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Artists at school


Marie-France Thibault

Performing arts


Marie-France Thibault

Marie-France Thibault is a multidisciplinary artist. She graduated from the National Theatre School of Canada in scenography. Over the years she has received three research and creation grants from the Quebec Arts Council. She has exhibited her work in galleries in Canada and abroad and has designed sets and lighting installations for the stage, most recently for the production of Clara dans les bois of the Théâtre des Confetti (2012) in Quebec. Over the past few years, her artistic approach aims to highlight the collective creative process, drawing on cultural traditions around the world. Dedicated to the democratization of art, she aims to inspire spontaneity and creative play communities, to increase communication between professional artists and their communities and to foster a sense of belonging to a community.

Proposed approach and type of activities

Her goal is to open students' minds to an intuitive and spontaneous creativity process. Participants are invited to discover the faculties of the right side of their brain. Put in abstract situations where a rational and objective approach to problem solving is of no use, students learn to trust the unknown and let themselves be inspired by unpredictable discoveries. Instead of leading with their mind, they use their imagination to guide them!

Examples of activities

SHADOW THEATRE (3 versions depending of group levels)

Activity 1

Creating shadow puppets

Goal: Introduction to shadow theatre.

Grade: Preschool to grade 6.

  • Marie-France Thibault introduces students to the wonders of shadow puppetry. With an active approach, students experiment with the manipulation of shadow silhouettes and the use of equipment such as different screens and light sources.
  • By giving different demonstrations, the artist shares her passion for making shadow puppets and the creation of fantasy tales inspired by the students' ideas.
  • This introduction is followed by a puppet-making laboratory.

* This workshop can be offered in conjunction with Sonia St-Michel's workshops "The Mudras" and "Sculptures in Motion".

Activity 2

Creating a shadow puppet scenario and performance

Goal: Collective creation of a shadow theatre play with several groups.

Grade: Grades 3 to 6 (primary school) and secondary school.

  • Directed by the artist, each group creates one chapter of a story, to continue the story started by other groups.
  • Marie-France creates shadow puppets, then designs a set inspired by students' ideas. These professional demonstrations review skills such as: scissor cutting techniques, contour line, transparency and opacity, movement, colour, character's expression, proportions, etc.
  • During rehearsals, groups of students will either direct, manipulate or narrate the story.
  • A performance can be presented to all participating groups.

    * This workshop can be offered in conjunction with Sonia St-Michel's workshops "The Mudras" and "Sculptures in Motion".


Activity 3

Creating moving shadow pictures

Goal: Creation of more complex and abstract atmospheres and dynamic visual environments, which could be used for a video game background or a screen saver on the computer.

Grade: Secondary level, one to five.

  • With its interplay of light and shadow, the screen of the shadow theatre becomes a world where transparency, opacity, line, colour and movement come together in a magical and creative work.
  • ln teams, students chose a theme for their picture; for example a mysterious world under water, underground or in space ...
  • Cardboard, filters and other unusual materials allow participants to learn the basic techniques of image composition, as well as the cut out and assembly of moving landscapes.


  • This workshop must be approached like an artist in residence. The goal is to invite a professional artist to create a piece of art in the school, in this case a giant mask (up to 6 feet high).
  • The artistic process is more complex and goes further than a two-hour workshop in a classroom.
  • The artist welcomes the students, in small groups of 8, according to a rotating schedule. Each team observes and assists the artist during specific steps of the overall process: dismantling and assembling recycled cardboard boxes in abstract shapes, creating a character's face out of them, painting and decorating.
  • Other students can visit at any time to observe the creation process, provided that they are accompanied by a teacher.
  • The giant mask can be exhibited in the school. This activity can be complemented by a display of printed pictures or the presentation of a video to bear witness to the creative process and the participation of the students.

Special conditions

The workshop requires different materials, the cost is $ 50 per day of workshops. The Shadow
theatre workshops needs a totally dark room, it must be possible and easy to cover the
windows with cardboard or dark fabrics. For the activity Creating a shadow puppet scenario
and performance, booking the gym is necessary for the final afternoon to present the
collective creation.

For information

Marie-France Thibault
Phone : 819 557-0510
Email :

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