Dans l'Atelier

(In the Workshop)
Chantier Frigolite
(Polystyrene Workshop)

A short wacky performance as a sort 
of preamble to inviting the audience, both children and adults, to try their hand at making their own puppets. Eighteen crazy minutes to recount 
the mishaps of a puppet under construction who decides to make a stab at finishing up the job himself.... Eighteen minutes during which
 the character struggles with the elements, with the material, the objects, 
and sometimes even with the manipulators themselves, to the point of tyrannizing them....

Conception, script, staging, scenography and puppets: Alain Moreau
Creative staff: Sarah Demarthe, Emilie Plazolles
Performance: Emilie Plazolles, Angela Malvasi and Yannick Duret (rotational)
Technical staff: Bao Ngouansavanh, Alain delval and Jérôme Lenain (rotational)
Animation Chantier Frigolite : Emilie Plazolles, Bao Ngouansavanh, Angela Malvasi and Yannick Duret
Musical creation : Max Vandervorst
Lighting design : Dimitri Joukovsky
Creation and collaboration on the scenario : Gilbert Epron et Dimitri Joukovsky
Assistant to the scenography : Sarah Demarthe
Photos : Melisa Stein
Construction of the structure for the set : Margaud Carpentiers
Tour Manager : My-Linh Bui - Kurieuze & Cies

  • atelier frigolite (polystyrene workshop)

Some notes on our aims…

To transmit…
For several years now, I have been increasingly solicited to organize workshops on making puppets. Several events over the last few years have made me realize the importance of transmission. The first experience involved some young graduates from the Centre des Arts Scénique during a sort of training course to initiate them into how to manipulate puppets, its aim being the creation of a street animation/show or indoor theatre show. This gave rise to “Les Bénévoles” and is in many ways what planted the seed for this idea.
Then there was the experience during my two years of teaching acting students at the Conservatoire de Mons, when they found themselves with cutters, polystyrene, sandpaper, glue, scrim and paintbrushes in their hands. I became convinced of the necessity of transmission.

Other experiences have confirmed this thinking such as my yearly participation in “Place aux enfants” and most recently “Carrefour des Générations” here in my hometown of Genappe. In the space of a few minutes, prompted by the assembly that had come to visit my workshop, I set about making a puppet head out of a block of polystyrene, arousing much interest. Moreover, after one of these open workshops, a child and a young pre-adolescent asked me whether they could join me in making things in my studio… Ever since, we meet once in a while to make things side by side—what beautiful things spring from their young hands!

From the initial idea to its materialization....
Slowly but surely, an idea began to take shape.... What if I moved my studio, or rather, what if I made a mobile extension of it to bring it closer to people, in the street or in the hallways of a theatre, as a way of sharing my art and making puppets with them?
I decided to act on this.
Very quickly, the idea evolved and I felt I wanted to give even something more....

A show followed by Chantier Frigolite...
For me puppets and theatre depend on each other: there are no puppets without theatre. Taking up this notion, I felt it would be quite amusing to have theatre be the introduction to this initiation into puppet making, theatre with a puppet of course! While this is far from a didactic performance, as one might expect, my idea is to make the whole experience a theatrical performance.
Fun, hilarious, unhinged and offbeat...these are the four key words that follow and guide our team throughout their work of creating. 
At the end of the show, which I hope seems too short, my dream is to have the audience flock to the tools we offer them in a rush to set about sculpting the polystyrene (known as ‘frigolite’ in Belgium), and then, with the help of our team, that they set about making their own puppets.
Clearly an hour of participating in our Chantier Frigolite is not enough for the audience to be able to leave with a completed puppet in their hands. But, above all, they will have the keys for making one at home, for finishing it up in their bedroom, or in the kitchen or, perhaps, to make others....

Il est bien évident qu’après une heure de participation à notre Chantier Frigolite, les spectateurs ne repartiront pas avec une marionnette complète totalement terminée mais avec en mains les clés pour une fois rentrés chez eux, dans leur chambre ou dans leur cuisine ils puissent l’achever et peut-être en construire d’autres…

Alain Moreau

On a practical note...

A show for all ages up from 8 years and up
The show is autonomous and can be performed without being followed by Chantier Frigolite...

Three options for hosting the show
- The show alone, without Chantier Frigolite. 3 times a day (4 hours total duration. An ideal formula would be: 6pm, 7pm and 8:30pm)

- 2 shows + 1 Chantier Frigolite (directly following the 2nd showing, over a total period of 4 hours maximum, i.e. shows at 2pm and 3pm and the workshop at 3:30pm and 4:30pm)

- 2 shows + 2 Chantier Frigolite (one show + the workshop in the morning and a show with workshop in the afternoon (workshops follow immediately after the performance).

Length of the show: 18 minutes

Number of spectators per show: maximum 130 (depending on the venue, and whether there are fixed bleachers or improvised seating...)

Length of Chantier Frigolite: 1 hour
Number of workshop participants:
For the public at large: 25 (adults and children from 8 up)
Schools: 10 years and up, 1 class, 30 children maximum

Technical data sheet air/van downloadable by clicking one of wrench