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Artists at school


Jacques Boutin

Performing arts
Puppet theatre


Jacques Boutin

A professional puppeteer since 1979, Jacques Boutin has collaborated in some 30 puppet theatre productions as a designer and a performer. He has taken part in over 3000 shows in Québec, the rest of Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia. He has also worked on television, notably for Jim Henson, the creator of The Muppet Show and Sesame Street. Since 1993, his Théatre de marionnettes de Jacques Boutin has toured schools, museums, theatres and cultural centres, doing performances specifically created for young audiences.

Proposed approach and type of activities

For the past 20 years, Jacques Boutin has developed several hands-on activities to introduce young audiences to the art of puppetry. The artist starts off by inviting students to discover the world of puppetry through an interactive workshop. Throughout the activity, the puppet as an object is demystified, and some 30 puppets are introduced and used in brief sketches. Students can then witness how the puppeteer disappears behind his puppet in order to give Iife to the character. Hand puppets, rod puppets, mouth puppets, shadow puppets, marionettes, small puppets and giant ones are closely examined. The puppeteer clearly demonstrates how the puppet is manipulated and describes how it is made. Children learn how to make puppets from recycled objects or with familiar materials and tools. They also find out what skills and knowledge a puppeteer needs. At this point in time, students are really looking forward to making a puppet of their own, so the artist brings ail the necessary material to build puppets with multiple features: Just the right size, well articulated and easy to manipulate. Some teachers may wish to push the experience a little or a lot further and get their class involved in writing and putting on a short puppet theatre show. Teachers are given patterns for making puppets in class.

Examples of activities

Depending on the age of the students and the goals that teachers wish to meet, various projects can be elaborated:

Discovery workshop

During this activity especially designed for elementary school students, over 30 different characters are introduced. Find out how they work, what they are made of, and see them in action. Learn tricks on how to build puppets with everyday objects or with tools and materials that you already know how to use. The artist brings all the necessary material for students to build their own puppet. One class at a time. Lasts 75 minutes. Possibility of meeting 3 classes per day.

Coaching activity

Jacques Boutin has the necessary knowledge and experience to accompany those who wish to undertake the task of writing a story, building sets, directing and presenting an entire puppet show. Number of students and time requirements to be defined for each individual project.

Making giant puppets

Giant puppets are made out of a pile of cardboard boxes and recycled materials. The fascinating human or animal characters created by students can be used to parade or to create an entire show. The artist provides paint and brushes, tools, materials of all kinds, and expertise. Students must collect boxes and various objects (a Iist is provided). One class at a time. Lasts 4 hours.

Special conditions

Provided by the artist: Styrofoam balls, felt, eyes, wooden sticks, party hats = $1 /child.

For information

Jacques Boutin
Phone : 450 222-1006

Subject to taxes (GST, PST)



Kindergarten, Primary 1, Primary 2, Primary 3, Primary 4, Primary 5, Primary 6

Available in

In every regions

Other language(s)


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