The Studies

In September 2015, the company launched a series of study sessions consisting of creative or research workshops focusing on an esthetic or artistic practice, away from the narrow production framework. In a word, fundamental research. Several study sessions were held in Montréal, initially bringing together artists working with la Pire Espèce and other local professionals. Since then, artists from a range of countries (Canada, U.K, France and Israel) and diverse disciplines (puppetry, music, dance, video) have been invited to participate in one of la Pire Espèce study sessions.

These professional meetings offer a rare opportunity to share expertise, ideas and aspirations… in a creative setting but away from the stresses of a production schedule. The clashes and contrasts fostered by the sometimes risky, sometimes calculated cocktail of artists and materials have a galvanizing effect on creativity. Every scientific research field organizes these kinds of periodic meetings. 

In general, “artistic research” and “popular art” are viewed as opposites. We at la Pire Espèce have always stressed the importance of making our artistic practice accessible to the general public, despite the fact that what we do is certainly unusual. At the end of the research period of each study session (between 7 and 10 days), the participating artists present their research results. These public performances have always drawn an enthusiastic and curious audience. And the local community gets a glimpse into something approaching raw creation. Alongside our research activities, we like to offer training workshops to non-professionals, theatre students and theatre professionals. By personally experiencing a medium’s poetry and challenges, participants can appreciate the artists’ work with greater sensitivity and get more out of the piece presented. Furthermore, this shared experience fosters a shared sense of belonging: the artists towards their community and the community towards its artists. A relationship that is the very essence of the theatrical act.

Future studies

We are now broadening the reach of these study sessions from coast to coast. Chances for Canadian artists to meet are extremely rare, both because of geography and language. Away from production constraints, our study sessions offer a stress-free setting particularly suited for artistic exchanges and the sharing of ideas.

Winnipeg – Cercle Molière

November – December 2018

Matter as starting point for scenic writing

Artists : Mélanie Bédard (Winnipeg), Étienne Blanchette, Jonathan Cusson, Sébastien Gaillard (Winnipeg), Mathieu Gosselin, Amber O’Reilly (Winnipeg),  Anaïs Pellin (Vancouver), Gabriel Léger-Savard, Alexandre Leroux, Jane Testar (Winnipeg), Julie Vallée-Léger

Vancouver – Partners to be confirmed

January – February 2020

Miniatures and live-action cameras

Partner artist: Timothy Gosley

Caraquet et Moncton – Partners to be confirmed

Avril 2020

Physical acting and creative craftsmanship

Partner artists: Satellite Théâtre

Topics addressed at study sessions since 2015

  • Short forms 
  • Hand puppets (x2)
  • Adaptation
  • Voice and narration (x4)
  • Live-action camera and narrative techniques