Stage Door News

Toronto: Young People’s Theatre presents “Travelling Tales” online February 1-21

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

This February, Young People’s Theatre (YPT) journeys across cultures and time with Travelling Tales from Quebec’s boundary-breaking Théâtre Motus. Available in both English and French for homes and classrooms, this online production features four performers animating West African, Mohawk and French-Canadian tales. The intimacy and ingenuity of traditional oral storytelling is brought to life through an imaginative blend of puppetry, masks, music and song. Recommended for ages 5-9, Travelling Tales is available on demand from February 1-21, with tickets on sale January 20, 2022.

“In this age of large superhero movies that thrill audiences with CGI, it is nice to return to simple and effective traditional storytelling,” says YPT Artistic Director Herbie Barnes. “For thousands of years we have told stories this way and for thousands of years to come we will tell stories this way.”

Written and directed by Hélène Ducharme, Travelling Tales features the stories Baobab, Otijera and the Fasting Ceremony and The Bewitched Canoe/La Chasse-galerie, with performers Sharon James, Marco Collin, Jon Lachlan Stewart/Stéphan Côté. First is an abridged version of the epic West African tale Baobab, which won the 2012 Dora Award for Outstanding TYA Production after a sold out run at YPT. In this story, a young boy must fulfill his mission to return water to the land amidst a relentless drought. Next, in the Mohawk tale Otijera and the Fasting Ceremony, the chief's son, Otijera, embarks on a dream quest to discover his destiny. Lastly, in the French-Canadian folktale, The Bewitched Canoe/La Chasse- galerie, a team of lumberjacks soar through the sky on a flying canoe.

Says Barnes, “Though Travelling Tales takes us on a journey with three distinct cultures, each tale shares common themes, exemplifying that we as humans all deal with similar struggles.”

Travelling Tales

Produced by Théâtre Motus

Written & Directed by Hélène Ducharme

Featuring Sharon James, Marco Collin, Jon Lachlan Stewart & Stéphan Côté

On Sale January 20

Recommended for Ages 5-9 | SK-Gr. 4 English & French Versions Available


In this epic West African story set in the Mandingo region, a magnificent Baobab tree is about to touch the heart of the Earth with its roots! In this sun-filled world, a young boy must fulfill his mission to return water to the land amidst a relentless drought. Performed by Sharon James.

Otjiera and the Fasting Ceremony

In this Mohawk tale, viewers are invited to take their seat around a magical fire and become a spirit of the ancestors. They will accompany the chief's son, Otjiera, on his dream quest to discover his destiny. But they must watch out for Big Bear's daughter! Performed by Marco Collin.

The Bewitched Canoe/La Chasse-galerie

In this traditional French-Canadian tale, viewers will soar through the sky on a flying canoe with a team of lumberjacks who have sold their souls just to attend a party in town with their girlfriends! Performed by Jon Lachlan Stewart (English version) and Stéphan Côté (French version).

Assistant Director: Danaëlle Ducharme-Massé; Scenography: Normand Blais; Music & Sound: Stéphan Côté, Nathalie Cora and Aboulaye Koné; Puppets & Masks: Jean Cummings, Sylvain Racine and Claude Rodrigue; Costumes: Diane Lavoie; Stage management: Patrice Daigneault and Louka Ducharme-Massé.

Travelling Tales includes a pre-recorded post-show discussion with a cast member. Study guides are also available.

Tickets are $10. School performances are $50 per class. Visit

This presentation of Travelling Tales has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.