Moments of joy from 2020, pt. iii

Continuing the series of posts detailing some of my projects from 2020. Because of the nature of the projects and the Big Shift that happened last year, I wasn’t very advertisey in the moment. While many planned things dropped, I was still able to be part of a bunch of interesting and inspiring projects. Over the next little bit, I’m planning on detailing each and sharing some lessons learned throughout.

Odditi(m)es | A Tragic Comedy in Pandemic Times

In the summer, as the pandemic continued and restrictions were becoming a little more lenient, my friend and collaborator Troy Hourie received funding to create a live performance adapted for the then-current realities. His idea was to adapt an old form of puppetry, following the traditions of Portuguese Dom Roberto and English Punch & Judy shows, and adapt it for a contemporary Canadian audience. This allowed us to speak directly about the lives of three individuals during the pandemic lockdown.

Dom Roberto puppet shows are often played behind a tall, four-sided cloth covered box, with the puppets appearing at the top. Troy’s idea of opening up that box to create one long counter, made of four equally sized panels allowed us to showcase 3 different houses: a snapshot of a neighbourhood. This gave us a 2 meter distance between puppeteers. It also meant having 3 puppeteers instead of one, myself, Colleen Snell and Troy.

Odditi(m)es was live-streamed to, well anyone who wanted, but specifically to a group of beautiful puppeteers in Portugal called Teatro e Marionetas de Mandragora. A document of the performance can still be viewed on Troy’s site:

Odditi(m)es | A Tragic Comedy in Pandemic Times – Troy Hourie Portfolio (

The Learning

Outdoor theatre during a pandemic is possible and so important.

Opening private spaces to community is beautiful. This show happened in Troy’s backyard, which just so happened to be designed as a raked outdoor amphitheatre. It was possible to distance and clump households together because of this. If you have the space, use it!

Small puppets and loud colours read from a distance.

Nature is the greatest stage.

Projecting through a mask is difficult but possible.

3 days to create, rehearse and learn how to use these newly-made puppets really lets you understand what is meant by the “exquisite pressure of time.”

I need to work on my wrist strength.

I am still ambidextrous.

Puppets are the best.

Performer Profile: ArteBote Collective


“Before you go to bed…” [working title]

Where does under the bed go? What is the dark? We create monsters of our own reality; the things we are most familiar with. The objects that are most mundane during daylight can become distorted and hideous during the night. What are we so afraid of? Is it the monster or is it the dark?

Do you still sleep with a nightlight?

The Artbote Collective is an interdisciplinary company of five young artists (Jesse Byiers, Stefan Till, Evan Tingle, Katelin Richards, Marienne Castro, Kitty Orsten), most of whom will graduate from the Humber College Theatre Performance program this spring. The company strongly embodies our approach to devised and physical theatre practice that has its roots in the methodologies of Lecoq, Barba, Grotowski and Vasiliev. Incorporating music, visual design, clown, mask and puppetry the company creates theatrical works which are intricate, transparent and push the boundaries of the theatrical form.

The ArteBote Collective will be performing “Before you go to bed…” at Seasonal Activities, v. ii