organisation

Créa-Théâtre

Country

Belgium

Belgian actors’ theatre established in 1978 by Francis Houtteman and Françoise Flabat. In its search for a medium of expression, Créa-Théâtre adopted puppetry in 1982 but had already made it a key tool in its first show, Un gros Livre avec une Poignée (A big Book with a Handle), employing string puppets and rod marionettes (French: tringles). Designer and director of the puppets, Marcel Orban, now of Théâtre des Gros Nez, was replaced in subsequent productions by Yves Coumans. Dedicated to young school children, Créa-Théâtre explores many styles and techniques, with a multiplicity of scenic images, always including actors. In 1983, after lengthy research, it presented a comprehensive exhibition of the puppet theatres in Belgium.

In 1986, the company settled permanently in Tournai in a Hôtel de maître (19th century town mansion), now the Centre for Puppetry of Wallonia-Brussels – Centre de la Marionnette de la Communauté française de Belgique. Productions  include: Resterons-nous les mêmes (Shall We Remain the Same), using shadows, rod marionettes and string figures; Il s’appelait Jean-Baptiste ou la Sève (His Name Was Jean-Baptiste or the Sap) with shadows, rod marionettes, strings and lever-operated puppets; Premiers Chants (First Songs) the premiere of a trilogy by D. Simon; L’Hôtel des Voyageurs, Tibec (The Travellers Rest, Tibec) directed by Freek Neirynck: Le Marchand de Lumière (The Merchant of Light) by S. Drissi; and Nez en l’Air (Nose in the air).

Since 1987, the Centre offers a library, a museum (1,500 puppets from all over the world), festive events, exhibitions and multidisciplinary workshops. In 1993, the first Festival Découvertes, Images et Marionnettes (Discoveries, Images and Puppets) was held and has since become annual, opening the way to a profound examination of the puppet and its role in the contemporary world, parallel with the wish to uncover the work of young companies. The festival has added exhibitions, youth entertainment and thematic training for professionals. In 2002, in partnership with the associations of Cervia (Italy), Białystok (Poland), Paris (France) and Wels (Austria), Créa-Théâtre founded Europuppet, a European network of festivals designed for the  better integration of young artists. Créa-Théâtre publishes a quarterly newsletter.

(See Belgium.)