Having worked as a performing arts professional, circus historian, trapeze artist, clown, scenic designer, puppeteer and director for over 20 years, Louis Leroux has given the teaching experience the notion of wonder which, according to Aristotle, is necessary for human development. He is the co-founder, with Samuel Robinson, of the "Théâtre des Eaux Claires". Their work has twice been associated with the awarding of the "Premier Prix Essor" for school productions in the Lower St. Lawrence region. A consultant for various scholastic and recreational circles, Louis Leroux is credited with the construction of parade floats, giant puppets and scenographic special effects. His approach is a popular one, where each participant, irrespective of his or her talents, can find a place in an artistic production.
Samuel Robinson left a teaching career in 1971 for the professional theatre. He has been involved in all aspects of new play creation, working as: actor, writer, scenic designer and director. With Louis Leroux, an experienced performer and teacher of circus arts (National Circus School), he formed the "Théâtre des Eaux Claires" in 1999 specializing in theatre and education. His work has evolved from the writing of "audience participation" plays for professional school tour companies to "playmaking" with entire student bodies numbering up to 200.
The objective of the workshop is promoting the discovery of the construction of scenic arts or its processes and rules through various artistic media such as painting, music, writing, dance and sculpture. In a large open space, the workshop begins with a series of physical warm-up exercises -- from toes to smiles! Following a game centering on discovering the space used for performing in the case of character development, the artist suggests the use of neutral masks for the physical expression of attitudes or states (hot or cold, fast or slow, etc.). The workshop develops through the addition of artistic media (music, costumes, themes, etc.) supported by the presentation of appropriate video excerpts. The basic session for all school levels should last one or two hours for a group of 20. Requirements include a gymnasium or a room that has been cleared, a cassette or disk player, and a video monitor. The neutral masks provided are treated in accordance with the appropriate rules of hygiene.
For every construction of sets, decors, props or giant puppets, an inventory and evaluation of materials and/or locations are carried out according to the theme, by examining the resistance and malleability of the materials used, the types of attachments or anchorage required, and safety aspects. Use of the imagination is necessary for all facets of the construction. Work is organized in groups with emphasis on cooperation and team work. The exercise ends with the manipulation of the object in an artistic presentation.
Examples of activities
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