about your puppetry-related activities in the region.  You can send them to acpa-amca@mermaidtheatre.ca for inclusion in a future Journal.  Submissions can be in either English or French (or both!).
  • UNIMA Canada maintains an excellent website, with updates, events, and interesting stories from the world of puppetry.  It’s online at unimacanada.com
  • The ACPA/AMCA maintains this blog/journal, as well as a Twitter feed: @AtlantiqueUNIMA and a Facebook Page: facebook.com/UNIMAAtlanticCanada

Winter Journal editors: Lee Lewis & Jason Tucker

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Journal – Spring 2017

Update from Newfoundland & Labrador:

Tara Manuel, Shadowy Souls

Workshop at Grenfell

Our fledgling Western Newfoundland Puppetry community recently had the pleasure of working with Mermaid AD Jim Morrow.  Through a partnership with Grenfell Fine Arts (Memorial University’s Corner Brook Campus), Theatre Director, Performer, and Grenfell Prof Alex Fallis, and myself, we were able to bring Jim over for several days…even in spite of the truly inclement winter weather!

Jim conducted an Intro to puppetry performance Workshop at Grenfell with a mix of theatre students and local theatre professionals.  The one day session was just enough to give participants a taste of  the possibilities of puppetry, and it was a delightful experience for all involved.

Tara, Louise and Lady

We were fortunate to have Jim workshop with myself and my partner Michael Rigler on our play in development, The Lady of the Falls.  This was an excellent and productive experience for us. Michael is designing the show and building the shadow puppets, and also building and performing Raven, one of the main character puppets who exists both in shadow and in front of the screen.  I am producing the project, creating the story, and now learning to puppeteer the main character, a Bunraku style life-sized puppet, Lady, with local performer and clown teacher, Louise Gauthier.

Shadow puppet testing

These few days with Jim exploded open our notion of what a puppetry play could be, and I finally understand why, when creating a puppetry play, you have to start with the objects themselves and then build the story and the script through exploration. We are so excited to expand on this work with Jim and will be undertaking a residency at the Corner Brook Arts and Culture Center this Fall to develop the show, and perform it’s first iteration in November. (Dates TBA)

In Other NL News:

Big Pink Pussy and her Tomcat will be going on a 2-stop tour this spring, performing at the Trails, Tales, and Tunes Festival in Gros Morne National Park on May 26th, and then at The Iceberg Festival at the Northern tip of the island on June 10th.

Newfoundand Actor and Producer Ruth Lawrence’s company White Rooster recently debuted a puppetry play for young audiences.  Adapted from a Scottish folktale collected in the Orkney Islands,  Kate Crackerberry is about the love between two stepsisters, a sheep’s head, and a prince under a fairy spell.

Kate is good, kind and clever enough to survive in the woods, gain work in a palace, and take care of her sister. She rescues her sister from an evil enchantment and outwits the fairies to save the prince from a wasting sickness.

Kate Crackerberry (Ruth Lawrence, White Rooster Company)

Through their journeys, each character gains a different view of the world.  Kate Crackerberry presents a positive perspective on fearlessness as the siblings grow to care for one another, discover the dangers of gossip, and learn the importance of loyalty, love, and understanding.

After a sold out run at RCA’s LSPU Hall in March, White Rooster Theatre takes Kate & her cohorts to Eastern Front Theatre’s Stages Festival, playing at 10 am from May 16-20, 2017 in the Sir James Dunn Theatre, Dalhousie Arts Centre, 6101 University Avenue, Halifax, NS.


Updates from Nova Scotia

Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia

Collaboration with The Highbury Education Centre

Mermaid’s Institute of Puppetry Arts continues to partner with the Highbury Education Centre in Greenwich, NS. The Centre provides a unique educational and social experience for a small group of teenagers who are unable to attend regular junior high school classes. Celebrating four years of collaboration,  around fifteen students participated in a two-week, intensive puppetry workshop in April 2017 directed by Mermaid’s principal instructor, Struan Robertson.

Most of the participants have had little or no experience with theatre, puppetry or object movement, so it’s Mermaid’s job to introduce them to that world. The project began with Struan visiting the Centre, and leading a group brainstorming session about the project’s objectives. He then met with each student individually and helped them to storyboard their ideas.


The first session included an introductory tour of the Mermaid facility, the opportunity to meet the Theatre’s production staff, and a firsthand look at the prototype puppets and props being created for the company’s new production of The Rainbow Fish.

Several days were spent in the Theatre Loft, a spacious studio dedicated to the development of new work where the students used donated everyday recycled materials to design and build their puppets. The rest of the work was done on the beautiful stage of MIPAC (the Mermaid Imperial Performing Arts Center), which for some marked their first visit to a theatre, and the first occasion on which participants were comfortable enough to communicate in a public setting. Rehearsals for a collective creation called Moments in Time prefaced a well-received performance for teachers, friends and family.

Reflecting on another successful collaboration, Struan had the following observations:

“This have been one of the most challenging and rewarding workshops. As artists we often measure our work by the finished project, such as a show or gallery opening. This is not the case here. We were rewarded by taking small steps and meeting personal challenges such as speaking in front of people or finding the energies to compete a project. This program to be the only one of its kind in the Atlantic Region and the stepping stone for more great workshops to come at Mermaid’s Institute of Puppetry Arts”.


Update from Jamie Bradley

Uncanny SquirrelLast summer I built and performed a ‘budget-less’ puppet of a nutty squirrel (sorry about that) in Taboo Theatre’s The Uncanny: When Fantasy is Too Real. I am presently mulling over a draft of a script about a little robot with an empty bell jar for a head, as well as a concept for a table-top puppet show and am revisiting my idea for The Island of Doctor Moreau.


Other puppetry notes…

  • The Casteliers Festival recently brought puppetry professionals from around the world to Montreal – this annual event was a great opportunity for lots of us, both inside UNIMA and out, to connect and learn more about what everyone else is up to.  Thanks to all who participated.
  • Don’t forget that the ACPA/AMCA members are encouraged to send updates about your puppetry-related activities in the region.  You can send them to acpa-amca@mermaidtheatre.ca for inclusion in a future Journal.  Submissions can be in either English or French (or both!).
  • UNIMA Canada maintains an excellent website, with updates, events, and interesting stories from the world of puppetry.  It’s online at unimacanada.com
  • The ACPA/AMCA maintains this blog/journal, as well as a Twitter feed: @AtlantiqueUNIMA and a Facebook Page: facebook.com/UNIMAAtlanticCanada
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UNIMA Atlantic Journal – Winter 2016-17

In this Journal:

  • Update from Newfoundland
  • News from New Brunswick
  • Latest in Nova Scotia
  • Call for submissions: Puppetry International

Newfoundland Update

Tara Manuel, Shadowy Souls

In which I decry the lack of puppetry interest in NL and am quickly made a big fat liar!

img_0043

Tara and the Lady

While visiting colleagues at Mermaid Theatre last month, Lee Lewis asked me what was happening in puppetry in Newfoundland.  I threw up my hands in a kind of exasperated fashion and said, “I think I’m it!”  Shortly after returning to western NL, I was invited to join in on a couple of puppetry grant applications, and had several  visiting artists drop in to my studio at the Rotary Arts Centre in Corner Brook  to discuss their puppetry projects in development and to play with my latest creation.

I am in the process of developing a puppetry play for young audiences entitled The Lady of the Falls. I’ve been working on this project with my husband, Michael Rigler, and through a grant from ArtsNL was fortunate to travel to Belgium at the end of the summer to undertake a two-week puppet creation workshop, and then to travel to Mermaid Theatre to work with Jim Morrow and Struan Robertson to finesse the puppet design and discuss my plans for developing the show.

ladyingallery

Lady in the gallery.  With Sara Tilley

I discovered the work of Natacha Belova while looking for content to share on the Unima Atlantic Facebook page. I was enchanted by the life-sized held puppets created in her workshops, by the realistic sculpted faces, and the playful street puppetry students would engage in with their creations at the end of the workshop.

Natacha, originally from Russia, is a theatre costumier, sculptor, and marionnetteist based in Brussels, though she offers her creation workshops all over the globe.  I joined 16 other artists from all over the world in Brussels where we gathered daily at the Theatre Galafronie in the St. Josse district of Brussels – both the most densely populated and the poorest neighbourhood in all of Europe. It was a wonderful experience! We began by improvising with some of Natacha’s puppets, and then had to create drawings of our designs before beginning to sculpt the heads with clay and then with two layers of thermoplastic. I have neither drawing nor sculpting skills to speak of – so every day was a challenge for me, and yet, with Natacha’s guidance, I succeeded in creating a puppet that I love, and who will be the lead character in our new play.

In mid October, I brought my Lady puppet to Mermaid, and Jim Morrow and Struan Robertson helped me change the body design, to give me more freedom to play, allow me to change hands, and to open up possibilities for performance, such as having another puppeteer manipulate her with me. I’m so grateful to have such resources here in my own corner of the world, and hope to spend more time in the loft at Mermaid as we further develop our show.


ALSO In development in NL

Sara Tilley traveled to Slovenia last year to spend six weeks mentoring with Puppetry artist Darka Elderji. Through this experience, Sara is developing a solo show – Hungry Little Shadow – a tabletop puppet show about homelessness and hunger, based on a Slovenian folk tale, for all ages.

Caitlin Bolduc-Whelan is working on an adult hand-and-rod muppet-style show called, Nan’s Kitchen, where artists drop in to play and give interviews.

Jake Mupp, a very young man, is currently filming his muppet-style puppet hosted talk show for all ages, which premiers on local Rogers TV St. John’s in January.

Ruth Lawrence’s company, White Rooster, has a puppetry show in development.  Clever Girls: Kate Crackerberry, features the work of Baptiste Neis, and will undergo a second development workshop in December and then be presented by RCA in March 2017.

Isle aux Mort’s Theatre Festival is currently developing A Fish Tale: A Puppet Lantern Play, in partnership with Qalipu First Nation to be presented during the summer of 2017.


Update from New Brunswick

Anika Lirette, Theatre Alacenne

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-11-16-13-amMerci Radarts – Theatre Alacenne était en tournée  au  mois de novembre avec leur spectacle Ally et la forêt – un spectacle pour la petite enfance de la maternelle à la deuxième année. Elles étaient  trois jours à Dartmouth et deux semaines au Nouveau-Brunswick à trois représentations par jour dans les gymnases des écoles élémentaires. Le spectacle est bien reçu. La thématique est le recyclage et le respect de nos forêts! 

Thanks to Radarts – Theatre Alacenne was on tour most of November with their show Ally et la forêt (en Français)- a puppet play for kindergarten to 2nd grade.  They played three days in Dartmouth and two weeks in New Brunswick presenting three shows per day in the elementary schools. The show is well appreciated. The themes are recycling and the respect for our forests! 


Update from Nova Scotia

Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-3-39-15-pm

Jim Morrow receives the Order of Nova Scotia on October 14, 2016 — photo by Michael Creagen, Government House, Halifax

The Mermaid family is delighted that our Artistic Director (and president of UNIMA Atlantic) was recently awarded The Order of Nova Scotia, our Province’s highest honour. Recipients are residents who have made an outstanding contribution to the cultural life or social or economic well-being of the Province and have excelled in any field of endeavour to the benefit of the people of the province or elsewhere.

The citation, shared at an elegant ceremony at Province House on October 14, 2016, was as follows:  “Jim Morrow’s adaptations of children’s stories, created at Mermaid’s headquarters in Windsor, are enjoyed by audiences around the world from Canada’s North to Bahrain, from Japan to Ireland and in every state and province in the United States and Canada.  Morrow and his shows serve as cultural ambassadors for Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia culture, with a healthy dose of humour, generosity and humility.”


Maritime Marionettes

Touring Journal November 21 to 27.
By Heather Taylor

All right Puppeteers, here is some news from Maritime Marionettes- a view into the past week on the road. We try to book no more than 4 days straight of touring, this past week was clearly an exception, we worked 7 days straight, whew!

We performed Molly and the Oak Island Treasure at Digby Elementary and Somerset and District Schools. At both schools we also did workshops with every class at the school. The younger classes have 30 minutes and the older 60 minutes. We spent 3 days at Digby and two days at Somerset.

The students from Primary to Grade Six use shadow puppets and marionettes in our workshop.  We have been doing this through PERFORM NS (a cost sharing program for the schools with Theatre Nova Scotia). The workshops have been growing and changing over these past three years. We have taken marionettes from shows we have retired and strung them lower so the kids can hold them. It is amazing to watch the children work the puppets, they are so excited to try them. We keep up with the tangles and repairs and for the most part they are very respectful of the puppets.

We do lots of fun things in the shadow puppetry part of the workshop: making sound effects for puppets with percussion instruments, and learning to move puppets realistically in different environments. The photos show it best.

We came home to Truro, at the end of the week to rehearse our 15 minute Nativity Show, and load it in the van with The Bremen Town Musicians. Saturday night we headed back to the Valley for shows on Sunday in Berwick. It was a full day, setting up two different stages: one at the Berwick Baptist church and the other at the Berwick Fire Hall. Both shows were sponsored by Meadowbrook Meat Market. The performing was very rewarding, we always love the public shows, and noted that there were more adults than kids at both performances.

*Touring Tip– One thing we want to share with all you puppeteers is something Darryll discovered after 30 years of touring. When unloading the van for the show, instead of climbing inside to pull each box or container from front to the back, we now use a long metal pole with a hook. (The pole we use is actually the metal pole used for rolling and unrolling the awning on the side of a trailer or motorhome.) It has been a lifesaver and we have had many a laugh over why we did it the hard way all these years! (Maybe some of you have already been doing this and it isn’t news, I hope it can help someone though.)

Sadly, our Nova Scotia school shows, may just be on hold until there is an agreement negotiated for the teachers. Let’s send them all our best wishes for a good outcome.

Upcoming dates:

The Nativity
December 2 (6pm – 8:30)
December 3 (6:30- 8:30)
December 4 (1pm – 3:15 pm) 

Alderney Landing, Dartmouth NS, Christkindlemarket
Free shows held on the hour and half hour.

The Bremen Town Musicians
Sunday, December 11, 2pm
Harbourfront Theatre, Summerside PE,

The Nativity
Sunday, December 18, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm
Christian Fellowship Church, New Glasgow
239 Abercrombie Road – Free will offering.


Note: The following call for submissions to the journal Puppetry International was recently sent along from Dawn Brandes, the Peer Review Editor for the journal.  Guidelines and details are included below if you’re interested.

PUPPETRY INTERNATIONAL reaches more than 5,000 puppet theatre performers, sponsors, producers, and enthusiasts. It’s distributed to UNIMA-USA members and is available at specialty newsstands (distributed by Ubiquity Distributors Inc. and Small Changes, Inc.), puppetry centers and festivals throughout the country. It’s distributed to arts councils and UNIMA Centers worldwide!


Call for Papers: Puppetry International #41: Africa and Puppetry

PUPPETRY INTERNATIONAL seeks brief articles (max. 2000 words) for its “Puppetry and Africa” issue. We intend a broad interpretation of the topic and a style that will appeal to general readers with a strong interest in theatre, art, and African culture.

Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • An analytical profile of a specific director, puppeteer, company, production, or theatre tradition
  • Cultural intersections and explorations of African puppeteers in emigration or who are working abroad
  • Political and social forces that are changing traditional African puppetry
  • Puppetry’s relationship with other African performance genres

Personal essays and interviews are also welcomed.  If interested please send a proposal or query email to aperiale@gmail.com

Deadline for editor-reviewed submissions: January 31, 2017

Submissions for Peer Review

We strive to publish at least one double-blind peer-reviewed article per issue. These do not necessarily need to be on the theme of the issue.

The peer-reviewed section of Puppetry International aims to explore how the puppet functions dramaturgically, to investigate larger philosophical questions generated in response to puppets and performing objects, and to trace the integral place of puppetry in world performance culture. We especially seek work by scholars who are pioneering new discoveries based on archival, field, or practice-based research and/or who aim to generate fresh theoretical perspectives on how humans interact with objects in performance.

Submissions for peer review should follow the same length (2,000 words, including notes and bibliography) and style restrictions (MLA) as all other articles, but should demonstrate scholarly rigor and original research while remaining accessible to a broad readership. Longer versions of these articles can be published on our website.

Peer-review submissions should be emailed to peer-review editor Dawn Tracy Brandes (Dawn.Brandes@ukings.ca) and to general editor Andrew Periale (aperiale@gmail.com).

Deadline for peer-reviewed submissions: December 15, 2016

Book and Performance Reviews

We also seek BOOK reviews (500 words max.) and PERFORMANCE reviews (1, 000 words max.)  Send performance reviews to editor Andrew Periale: aperiale@gmail.com; send

book reviews to John Bell john.bell.puppeteer@gmail.com. Word documents preferred.

Deadline for book and performance review submissions: January 31, 2017

For All Submissions – NOTA BENE!

  • Subject line on email: PI 41, author’s last name, key word(s) from title.
  • NO FORMATTING (no columns, embedded images, exotic fonts, different sizes of text, etc.), please.
  • Please note: While we generally publish new, original writing, we occasionally accept translations of previously published articles if they have not yet appeared in English.
  • For complete submission and formatting guidelines, please see: http://unima-usa.org/publications/submissions.html

About UNIMA International

The Union Internationale de la Marionnette (UNIMA) is the oldest international theatre organization in the world with 6000 members in 100 countries.   The organization represents an incredibly strong and diverse network of passionate artists, researchers and educators working in over 100 countries. Every four years, representatives from member countries convene for the congress and World Puppetry Festival  – the 2020 event will take place in the Gianyar regency of Bali, Indonesia.  Mark your calendars!

It’s easy to join UNIMA Atlantic:
Get the details & registration form at mermaidtheatre.ca/acpa

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ACPA/AMCA Journal – Summer 2016

Le Théâtre Alacenne
Opens at Grand-Pré
by Anika Lirette

The Moncton-based company, Le Théâtre Alacenne, has announced the launch of a bilingual puppet production entitled LA TERRE – THE LAND and wishes to acknowledge the collaboration of Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia.

La Société promotion Grand-Pré, through support of Parks Canada and Canadian Heritage, will host the twenty-minute production in an intimate theatre situated in the Visitor Centre of the Grand-Pré National Historic Site. The play will be presented every Tuesday to Saturday from 2 July to 25 August 2016 at 10:30, 12:30. and 1:30 PM.

The play follows the story of Rita, a muskrat, and Charles, the seagull, a long-time married couple who cross the ocean to seek adventure in new lands. Anika Lirette wrote the script, and co-directed the piece with Jim Morrow. Music was created by Jean-François Mallet. The talented university students who have learned the art of puppetry include Franziska Glen, Ryan Myers and Ana Martin, along with stage manager Jamile Smith.

——–

the-land

Ana Martin, Ryan Myers and Franziska Glen in a scene from La Terre / The Land (photo: Anika Lirette)

 

Le Théâtre Alacenne signe la direction artistique du spectacle de marionnettes bilingue LA TERRE – THE LAND et souhaite remercier la collaboration du Mermaid Theatre de la Nouvelle – Écosse au projet.

La Société promotion Grand-Pré, grâce à un soutien de Parc Canada et Patrimoine Canada, présentent la pièce d’une durée de 20 minutes à l’intérieur du petit théâtre dans le centre d’accueil au Site historique de Grand-Pré. La pièce sera présentée tous les mardis au samedis du 2 juillet au 25 août 2016 à 10h30. 12h30. 13h30.

C’est l’histoire de Rita, la rate musquée, et de Charles, le goéland, un couple marié depuis plusieurs lunes qui ont traversé l’océan afin de s’adapter à de nouvelles terres. Anika Lirette signe le texte et a collaboré sur la mise en scène avec Jim Morrow. Jean-François Mallet signe la musique. La pièce sera présentée par 3 étudiantes d’été en plus d’un régisseur (Franziska Glen, Ryan Myers, Ana Martin, et Jamile Smith). L’objectif de la pièce bilingue était d’unir les jeunes francophones et anglophones dans la même salle pour vivre une expérience commune. La marionnette permet moins de mots, plus d’images, moins de barrières.


A First-hand Report
From the UNIMA 22nd World Congress
Festival & Symposium

by Jim Morrow

From May 27 to June 4, 2016 I travelled to San Sebastian, Spain, to attend the UNIMA XXII Congress and Festival, and to represent UNIMA Atlantic as its President and UNIMA Canada as a voting Councilor. I previously attended the Festival in 1988 in Japan, and 1980 in Washington, DC, as performer for Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia.

During my first two days in San Sebastian, I participated in a symposium at the historic Palacio Miramar on the history of Spanish puppetry and in particular the ‘maquina real’ or ‘royal machine’. This event was supplementary to the Festival and Congress and attended by fewer than fifty people but I found the experience very informative as it gave those present a rare opportunity to explore the richness of Spanish puppetry.

Pedaleando Hacia el Cielo - Tol Theatre, Belgium

Pedaleando Hacia el Cielo (“Pedaling Skyward”) – Tol Theatre, Belgium

We learned that the most unique feature of this history was the creation of “royal machine,” an almost unknown phenomenon until recently, but an invention of great social and historical significance in the territories of the Iberian Peninsula (including Portugal), Latin America (Mexico, Peru, Argentina) as well as the territories that were part of the Spanish monarchy, such as Belgium and Italy. The “royal machine” is considered a marvel of the first importance in the history of European puppetry, and the International Symposium provided a stimulating forum for researchers, specialists and scholars from a number of countries to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for the topic.

Festival Club program

Festival Club program

Following the Symposium, three hundred international delegates gathered during the day in the neighboring town of Tolosa to participate in the Congress, and returned to San Sebastian in the evenings to attend a number of world-class puppetry performances in the city’s many excellent theatres. We also spent the late evening hours together in a reception space to view smaller shows from around Spain and, in particular, those from the Basque region. In this way, delegates were afforded the time to meet one another in an intimate setting and the opportunity to discuss matters related to puppetry and puppet/objet theatre.

Festival Club program

Festival Club program

The four days at the Congress were long and sometimes intense. The meetings were simultaneously translated into the three official languages of UNIMA, English, French, and Spanish. There were between forty to sixty countries represented and Canada had a delegation of five – four from Quebec and me. Of the five, three of us (including me) were voting members and were expected to consider a number of issues including the election of new Councilors, the President, the Treasurer and the new Secretary General, as well as agenda items pertinent to the future of the organization. One of these was the ongoing work of the many Commissions set up to deal with matters relating to puppetry and its positive affect on communities and cultures. Just prior to our arrival, two local Basque puppeteers had been imprisoned for their political views, leading to animated discussion centering on the importance of human rights and freedom of speech.

Each night, at the conclusion of the Congress sessions, we drove a half hour on three busses back to San Sebastian to catch the performances. They included: Red Earth Revisited from South Africa; Animare from Japan; Oscar, El Nino Dormido from Spain; Les Funambules from Sweden; Spartacus from France; I Sisyphus from Bulgaria; Peregrinacao from Brazil; and the outdoor spectacle, Pedaleando Hacia El Cielo from Belgium. My favourite by far was the quirky, dark, and superbly designed and performed, Spartacus.

My trip to Spain provided an excellent opportunity for me to immerse myself in the exotic Basque culture, to meet new colleagues, to become inspired by the wonderful performances, and to promote Mermaid Theatre, UNIMA Atlantic, UNIMA Canada, and Nova Scotia. I’m confident that the experience will pay significant dividends as we move forward to promote the art form here in Atlantic Canada, and extend my personal as well as Mermaid Theatre’s appreciation to the Artistic Innovation Program for the support, which facilitated my participation.

–Jim Morrow
Artistic Director (Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia)
President, ACPA/AMCA – UNIMA ATLANTIC


News From Newfoundland & Labrador…

An update from Shadowy Souls Inc.
With investment from NLArts, Tara Manuel and her partner Michael Rigler are currently developing a new puppetry play for young audiences, tentatively entitled Strangeblood. Tara will be traveling to Brussels in August to undertake a two week puppet creation and performance technique workshop with Natacha Belova. The workshop will host 15 students from around the world and will facilitate the creation of life sized held puppets with a body that is one with its manipulator.

Here’s a video of Natacha Belova’s incredible workshop:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnbfUPOoMhg

Contact:

Tara Manuel, Shadowy Souls Inc.
http://www.shadowysouls.com  / Twitter: @MrsShadowysouls
709-632-4330

————

Newfoundland Puppet Collective

We welcome the Newfoundland Puppet Collective to UNIMA Atlantic.  The Collective is a group of visual artists, performers, storytellers, educators, and anyone interested in puppets devoted to the practice of puppetry arts within the unique and distinct cultural environment of Newfoundland.

Here’s an overview of current activities – please visit their informative website: http://www.newfoundlandpuppet.ca/

Newfoundland Puppet Collective

Members of the Newfoundland Puppet Collective, including Baptiste Neis (right), are facilitating workshops in puppetry, with the goal of presenting a show at the LSPU Hall at the end of July.

The Newfoundland Puppet Collective invites community members to come create a show. No prior experience necessary.

From July 18-July 29 in the afternoons Newfoundland Puppet Collective will facilitate sessions in the design and creation of large-scale, illuminated puppets. In the evenings exploratory exercises in puppet articulation, mask and story devising, are being offered. Workshop facilitators include Dave Lane of the Old Trout Puppet Workshop, our own Andy Jones, Baptiste Neis, Mary Fearon, Ruth Lawrence, Kathleen Parewick, Sara Tilley, and Pia Banzhaf.

Through this workshop process participants will be further developing Jack and the World’s End Water a hilarious adaption by Andy Jones and Mary Fearon that premiered at the Lantern Festival in 2015. The exploratory work developed will have an indoor showing at the LSPU Hall on Friday, July 29 and then an outdoor showing, the following evening, July 30 as part of yearly festivities at Victoria Park. Stipends will be provided for core participants.

Location: LSPU Hall at 3 Victoria St. in St. John’s
Dates: July 18 — July 29

Open House and Performances: July 29 (LSPU Hall) & July 30 (Victoria Park)
For more information about varying levels of participation and specific sessions interested community members can visit: http://www.newfoundlandpuppet.ca — For more information or to request an interview please contact: Baptiste Neis (709) 682-4106 or bneis@mac.com

Generously Supported by The Canada Council For the Arts and Arts NL and City of St. John’s.

 

Added Bonus – Jack Camp
Resource Centre for the Arts and The Newfoundland Puppet Collective have decided to take advantage of this opportunity and offer a camp for kids 8-14 interested in puppetry. Kids will work and play on the big stage at LSPU Hall — each day will be filled with creative expression including improv, acting, and puppet/mask construction, led by our team of professional actors and artists.

July 18-21, 9am-1pm daily.  For More information contact Laura Huckle at: (709) 753-4531


Have a great summer, everyone.  UNIMA Atlantic members are reminded that they can send us updates any time about your puppetry-related activities to be included in a future JOURNAL.  Cheers!

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UNIMA Atlantic Journal – Spring 2016

Libby Broadbent: Mermaid’s Tears
Théâtre Alacenne: Ally et la forêt
Mermaid Theatre returns to Singapore


 

Libby Broadbent: Mermaid’s Tears

profile by Tara Manuel, Shadowy Souls

An original puppetry show recently made its debut at the Astor Theatre in Liverpool, NS. The show is called Mermaid’s Tears, and is produced by Winds of Change; a Nova Scotia-based amateur theatre company. The production will also be featured at the Liverpool International Theatre Festival in May. After seeing pictures of the piece, I was curious to find out more, and contacted the creator, Libby Broadbent, to ask her a few questions. I discovered that, not only had she written the script, but she also designed and built the puppets and performed in the piece as well! Now, tell me this woman can’t multi-task!

TM: Would you mind giving us a brief description of the story of Mermaid’s Tears?
LB:
Mermaid’s Tears is the story of two families torn by grief, and redeemed by sacrifice. It is the story of Morna, who escapes the dark abuse of her mother’s home through her friendship with a mermaid, and also the story of The Grandfather, whose grieving for his dead wife cripples his relationship with his son. Morna falls in love with a selfish boy and is left to fend for herself when she bears their child. The story is narrated by two human (non-puppet) characters, Morna’s young daughter, Esme, and The Grandfather as he tells her the story of her birth. The story alludes to the classic fable of the Fisherman and the Mermaid, where wishes or gifts are bestowed on the person who releases a mermaid once they have been caught. Mermaid’s Tears unites three levels of story-telling as Esme visualizes the story her Grandfather weaves for her; from the fable-like tale told by the two narrators, to the fantasy re-enactment of the puppets, to the distant memories characterized by shadow puppets.

  

merms1TM: Libby, what is your background in puppetry, and what inspired you to make this a puppet play?
LB:
Hahaha! That’s funny! I don’t have a background in puppetry! I am a high school English teacher who likes to write books and play with paper maché… writing and creating a puppet play was just a really neat project that fell into my lap, and I was lucky enough to be supported by the Winds of Change in making it a reality. I was approached over a year ago by the WoC as they were planning their entry for the Liverpool International Theatre Festival, 2016. They were interested in doing a puppet play, and asked if I would help build the puppets. Of course I said yes, but when I asked what the play was, they didn’t have one.

We tossed about several ideas, but there wasn’t a script that we felt would meet our needs regarding the various restrictions of the [Festival] (less than 50 minutes, max 12 people, appealing to a non-English speaking audience, etc)… so I decided to write one. I wanted the puppets to be mostly non-verbal, so that the main impact of the play wouldn’t be dependent on language, and I wanted them to be made of paper maché since that is the medium I enjoy the most.

 

TM: Where did you come up with the design ideas for your puppets? Is the design successful?
LB:
When my children were little, I would drape a big sweater over two of them, with one child being the head and other child being the hands so that it looked like one person. They would then have wildly raucous times demonstrating “How to Wash Your Face”, or “How to Eat a Banana” with little or no connection between the head and the hands. I also always loved the Swedish Chef, from the Muppets… so I knew I wanted to make puppets that had real hands. I also wanted the puppets to be manipulated by one person, and to be life-sized. So, I researched. Pinterest is my best friend! I saw lots of examples of the Bunraku style of puppetry, but I wanted to eliminate the necessity of having two puppeteers. I then found a clip of “Lemonia” by the Greek Nevma Theatre Group. Problem solved. I built the heads out of paper clay… with much trial and error to get them lightweight, the right size, and to create eyes that came to life… and then built a frame for the torso, and a harness for the puppeteer’s head and shoulders. I made several prototypes before I got it right! Initially, the head harness was painful because I had built the wires too close to the front, but then one of our cast members, Sarah Webber, altered her harness by moving the wires down the side of the head for greater comfort and mobility and the design changed. I may have made the heads, but these puppets were definitely a group effort as each one had to be altered to fit each puppeteer, and the costume ladies were indispensable in fixing the clothing so they looked right. We initially had a problem with their arms being too “noodley”, but repeated efforts by various cast members straightened out that problem. I’m very pleased with the final design, because it allows great mobility and dexterity for the puppeteer, and I think the illusion is successful because there is only one body manipulating the puppet.

TM: How successful was your work with training actors to be puppeteers?
LB:
I think that’s a better question for Susan Lane, our Director, since I was one of the puppets myself! The biggest challenge of being a puppet was having a limited range of vision, and not knowing what we looked like as we moved. We had to be told how high to raise our arms, for example, so we didn’t look like we were dislocating the puppets’ shoulders every time we moved!

TM: What was your greatest challenge with this show?
LB:
I think the greatest challenge has been designing the set. Any theatrical performance relies on the talents and energy of a great number of people, and our set people have worked tirelessly to create a fantastically beautiful set which enhances the mystique of the story.

TM: What does it mean to this group of creators and performers to present this show at the Liverpool International Theatre Festival?
LB:
Our little town of Liverpool has been hosting the LITF for many years, although there have been several festivals without an entry from The Winds of Change. Being able to enter an original play, in competition with other troupes from around the world, is terrifyingly exciting! It is my greatest hope that audience members with little or no English language will be able to interpret and enjoy the performance… to me, that will mean we have been successful in creating the illusion, and sharing a visual narrative that transcends language.

 

I want to thank Libby for sharing her work, and also wish her group all the best for their performance in May. The Liverpool International Theatre Festival runs from May 18-22 at The Astor Theatre in Liverpool, NS. Tickets will go on sale soon at www.astortheatre.ns.ca

 

Tara Manuel is a western Newfoundland based artist, and the NL rep for the Atlantic Canada Puppetry Association.


 

Théâtre Alacenne – Ally et la forêt

La marionnette ; un voyage parmi les cultures qui dépassent les barrières.

(English version follows)

Voici une réflexion personnelle suite à une tournée avec le spectacle de marionnettes pour la petite enfance Ally et la forêt – Ally and the Forest– le dernier spectacle du Théâtre Alacenne.

alacenne3Un geste et un regard sont tout ce qui est nécessaire afin que l’on puisse comprendre l’émotion de la petite Ally perchée sur son arbre. Ally est arrivée de la Louisiane et se retrouve dans une forêt acadienne, elle est perdue et elle doit s’adapter à ce nouveau territoire et à tous ses changements. Comment le fera -t-elle ? Elle se débrouille en se faisant une nouvelle amie Mouffy, une moufette qui n’est pas habituée d’avoir un étranger sur son terrain! Nous pouvons trouver plusieurs sous-textes et plusieurs comparaisons dans cette petite et simple énoncée, c’est comme ça que j’aime travailler ; dans les métaphores. À la rencontre de ceux qui arrivent, ceux qui sont en mode changement, à la rencontre de l’amitié ou à la rencontre de la vie, peu importe nous devons tous à un moment donné s’adapter à du nouveau ou à un changement.

Mouffy, fabriquée avec des sacs de poubelles, un rouleau de peinture et un filtre à café (entres autres) sort de sa cachette avec une musique magnifiquement composée par Justin Gauvin, sur une vitesse d’empressement. Cette image nous donne le ton qu’elle a des choses à faire et ça presse. Tout ça, sans un seul mot parlé. Sans même le dire, nous prônons deux messages : le recyclage et l’environnement puis l’urgence d’agir. Vive l’art de la marionnette. L’image est plus forte que la parole, nous pouvons communiquer à travers les cultures.

alacenne2Ally et la forêt a tourné deux semaines au Nouveau-Brunswick dans les écoles francophones, anglophones et autochtones en novembre 2015. Ally est allée rencontrer les écoles d’immersions en Louisiane en février 2016 aussi. Que l’on comprenne la langue ou non, la musique, les marionnettes, les intonations et les regards de notre histoire sont clairs. Ce sentiment de connecter avec n’importe quel jeune, peu importe son contexte scolaire, son contexte culturel ou son contexte sociétaire, nous rend fière en tant qu’artiste de théâtre. Le Théâtre Alacenne travaille fort depuis plusieurs années à créer des liens et à aller à la rencontre de différentes cultures, que ce soit en notre duo de compagnie ou à titre individuel. Nous sommes fières de notre dernière création, c’est pourquoi je sens le besoin d’écrire ce blogue.

Mélanie a vécu et a travaillé le théâtre à divers endroits comme en Uruguay, au Guatemala, en Guyane française et au Cameroun. De mon côté, j’ai eu la chance de rendre mon art pratique en Croatie, au Macédoine, en Ukraine et dans la francophonie américaine soit au Maine et en Louisiane. Le corps, l’émotion et la rencontre humaine sont universels, nous sommes tous faits de chair et d’os, nous avons tous besoin de nous sentir connectées. Qui sommes-nous sans la connexion à une communauté, à une histoire collective ou à une mission personnelle ? La rencontre est nécessaire. Que ça soit les rencontres que nous créons par l’entremise des arts ou des sports à l’intérieur de nos communautés, peu importe la langue que l’on parle, se rejoindre est un besoin essentiel.

Quand j’assiste à des rencontres religieuses, je suis toujours inspirée; c’est la ressemblance à ce que je veux contribuer et partager par mon théâtre. Ce partage sacré collectif, cette rencontre nécessaire afin de soulever l’esprit, afin de se propulser plus haut vers quelque chose de plus grand que nous, ensemble. C’est le sentiment qui me fait vibrer quand je joue sur scène, quand je manipule notre chère Ally devant les enfants et quand je m’engage dans mon rôle d’artiste.

Au nom du Théâtre Alacenne, nous souhaitons remercier tous nos partenaires. Sans eux, nous ne pourrions pas faire ce partage, créer ces liens avec les communautés autochtones ou avec les écoles d’immersions, les théâtres, les communautés ; nous allons continuer à bâtir des ponts. L’art a un rôle à jouer dans nos sociétés, pour mieux nous comprendre, pour briser l’isolement et pour adoucir les changements que nous devons tous vivre collectivement. C’est le miroir de qui nous sommes. Merci au Ministère du Tourisme, de la Culture et du Patrimoine du Nouveau-Brunswick, au Conseil des arts du Canada, au Conseil des arts du Nouveau- Brunswick, aux Caisses populaires acadiennes, au théâtre de l’Escaouette et au Mermaid Theatre d’avoir fait partie de notre dernier projet Ally et la forêt. Merci surtout aux communautés de Tobique et de Eel Ground qui nous ont ouvert les bras grands ouverts. Notre séjour m’a marquée et nous avons beaucoup à partager. Merci spéciale à Natalie Sappier de nous avoir donné la confiance d’agir. Nous en sommes reconnaissantes et ce n’est pas fini. Notre voyage théâtral ne fait que commencer.

Anika Lirette
Théâtre Alacenne
www.theatrealacenne.com

——————-

Puppetry; travelling through cultures and breaking barriers

Here is are some personal thoughts from our experience with Theatre Alacenne’s last show Ally and the Forest – Ally et la forêt, a puppet play aimed for very young audience.

alacenne1

A look and a attitude is all that is necessary in order to understand the emotion that little Ally is having on top of her tree. Ally arrived from Louisiana and has landed in an Acadian forest. Lost, she needs to adapt to her new territory and to the new changes that surround her. How will she do it ? She manages to find a new friend, Mouffy, a skunk who is not used to having strangers (unfortunately!) on her land! We can find many meanings or subtexts about this small and simple statement. This is how I like to work, in metaphors. Meeting the new ones who arrive or for all the ones who are in changing mode, meeting the notion of friendship or life itself, no matter what, we all need at one point or another adapt to something new or to change.

Mouffy is made out of plastic bags, a paint roller and a coffee filter (and many other materials). She comes out of her hole with a magnificent music composed by Justin Gauvin in a very rushed rhythm; all of this, without one word spoken. Without even saying it, we give out two messages: recycling or thinking of the environment, and the urgency to act. The image is stronger than words, we can communicate through different cultures. Language is not a barrier with puppetry.

Ally and the Forest toured two weeks in New Brunswick in the French, English and First Nations schools in November 2015. Ally also went to the Louisiana’s immersion schools in February 2016. Whether we understand the language or not, the music, the puppets and the intentions of our story are clear. That feeling of connecting to any youth no matter what their education background is, cultural setting or society that they live in, makes us proud as theatre artists. Theatre Alacenne works hard since many years to create links and to connect, either with our theatre or individually. We are proud of our last production, this is why I wanted to write this blog.

Melanie lived and worked theatre in different places like Uruguay, Guatemala, French Guyanaand Cameroon. On my side, I had the chance to work my art in Croatia, Macedonia, Ukraine and in the French Americas like Maine and Louisiana. The body, the emotion and the human connection are universal, we are all made of flesh and bones, and we all need to feel connected. Who are we without that link to the community, to a collective history or to a personal mission? Meeting the other is necessary. If it is either being in a gathering that we create in sports or in arts inside our communities, no matter the language that we speak, connecting is crucial.

When I assist to religious gatherings, I am inspired always; it reminds me of what I wish to contribute and share with my theatre. It is this sacred collective feeling, this necessary meeting to elevate the spirit, to send us higher to something bigger, together. This feeling makes me vibrate when I am on stage, when I handle Ally in front of the kids and when I engage into my role as an Artist.

Theatre Alacenne would like to thank all their partners. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to share, to create links to the First Nations communities or with the French immersion schools, with theatres and with communities. We are going to continue to create links. Art has a role to play in our society, to better understand us, to break isolation and to accompany change that we all need to live collectively. It is the mirror of who we are. Thank you to the Minister of Tourism, Heritage and Culture of New Brunswick, to the Canada Council of the Arts of Canada, to the New Brunswick Arts Board, to the Caisses populaires acadiennes, to the theatre l’Escaouette and to Mermaid Theatre for being part of our last project Ally and the Forest. Thank you to the Tobique First Nation and Eel Ground First Nation community for greeting us with open arms. Our experience inspired me and we have so much to share. Than you to Natalie Sappier for giving us confidence to act. We recognize it, and it is not finish. Our theatrical experience together is only beginning.

Anika Lirette
Théâtre Alacenne
www.theatrealacenne.com


 

Mermaid Theatre returns to Singapore

IMG_1187The company will return to Singapore for the eighth time between March 5-13, presenting 14 performances of The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Other Eric Carle Favourites at the elegant Drama Centre.  A duplicate of the show is currently on tour in the United States and Canada, enabling Mermaid’s Caterpillar to delight audiences on two continents simultaneously.

On the road since 1999, Mermaid’s compilations of Eric Carle stories have been seen by more than 3.5 million spectators in 15 countries. The award-winning production was adapted, designed and directed by Jim Morrow, with music by Steven Naylor and narration by Gordon Pinsent. Company members for the Singapore-bound show include stage manager Jessica Lewis, and seasoned performers John Allen MacLean and Jackson Fowlow, while the U.S. touring version features stage manager Christine Oakey and veteran artists Graeme Black Robinson and Simon Rainville.

The Mandarin-language edition will return to the People’s Republic of China in the summer of 2016 following last season’s highly successful debut.


Other puppetry notes…

  • The Casteliers Festival recently brought puppetry professionals from around the world to Montreal – this annual event was a great opportunity for lots of us, both inside UNIMA and out, to connect and learn more about what everyone else is up to.  Thanks to all who participated.
  • Don’t forget that the ACPA/AMCA members are encouraged to send updates about your puppetry-related activities in the region.  You can send them to acpa-amca@mermaidtheatre.ca for inclusion in a future Journal.  Submissions can be in either English or French (or both!).
  • UNIMA Canada maintains an excellent website, with updates, events, and interesting stories from the world of puppetry.  It’s online at unimacanada.com
  • The ACPA/AMCA maintains this blog/journal, as well as a Twitter feed: @AtlantiqueUNIMA and a Facebook Page: facebook.com/UNIMAAtlanticCanada

 

 

 

 

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