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Theatre for toddlers explores an ocean of dreams, discovery

Waves, all that glows sees, features three performances at the Arden Theatre
Le Théâtre des Confettis introduces its family beach adventure titled Waves, all the Glows Sees at the Arden Theatre on January 20, 2024. LOUISE LEBLANC

For many years, it was assumed toddlers didn’t have a lot going on in their brains and that theatre was too complex for them to understand  — until recently. 

Waves, all that glows sees, a creation of Quebec theatre company Les Théâtre des Confettis, is showing us that the little ones’ thought process is sophisticated, and they can enjoy a show that is tailored to their decision-making level. 

Created by Véronique Côté, Waves goes to the beach exploring an undersea world packed with fresh discoveries. And for a landlocked city with a surprisingly vibrant theatre scene that caters to young theatregoers, a break at the beach during a stalled Arctic vortex is just what the doctor ordered.  

Designed for children 18 months to four years old, the 40-minute theatrical production takes place at the Arden Theatre, where audiences are ushered into an intimate tent on stage. Productions run Jan. 19 and 20. 

Audience members, young and old, start by following a pathway of shells and stones to the tent. Once everyone is seated, either on chairs or more casually on the floor, a cast of two appears onstage: Frédéric Brunet, who sings and plays several instruments, and Guy Daniel Tremblay who speaks and creates an enchanting undersea world. 

“There are few words in the show — only 84 in total. There is music, mime and manipulation,” said Tremblay, who worked with Côté in developing the original Waves back in 2012. In fact, the show is deliberately immersed in low-tech visuals, sleight of hand and charming comedic acting. 

Prior to developing a plot for Waves, Côte and Tremblay stopped to ask several critical questions. How do we communicate with a baby? What is it they feel or understand? How can they relate to what we do? 

The answer lay in creating a fantasy of two young boys in bed waiting for their mother to come to their room, turn off the light and say goodnight, said Tremblay.  

“The brothers are on the verge of sleeping. They dream. It’s very quiet at first. We wait. Then we go to the beach with the sea and garnish it.” 

“It becomes a poem. It’s very poetic,” Tremblay said. His character dreams of the sea, and he brings it life by making sand appear, followed by turtles, seagulls, fish, and later with dune grass, the sky and boats.  

“It’s a very good play with simple elements. It’s very beautiful. It goes deep into the feelings and emotions that go with the discovery of being in a place you’ve never been before. There are no big special effects. We address that piece of being an ordinary child that is amazed by every discovery they have.”  

Le Théâtre des Confettis was founded in 1977, placing children at the centre of their work. For more than 47 years, it adopted children’s talents for rebellion, their dreamy, heartfelt thoughts and their insatiable curiosity into its productions.

“It has grown over time," Tremblay said. "It creates high quality spectacles and it’s very fun. It’s inclusive and very passionate about the work they do. Lately a new generation has taken over, but they still have the spirit, and it’s a magical place to be.”  

Waves, all that glows sees, will feature a show on Jan. 20 at 10 a.m. Tickets range from $6.25 to $18.50. Call 780-459-1542 or visit 

Anna Borowiecki

About the Author: Anna Borowiecki

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