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07 Feb, Tuesday
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Montreal Families

Puppet festival comes to Montreal

Montreal will host the 17th edition of the Festival de Casteliers between March 2-6. The annual event for adults and kids celebrates North American puppetry and has been hosted in cities across the U.S and Mexico. Shows, exhibitions, and other activities will take place at various venues across the city. 

¡Burros!, a carnival-inspired Mexican-Quebec production, opens the festival on March 2. The world’s only remaining donkey has died. A solemn procession is organized to honour its memory… but the funeral is abruptly interrupted by an unexpected event that gives rise to the re-enactment of the most important moments of its life. This performance celebrates life and death, suffering and joy.

Body Concert, a whimsical New York production, takes place on March 3&4 and combines dance and puppetry to highlight human vulnerability and resilience.

Muntergang and Other Cheerful Downfalls on March 5 & 6 uses hand and rod puppets for its storytelling. It is inspired by the life and work of Zuni Maud and Yosl Cutler, two American book illustrators who came up with the idea of creating a Yiddish puppet theatre, the Modicut Puppet Theater, in 1925. They were an immediate success in New York’s Lower East Side, merging Jewish tradition, high art, and left-wing politics.

Montreal will showcase five puppet shows

Cuckoo by Graham Soul tells the story of  life inside a cuckoo clock through rod and body puppets.

Location: Outremont theatre on March 6 at 3 p.m.

L’île aux patates by Théâtre Magasin will feature 2D puppets, table puppets, and video animation.

Location: Outremont theatre on March 4 at 3 p.m. and March 5 at 11 a.m.

Set in mythical 1950s America, L’histoire à finir de Jimmy Jones et de son camion céleste by La Pire Espèce tells the story of Jimmy Jones who lives in the shadow of an oversized father.

Location: Théâtre Aux Écuries on March 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.

In Bois by Puzzle Théâtre, a green leaf growing on a dead branch draws us into an imaginary world where strange creatures, some hostile, some comical, are made of pieces of wood manipulated by a duo of artists originally from Eastern Europe.

Location: Petit Outremont on March 4 and 5 at 1: 30 pm.

Racontars arctiques by La ruée vers l’or will feature table puppets and live music.

Location: Théâtre Aux Écuries on March 3 at 4 p.m. and March 4 at 7 p.m.

Other Activities

The five-day event will also feature a selection of stop-motion short films and a feature film for adults and teens 13 and older. 

The Galerie d’Outremont will host two exhibits showcasing the work of New York-based photographer Richard Termine with a special focus on the work of renowned puppeteer Basil Twist.

Walkabout Exhibit in Outremont Shop Windows

Feb. 7 to March 6, Marionnettes en vitrines! will feature a selection of puppets, masks, posters, and painted bed sheets from the vast collection that Peter Schumann of the Bread and Puppet Theater has created over the years. This non-profit political theatre company was founded in New York City in 1963 by Peter and Elka Schumann. It began by creating rod and glove puppet shows for children. Over the years, the company has played a major role in the development of puppetry and street art around the world. Their shows often involve volunteers of all ages from the community creating puppets and stories and participating in the performances. Click here for participating Outremont businesses.

For more information visit: festival.casteliers.ca

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