Out of a passionate belief that children in their early years of development should be exposed to esthetically-rich and stimulating arts experiences, Lynda Hill, Artistic & Executive Director of Theatre Direct, conceived the WeeFestival of Theatre and Culture for Early Years. The festival was launched in 2014, and now returns for its fourth installment with an exciting line-up of events and performances from internationally celebrated artists.
From May 11 – 20, 2019, the WeeFestival will feature productions by acclaimed companies specializing in theatre for the very young from Quebec, British Columbia and Ontario. Whether for babies and toddlers, preschoolers, or kindergarteners, each show has been created to meet the emotional and social developmental needs and interests of young children. The shows are presented in intimate venues to ensure every child is close to the action and fully immersed in the experience. In addition to engaging theatre productions, the festival will offer a range of multi-disciplinary programming designed to engage little ones and their parents.
Mokatek and the Missing Star
Vox Theatre and Ondinnok Theatre (Ottawa)
ONE THING Mokatek loves to do before sleep every night is to count the stars. Ever since his mother disappeared beneath the river waters, he likes to recount his day to the brightest star in the sky, his compass that protects him from above: the North Star. One night, during a full moon, the North Star disappears. It is the beginning of an initiation journey to find the bright star and realize his inner strength and courage.
Ages 2 to 5 – Genre: Theatre/Puppetry
Performances in French
Femmes de feu (Toronto)
RETURNING TO WEEFESTIVAL after a sold-out run in 2018 and recent performances at Soulpepper’s Family Festival, TWEET TWEET! is a feast for the eyes and ears. Two little birds asleep in their nests high in a magical tree awake and discover each other and a wondrous world around them. An aerial arts and circus creation for young children performed in an intimate forest-like setting.
May 17, 18, 19 and 20
Ages 0 to 6 – Genre: Aerial Arts/Circus
Foolish Operations (Vancouver)
COME WEAVE A YARN with us! Tricoter is an interactive dance show for all ages that re-creates the spirit of a knitting circle. The central dancer weaves the yarn around the circle, until one and all are tangled in a large knot of bright colours. Through play and dance, our own family histories emerge.
May 18, 19 and 20
All ages – Genre : Dance
Tenon Mortaise (Quebec)
COME PLAY IN OUR SANDBOX! The Sandbox is an interdisciplinary piece from Quebec that introduces children to puppetry, clown and shadowplay. It is a playful and poetic journey through the five senses, staged around a sandbox that is full of surprises.
May 16 and 19
Ages 2 to 6 – Genre: Puppetry/Shadow/Physical Theatre
Performances in French
Theatre Direct and WeeFestival (Toronto)
JOIN FOUR FRIENDS as they set off on an imagination adventure through the sights, sounds, and textures of earth, water, air, and light! Flying Hearts is an Inclusive and Relaxed Performance creation that combines dance, theatre and music in a multi-sensory and interactive dance/theatre creation that promises a rich and stimulating arts experience for young audiences of All Abilities.
May 11, 12, 14, and 15
Ages 2+ – Genre: Dance/Theatre
Performances in English
Puzzle Theatre (Montreal)
IT’S LATE. TIME TO GO TO BED! But sleep is the last thing on our minds… The bed is uncomfortable, the pillow has a mind of its own, the blanket is too short, our pyjamas have decided to go for a run and the comforter chooses tonight of all nights to learn how to fly. Bonne Nuit! appeals to children’s imagination. It encourages their creativity by showing them that it is possible to communicate feelings and ideas with just a few simple objects and lots of imagination.
Ages 3 to 7 – Object Theatre/Hand Puppets
Performance without words