17th edition of the
Festival de Casteliers
The great annual meeting for artists of the 11th art highlights puppet theatre in North America
February 23, 2022
It is with great pleasure that Casteliers will return to live presentation in theatres during the 17th edition of the Festival de Casteliers which will take place from March 2 to 6, 2022 in Montreal.
This major annual event for artists of the 11th art will highlight puppet theatre from across North America, hosting shows from Mexico, the United States, Nunavut and Québec, for a curated portrait of dramatically rich material that is combined with movement, music… and sometimes the spoken word!
This year’s line-up includes eleven creative works for adults and children, outstanding works, and new creations that we have been waiting for months to see! The Mexican-Québec co-production ¡Burros! will open the festivities, outside and then inside Outremont’s Saint-Viateur church. Bring the whole family to be part of a carnival-like celebration! The official opening night will follow at Théâtre Outremont with the presentation of Innamorati, by Montréal’s Quatuor Bozzini and Marcelle Hudon. They have promised a playful opus of contemporary music, puppets and shadow theatre.
The following days will be dedicated to the many forms of the 11th art. There will be two shows from New York: Body Concert by Lone Wolf Tribe combines dance and oversized limbs in breathtaking hand-to-hand combat, while Muntergang and Other Cheerful Downfalls by Great Small Works takes us to a café in the inter-war years, with live music, projections, toy theatre and more! Munterga is inspired by the life and work of Zuni Maud and Yosl Cutler, two talented and radical American book illustrators who had the idea of creating a Yiddish puppet theatre in New York in 1925 (in English and Yiddish with French surtitles).
Celebrating North American puppetry
From Mexico, Mi’ño Teatro de Sombras will tell us in French and Indigenous languages the story of The Biggest Sister in the World, a shadow theatre performance about corn cultivation through the centuries and the indigenous cultures of America, drawn from discussions between the Ñäñho and Kanien’kehá:ka nations.
Sara Moisan from La Tortue Noire will present As Flesh Fades Away, a multimedia work that is a touching testimony about her father, who was a painter.
In Racontars arctiques, La ruée vers l’or uses tabletop puppets and varying scale to stage the graphic novel of the same name.
L’histoire à finir de Jimmy Jones et de son camion céleste is a road trip through a mythical 1950s America – its diners, car washes, drive-ins, and endless cornfields. With this grand premiere, Montréal’s La Pire Espèce will celebrate object theatre as only they know how!
Another grand premiere at the festival will be L’île aux patates by Théâtre Magasin, an adorable and wacky story directed by Joël da Silva that combines 2D puppets, tabletop puppets and video animation. A unique short form, Pantition by Mylène Leboeuf-Gagné and Serge Bonin, will also be presented.
Lastly, the festivities will close with a presentation of Cuckoo, a rod puppet show by Graham Soul that will take the whole family into the undisciplined life inside a cuckoo clock.
The highly anticipated walkabout exhibit Marionnettes en vitrines ! will feature puppets by the famous American company Bread and Puppet Theater, in celebration of close to 60 years of the company’s commitment to a better world.
From February 7 to March 6, 2022, young and old alike can see a selection of puppets, masks and paintings from a vast collection that the company has created over the years and keeps in its popular museum in the small village of Glover, Vermont.
Galerie d’Outremont hosts two exceptional exhibits that showcase the work of New York-based photographer Richard Termine. Some 120 images and objects will illustrate the breadth of contemporary puppet theatre across the United States and its renewal, with a special focus on the work of renowned puppeteer Basil Twist (New York).
An evening of short films will feature the magnificent Angakusajaujuq: Shaman Apprentice by Zacharias Kunuk (Nunavut), a semi-finalist for a 2022 Oscar in the Animated Short Film category. Casteliers will also present the film version of puppeteer Basil Twist’s ground-breaking Symphonie Fantastique, a café-causerie, a family workshop, an international professional networking marketplace, and at Théâtre Outremont, a son’s exhibition in honour of his father.
Shows for adults and teens
- BODY CONCERT – Lone Wolf Tribe (New York), 13 years +
- L’HISTOIRE À FINIR DE JIMMY JONES ET DE SON CAMION CÉLESTE – Théâtre de La Pire Espèce (Montréal), 13 years +
- AINSI PASSE LA CHAIR – Théâtre de la Tortue Noire (Saguenay), 13 years +
- MUNTERGANG AND OTHER CHEERFUL DOWNFALLS – Great Small Works (New York), 13 years + (in English and Yiddish with French surtitles)
For all ages
- ¡BURROS! – La Liga Teatro Elástico (Mexico) and Casteliers (Montréal), in collaboration with the Pourpour brass band and Théâtre de La Pire Espèce (Montréal)
- INNAMORATI – Quatuor Bozzini and Marcelle Hudon (Montréal), a co-presentation with Groupe Le Vivier, 7 years +
- THE BIGGEST SISTER IN THE WORLD – Mi’ño Teatro de Sombras (Mexico), 6 years +
- RACONTARS ARCTIQUES – La ruée vers l’or (Montréal), 10 years +
- BOIS – Puzzle Théâtre (Montréal), 4 years +
- L’ÎLE AUX PATATES – Théâtre Magasin (Montréal), 5 years +
- CUCKOO – Graham Soul (Montréal), 5 years +
- PANTITION – Collectif Mylène Leboeuf-Gagné and Serge Bonin (Saguenay), short piece
Feature image: Innamorati – Mathieu Doyon
Read also: other articles on performing arts
The Festival de Casteliers, a major annual event for artists of the 11th art, highlights puppet theatre in North America, and this year offers a dozen shows, large-scale exhibitions, professional meetings and awareness-raising activities that will attract and amaze young and old alike. festival.casteliers.ca