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2021 AQM Symposium

Terra Marionnetta, puppet perspectives on art and the world

As part of its 40th anniversary celebrations, the Association québécoise des marionnettistes (AQM) invited the cultural and artistic world to a symposium organised in partnership with UQAM’s École supérieure de théâtre and Concordia University’s Department of Theatre. This event was an opportunity to open a plural and transdisciplinary dialogue with researchers, artists and puppet enthusiasts on the richness of puppetry practices and their multiple manifestations in the performing arts past, present and future.

Terra marionnetta: puppet perspectives on art and the world was both online and in person at the Gesù. This unifying event took place from Thursday, November 4 to Saturday, November 6, 2021. We are pleased to make available to you the round tables that were recorded during the symposium.

The round tables

Thursday, November 4th, 2021

9h30 - 12h30 → Round table: Body and movement: life giving roots

Puppet-objects, shadows, virtual or augmented reality, masks, dance, acting and mime are all expressive tools that mobilize the body, as much for its protean plasticity as for its capacity to evoke and sometimes even to erase itself. This session explores the particular, grounded and innovative approaches of five artists with diverse experiences who place the life and imagination of the body at the center of their puppetry practices.

Francine Alepin, Canada

Rosalie Dell’Aniello, Théâtre du Portage, Canada
Kuang-Yu Fong, Chinese Theatre Works, USA
Claire Heggen, Théâtre du Mouvement, France
Paola Huitrón, Canada
Amélie Poirier, Les nouveaux Ballets du Nord-Pas de Calais, France

13h30-16h30 → UNIMA-CANADA Round table: Share, reflect and think TOGETHER. The diversity of puppetry in Canada


Based in Montreal, UNIMA-Canada national center is attached to the International Union of Puppetry (UNIMA), the oldest association of artists in the world and an official partner of UNESCO. UNIMA-Canada, founded in 1969, now has over 300 members from all provinces in Canada.


Share, reflect and think TOGETHER

UNIMA Canada is hosting a bilingual round table with emerging and experienced creators, representing the diversity of our members from all across Canada, inviting them to discuss their different realities as puppeteers. This roundtable will bring together panelists from the four UNIMA-Canada chapters: Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario and West, and will be hosted by a bilingual moderator.

This roundtable fit into two of the symposium main focuses, namely: Speaking Up, Diversity of Perspectives and The Old and the New, Crossroads. More specifically, we will address the theme of the diversity of puppetry in Canada, including diversity of practices, cultural diversity, generational diversity, gender diversity and regional diversity.

We hope to be able to gather participants in person but it will also be possible to participate online.

Caroline Bernier-Dionne, Canada

Atlantic: Sara Tilley, St-John’s, Newfoundland, Canada
Quebec: José Babin, Théâtre Incliné, Laval, Canada
Ontario: Warda “Muna” Youssouf, Theatre Direct Canada, Toronto, Canada
West (Alberta): DerRic Starlight, Edmonton, Canada
West (British Columbia): Sutrisno Hartana, Vancouver, Canada

Friday, November 5th, 2021

13h-15h30 → Round table: Autism and creation, by and for people in the autistic spectrum

What is the creation process, from developing to presenting a puppet play for an ASD audience? What are the challenges for creators with ASD? What are the advantages and disadvantages of puppetry?  Different experiences, different perspectives on another “diversity” that is important to know.

Chloé Besner, Canada

Hélène Ducharme, Théâtre Motus, Canada.
Eveline Payette, researcher in the field of welcoming audiences with special needs, Canada
Tim Webb, Oily Cart, Royaume-Uni
Alexander Winfield, Nautilus theatre, Canada

Chloé Besner, Canada

Hélène Ducharme, Théâtre Motus, Canada.
Eveline Payette, researcher in the field of welcoming audiences with special needs, Canada
Tim Webb, Oily Cart, Royaume-Uni
Alexander Winfield, Nautilus theatre, Canada

16h – 18h30 → Round table: Puppetry traditions today: challenges in a changing world

For thousands of years, puppetry arts have existed in all cultures around the world. These traditional practices crystallize myths and legends, beliefs and attitudes. Yet, if these practices remain alive, should they engage with and perhaps confront a society whose values and codes are constantly evolving? What might they gain by doing so?

Mark Sussman, Canada

Simon Boudreault, Théâtre de l’Oeil, Canada
Isabelle Chrétien, Canada
Kuang-Yu Fong et Stephen Kaplin, Chinese Theater Works, USA
Paulette Richards, USA

Saturday, November 6th, 2021

9h- 11h30 → Round table: To write or not to write: dramaturgy for the puppetry arts

Dramaturgy could be seen as an exercise in transformation: an idea finds its way and builds a presence for itself on stage or on screen, through narrative and poetic processes. Some of these processes are literary, others visual or kinetic, all in perpetual balance. The puppetry arts pose particular challenges to the development and manifestation of this idea and offer unique opportunities to creators. This session seeks to articulate them.

Antoine Laprise, Canada

Samuel Kaczorowski, France
South Miller, Les Sages fous, Canada
Francis Monty et Olivier Ducas, Théâtre de la Pire Espèce, Canada
Alan Payon, Enfants sauvages, France
Émilie Racine, Canada

11h45 - 13h → Round table: The structuring impact of puppetry centres

Several places in Quebec offer space for creation, performance and training to puppet artists. With a view to valorizing these poles as leaders for the deployment and influence of of puppetry practices across the territory, this meeting will reflect on the impact of such a network of allies on creators as well as on producers, programmers and cultural organizations, but also on the cultural milieu at large.

Isabelle Payant, Canada

Sylvie Baillargeon, La Bulle, Sherbrooke, Canada
Sabrina Baran, L’Illusion, Théâtre de marionnettes, Montreal, Canada
Richard Blackburn, Théâtre de la Dame de Coeur, Upton, Canada
Benoît Lagrandeur, Théâtre La Rubrique, Saguenay, Canada
Louise Lapointe, Casteliers, Maison internationale des arts de la marionnette, Montreal, Canada
Jacques Laroche et Francis Richard, Théâtre de la Petite Marée, Bonaventure, Canada
South Miller, Les Sages, fous, Fabrique de Théâtre Insolite, Trois-Rivières, Canada

Thanks to our partners!