Artistic director, Writer & Stage Director
For more than 20 years, Hugo Bélanger has been perfecting mask theatre and puppetry as a popular theatre in order to appeal to a wide range of audiences. As the Artistic Director of Tout à Trac since 1998, he continues to search for a style of theatre in which the body is both a rigorous and playful tool.
The company’s second production, L’Oiseau vert, commedia dell’arte…, allowed the quebecer theatrical world to discover the work of Hugo Bélanger and his company. Acclaimed by critics and audiences, the show was nominated for two important awards at the Soirée des Masques in 2005 – nominations for Discovery of the Year and Best Costume Design.
The company’s third production, La Princesse Turandot, won 10 audience awards presented at Théâtre Denise-Pelletier in 2006 and 2010. In 2006, Hugo Bélanger’s play won the Masque for Best Script Adaptation as well as being nominated in five other categories.
His ongoing interest in popular theatre that is accessible to all, and in which imagination is the main theme, has led Hugo Bélanger to street theatre, where he is a puppeteer with the company Les Sages Fous. He has toured with them in North America and Europe. He has also directed two shows – in 2005 and 2006 – with Théâtre La Roulotte, the oldest children’s touring theatre in Quebec.
In 2008, he created a new version of Alice in Wonderland (Alice au pays des merveilles). This was the company’s first play for young audience. In its first year, the show won the Acadie-RIDEAU award and has now been performed more than 350 times in Canada, the United States and in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Because street theatre has always fascinated him, Hugo Bélanger created, in 2009, his first play meant specifically for street performance with Les Vieilles (The Old Ladies). The play has already been performed over 90 times in Québec.
MÜNCHHAUSEN, Les machineries de l’imaginaire (MUNCHAUSEN, The Machinery of the Imagination), his latest all ages group show, has been created at Théâtre Denise-Pelletier in Montreal in January 2011. The show was acclaimed by critics and the audience. MÜNCHHAUSEN was on tour in Québec in fall 2012 and will be ready to tour internationally in English in 2014-15.
Also a teacher, Hugo Bélanger has given over 400 workshops to actors – both professional and amateur. He has taught at the National Theatre School of Canada, Conservatoire d’art dramatique de Montréal, St-Hyacinthe CEGEP Theatre Program, the National Circus School and at En Piste – the Circus Arts National Network.
Cirque du Soleil hired him to direct the show for the opening ceremony of the Canadian pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai exhibit.
In October 2012, Hugo Bélanger had a first collaboration with the Montreal Symphonic Orchestra. He directed the play Beethoven vit à l’étage (Beethoven lives upstairs) at the Maison Symphonique.
Hugo Bélanger presented his latest young audience creation, Pinocchio, at Cinquième Salle of Place des Arts in December 2012. This unique adaptation of Collodi’s famous tale is once again acclaimed by the critics and the audience. On tour in Quebec, Canada and the United States, in French and English, the show already counts more than 85 performances.
In 2014, he realises his first collaboration with the Opéra de Montréal by directing Hansel and Gretel at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier.