Since the early seventies, promoting the art of puppetry has been Théâtre de l’Œil’s "raison d'être". As a company focused on research and new productions, the spirit of innovation which it embodies is expressed in its productions for young audiences, in its capacity to promote them, and in its professional training activities.
The objectives of the company are to seek contact with young spectators through passion and intelligence, to propose and instill the appreciation of a variety of worlds by relying on the force of theatrical images, to tell stories which find resonance in the imagination of children, making them laugh, dream and reflect. With a desire to diversify and enrich the art of puppetry, Théâtre de l’Œil favours alternating or mixing diverse type of puppets. Thanks to its scenography designs, the ingenuity of its puppets and the originality of the proposed themes, Théâtre de l’Œil has built up a solid reputation .
Founded in 1973 by Francine Saint-Aubin and André Laliberté, who was its artistic director for 47 years, Théâtre de l’Œil has created twenty-nine original productions. Simon Boudreault is taking the helm as artistic director after having performed a variety of roles within the company, including his initial position as puppeteer. Having focused on touring over the years, Théâtre de l’Œil has performed for audiences in Quebec, the rest of Canada and around the world. Thanks to the hard work and creativity of 350 artists and craftspeople, the company has reached more than 1,3 million spectators during its 5,000 or so performances given on four continents.
After garnering local as well as international recognition, Théâtre de l’Œil is a proud to promote Quebec's artistic excellence.
"I guess you could say that I’m at an age that is referred to as respectable. But I must confess: I still play with dolls! At least that’s the impression I sometimes get when I find myself yearning to tell a story with the help of my puppet friends. It reminds me of how, when I was a kid, I used to imagine epic stories of memorable battles, bold ambushes and picaresque adventures with my little toy soldiers, cowboys and Indians (such vintage toys give away my age!). The wonderful thing with puppets is that the game is forever changing because puppet theatre offers such an infinite range of possibilities. Which is why I have remained such an eternal kid simply having fun trying to bring bits of wood and rags to life, hoping to make you laugh... or maybe even to move you."
André Laliberté developed a passion for puppetry during a stay in a children’s hospital where he saw a performance by Micheline Legendre’s Les Marionnettes de Montréal. He was then trained by this company for about ten years, before founding his own, Théâtre de l’Œil, with Francine Saint-Aubin in 1973.
At the helm of his boat until 2020 as general manager and artistic director, he has performed, manipulated, written and directed a good number of Théâtre de l’Œil’s productions. A savvy artist, he surrounds himself with designers and playwrights known for their ability to create demanding and
refined theatre, building a veritable repertoire for puppetry seen throughout the globe. A creative force in his field, he was one of the three founding members of the Maison Théâtre in Montreal in 1982. Recognised by his peers, an expert in his discipline, he enjoys passing on techniques of the trade, which is for him much more than a profession: it is a genuine passion.
A man of refinement, among his many qualities André Laliberté is a tea lover and chocolate gourmet. He is also a loyal client and fine connoisseur of the Jean-Talon Market which he visits faithfully.
Théâtre de l’Œil
• 2013 - Recognition Award - (29th Grand Prix finalist) from the Conseil des arts de Montréal.
Corbeau / Raven
• 2014 - Audience Award and special mention for its props from the Young Critics- Arrière Scène, 2013-14 season (Centre dramatique pour l’enfance et la jeunesse en Montérégie / Dramatic Art Center for the childhood and the youth in Montérégie).
Sur 3 pattes / 3-Legged Tale
• 2012 - Audience and Young Critics Awards - Arrière Scène (Centre dramatique pour l’enfance et la jeunesse en Montérégie / Dramatic Art Center for the childhood and the youth in Montérégie).
Le Porteur / The Star Keeper
• 2005 - Citation of Excellence in the Art of Puppetry - UNIMA-USA.
• 2001 - Chalmers Canadian Play Award: Theatre for Young Audiences.
• 1999 - “Masque” for the Young Audiences Production, “Masque” for the Set Design, “Masque” for the Special Contribution for the Puppet Design - the Académie québécoise du théâtre.
Zoé perd son temps
• 1997 - Citation of Excellence in the Art of Puppetry - UNIMA-USA.
Un Autre Monde
• 1990 - Best production for Young Audiences - Association québécoise des critiques de théâtre.
Festival International des arts de la marionnette à Saguenay, FIAMS (Canada)
ROSEQ – Réseau des Organisateurs de Spectacles de l'Est du Québec (Canada)
• In 2005, Théâtre de l’Œil was invited to create a puppet sequence for the production of La Savetière prodigieuse by Federico García Lorca, presented at the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde from January 11 to February 5, 2005 and then on tour throughout Québec.
• In 2001, many of Théâtre de l'Œil’s faithful collaborators (artistic director, designers and puppeteers) were part of the creative team of Hugo et le Dragon, a cinematographic production by Arico Film Communication, which won an award at the Banff Television Festival and the Gala des prix Gémeaux, in 2002.
• In 1990, Théâtre de l’Œil collaborated both in the creating and filming of a puppet sequence for the 3D éducative film Echoes of the Sun, co-produced by the IMAX corporation and FUJITSU Ltd. and presented at the Osaka (1990) and Séville (1992) universal expositions.
Corbeau, L’instant même (2013)
Regarde pour voir, Éditions Québec/Amérique (1981)
ART FOR YOUTH