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Artists at school


Host an Artist or Writer.

Maya Ersan
Jaimie Robson

Performing arts
Shadow Theatre


Maya Ersan

MAYA ERSAN is s a visual artist, performer, and cultural worker whose practice ranges from projection, animation, and shadow puppetry to ceramics. Her performance work blends shadow puppets and shadow performers with drawings and animation using analog and digital projection techniques. Maya is interested in layering live and pre-recorded elements to create surprising and even seemingly impossible narratives. Similarly, her ceramics practice focuses on creating everyday objects that take on sometimes narrative and sometimes animate qualities. She has produced and exhibited her work, often collaboratively, primarily in Vancouver, Montreal, and her native Istanbul. Maya Ersan holds a BFA from Vancouver’s Emily Carr University and currently lives and works in Montréal.

Mere Phantoms is a Montreal-based collaborative studio that uses a variety of projection techniques to explore how light and motion can be used to create spaces with ambiance, allure, and spectacle. Exploring the ephemeral qualities of time-based media, Mere Phantoms produces innovative workshops and performances that incorporate projection, animation, and shadow puppetry techniques. Combining shadow puppetry and projection with physical theatre and team-building, our workshops are adapted to suit the age level, goals, and interests of the participating group. Workshop length varies—a one hour workshop will focus on very specific goals and outcomes, while a workshop that stretches over several days or weeks can lead to a public performance or installation.

Proposed approach and type of activities

Mere Phantoms' workshops bring artistic expertise in projection, animation, and shadow puppetry into the classroom. We encourage spontaneity and improvisation and offer a library of materials and techniques for participants to draw on. Our workshops use a technically simple yet visually complex interplay between shadow and light to produce a stunning visual and experiential effect.

Workshops employ a range of multimedia elements. Participants explore movement and gesture by creating simple shadow puppets, masks, and body extensions. Multiple light sources (flashlights, overhead projectors, video projectors) are used to layer projected imagery with shadows made by physical puppets or participants’ bodies. With our custom live animation software participants can manipulate images, create backgrounds and scenery, and incorporate video and photo-based imagery.

Combining shadow puppetry and projection with physical theatre and team-building, Mere Phantoms’ workshops can be designed around a specific theme and adapted to suit the goals of the group. Phantom workshops are a great way to cultivate dialogue on a relevant theme or issue and can serve as medium for combining and presenting material developed through an existing project or group process.

Other examples of activities

  1. Shadow Mask/Shadow Play: Participants create shadow-masks they use to transform themselves into silhouette-characters that interact with a dynamic projected background. Drawing from a database of original imagery, participants assemble an animated background with which to play and interact in shadow. The resulting work weaves together a dynamic narrative that reflects participants’ individual and collective imaginations. This is an experientially enchanting and visually captivating workshop.
  2. Interactive Shadow Installation: In this workshop students create an interactive shadow wall. Paper cutouts are assembled so that large-scale shadows are projected onto the wall or shadow cube. Handheld light sources are used to create cinematic, intuitively animated shadow projections. This workshop incorporates craft, physical theatre, multimedia installation, and narrative elements where suitable.

Special conditions

$25 per day for non-reusable supplies. A room that can be darkened is required for projection-based activities.

For information

Maya Ersan
Phone : 514 965-9522
Other phone : 514 717-6253
Email :

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