LA MAGIE DES MARIONNETTES
22407
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LA MAGIE DES MARIONNETTES

July 2020

AN INQUIRY-LED VIRTUAL WEEK OF BUILDING AND ANIMATING CHARACTERS AND STORIES LED BY DJENNIE LAGUERRE AND TREASA LEVASSEUR.

La Magie des Marionettes was a 5-day creativity incubator that began with the devising and building of puppets out of materials already found at home and concluded with the presentation of two short plays conceived and performed by participants aged 8-12.  The purpose of the camp was to beta-test the ability of students of this age to work independently of their parents, and to remain engaged in the creative process for 120 minutes daily.  We explored a wide range of activities and collected real-time feedback, in order to determine which modalities and structures allowed for maximum enjoyment and ease of virtual expression.
In order to provide Theatre Direct programming that reached Francophone students and stakeholders in Theatre Direct, the camp was primarily facilitated in the french language, with live translation being provided for students with less fluency. This experiment of ‘bilingual camp’ was one of powerful, palpable inclusionary practices that fostered a sense of belonging and collaboration.
Participating Partner Organizations
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This camp was structured to approach a different topic/task each day:  Puppet Building, Characters and Comedy, Stories and Surprises, Twists and Tech Tweaks, and finally Show Day!  Elements that were suggested by students – for example, impromptu lunch hour concerts, or TikTok inspired dance breaks, were incorporated and became beloved moments of our days.  The participants were eager to share their work, open to being asked to deepen their vocabulary or express their feedback on particular activities, and marvellously generous in the sharing of virtual space.
Perhaps the greatest takeaway for the facilitators and the participants was the realization that a multi-disciplinary arts approach – using dance, music, visual art, storytelling, camera work – is an exceptionally powerful tool in facilitating group engagement and collaborative process despite the challenges presented by virtual learning.  The exercise of group listening and turn-taking, in manageable increments, with scaffolded opportunities being provided for both learners who like to do things very quickly and their more deliberate, detail-oriented counterparts, meant that kids and facilitators alike were able to remain in positive and creative throughout our 9 hours of online group work.

Theatre Direct is proud to be working with Good Roots Consulting and the full report & evaluation of this project will be available in Fall 2020.

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