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The Lost City of the Wolves, as Told Through Illustration

When he sets out to work on a new show, set designer Richard Lacroix gathers his pencils and draws. Guided by the story, he draws characters, jots down a few thoughts, and creates an outline for the set design, with no thought for what it will all become later on. He then creates a scene-by-scene storyboard. Somewhere between the storyboards used for films and a comic strip, his version of this creative device is an essential tool for visualizing the play’s dramatic evolution, and for identifying key elements and links… It also serves as a guide for artisans, artists, designers and technicians who will refer to it as they do their magic in the workshop.

Richard’s storyboards are veritable works of art. In an effort to highlight this work, Simon Boudreault came up with the idea of digitizing a show from the company’s repertoire. The Lost City of the Wolves was the first such venture. The show premiered in 2005 and is based on a story by Louise Bombardier. It was recently translated into English by Maureen LaBonté. The story centres on Elise, a 9-year-old girl suffering from an illness that confines her to the hospital, and it resonates with the difficult times we are going through.

In collaboration with filmmaker Joël Melançon, the stage director and set designer imagined another way of telling the story in the play by building on the storyboard. Cartoons? Not really. An audiobook? Not exactly that either, but rather a hybrid project, “a technical bridge allowing the artwork to be born”, explains the filmmaker.

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