Past productions

25th production

ligne h240" We want, with the character of the grandmother, to make understand the importance of the transmission of the values through the generations. "

André Laliberté, artistic director

Véronique Grondines
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by Jean-Frédéric Messier



When Saskia was little, she would go camping in the woods with her cousins. Her grandmother, Nukum, would tell them stories of the raven. Nukum had known the raven ever since she was a child. The bird had once stolen some of her French fries and, later, even stole some fish. In return, he told her some of his most celebrated stories. And then one summer, the raven appeared in the form of someone whom Nukum had loved dearly.

Inspired by the figure of the raven, found in many First Nations legends, the play illustrates how culture is passed on and the spécial bond between grandparents and their grandchildren. It shows humans as part of the animal family and tells of their Relationship with an unseen world.

Corbeau / Raven premiered at Montréal’s Maison Théâtre in October 2012 following a creative residency at the Maison de la culture Villeray–St-Michel–Parc-Extension.

The pages of the book Corbeau, published in French at L’Instant même, present Jean-Frédéric Messier’s story and creative process, Richard Lacroix’s sketches, workshop and stage photographs, as well as the story of Théâtre de l’Œil’s first 40 years, as told by Michelle Chanonat.


Jean-Frédéric Messier

Maureen LaBonté

André Laliberté

Set and Puppets
Richard Lacroix


Libert Subirana

Gilles Perron

Stage Manager
Gilles Perron

Original Cast                                                     Nicolas Germain-Marchand,                       Anne Lalancette, Dominic L. Saint-Louis, Estelle Richard               


Illustrations : Richard Lacroix

SASKIA150   petitCORBEAU   CORBEAUado150

Young Saskia
Saskia when she was a young girl. She’s the one who’s telling the story of Nukum, her Grandmother.


Little Corbeau
Raven when he was a child.


Young Corbeau
Raven becoming a bird.

CORBEAU150   petiteNUKUM150   jeuneNUKUM150

That became a bird.


Little Nukum
Nukum when she was a child.


Young Nukum
Nukum when she was a young women.






NUKUM150   petitsENFANTS150

Grandmother of Saskia, Danaë, David, Daniel, Mikael, Maya, Jérémie and Élie.


Danaë, David, Daniel, Mikael, Maya, Jérémie and Élie
Nukum’s other grandchildren.




Translation by Denise Babin

" If, in Raven, Messier deals with transmission between generations and amongst ourselves, he does so not through explanation, but through “experience”. The very young will be captivated by the antics of a number of fowls–ducks, pigeons, a seagull and a hilarious chicken–but they will also effortlessly understand, unconsciously or even despite themselves, the notion of transmission and perpetuation, with the help of Messier’s simple yet efficient story line. As Saskia says at the very end, “as long as we have mouths, she (Nukum) will be alive.” As long as we talk about culture, language or values, we keep them alive and well. Is this not the intrinsic reason behind the existence of storytelling? […]

[…] The scenography is superbly sober. It consists of two small wooden platforms on which the puppets amble along, and a large screen in the background. The screen is essentially used as a canvas for the many–quite effective–light and shadow combinations that share the stage with all kinds of projections of cityscapes, skies and forests made of paper and cardboard that are manipulated in real time under a camera and a table lamp. "

David Lefebvre, Mon(Theatre), October 2012

Corbeau, Théâtre de l’Œil’s new production, is a celebration of fiction and memory. A celebration of the stories, tales and legends that are passed on from one generation to the next. Whether they are true or not is irrelevant. […]

[…] Nukum and the raven’s encounter is narrated by Saskia, Nukum’s granddaughter, who has listened to her grandmother’s stories. These were first told to Nukum by the raven: how he was born human and then turned into a bird, how he stole the sun ... As Saskia’s words are mirrored by puppets, Nukum suddenly appears as a child with the raven landing at her side shouting, “Fries! More Fries!” This is one of the play’s recurring themes, much to the children’s delight. […]

[…] this magnificent production will most certainly thrive for many years to come. Carried by Théâtre de l’Œil’s poetry and inventiveness, Corbeau is a moment of great beauty. "

Josée Lapointe, La Presse, Octobre 18, 2012

’There’s something spellbinding about this brand new tale, which was in its very first performances when I saw it at the Maison Théâtre. If only because of how time seems to float around Nukum’s character, Raven can take place at any time and virtually anywhere in America, in any sequence... It’s a timeless tale. And the Théâtre de l’Œil production has succeeded in shaping it into a somehow vague, yet concrete object by emphasising its ill-defined contours. Quite an undertaking – Bravo! "

Michel Bélair, Le Devoir, Montreal, Octobre 19, 2012



Press kit (PDF)



A glance at
Corbeau - The Book



» High resolution photos, technical rider and video in the PRO ZONE.

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