Time never passed in the floating town.
The child was always twelve.


Looking oh so natural,
the supernatural
is all around us"

Jules Supervielle


"Sailors who dream upon the high seas, with your elbows propped on the handrail, be fearful lest you dwell too long in the darkness of the night on a beloved face. For if you do, you risk giving birth, in places that are essentially deserted, to a being gifted with every human sensibility, who can neither live nor die nor love, and yet suffers as though he lived and loved and was always on the point of death, a being infinitely disinherited in the watery solitudes, like that child of the Ocean, born one day in the mind of Charles Lievens, of Steenvoorde, a deck-hand of the four-master Fearless, who had lost his twelve-year old daughter during one of his voyages, and one night, at a place of 55 degrees latitude North and 35 degrees longitude West, thought of her for a long time, with terrible intensity, to the great misfortune of that child."

Thus ends the short story called "The child of the open sea" by Jules Supervielle. The touching presence of the little girl makes us ponder childhood states of mind: their gravity, their flippancy, their deep sensitivity that traverses time and the borders that separate the tangible world from the supernatural. As I was moved by the story of the girl and her extreme isolation, I would like to make a theatre for her shadows, but above all suggest to her that they are tinted with light and colour. The shadow play becomes an “art of showing and concealing".

The life of the shadows and figures is also the direct expression of the sensibility of the puppeteers themselves. The “light-ship”, or “lighthouse-woman”, the mask work embodied by the character of the goat, are all prolongations of a reflection on the bonds that unite the human body and the inanimate figures.

On the stage of "The child of the open sea”, we strive to embody, give
substance, a silhouette, to apparitions, dreams, imagined and imaginary
creatures, and procure release for real people and those in the other
world through a structured, organic ritual.

Through the shadow puppetry, hope is rekindled; the words of “the child of the high seas” are spoken, sung, expressed in images and travel beyond the page. 


A child lives in a strange, watery village lost in the middle of the ocean. How does she live? Who is she? Does she really exist? Can sailors hear the child calling out?
This puppet play is about isolation, and the difficulty of communicating with the outside world. Moving lights, words and pictures are imprinted transiently on flowing screens, paper or fabric veils.
A child's vulnerability in the face of loneliness and death finds "moving support" in the tenderness of the performance.
The figures and shadows start to move, come alive in a vision that is the only proof of the existence of a lost loved one that the mind, "with terrible force", is stubbornly determined to bring back to life.

The production team

art direction, design, shadows and figures Aurélie Morin
Choreography, assistance with stage direction Chloé Attou
Outlook perspective Arnaud Délicata
Music David Morin, Aurélien Beylier
Scenography, assistance with stage direction / Construction David Frier, Pascal Jean-Fulrand, Messaoud Ferhat, Christian Rachner
Plastic art productions Valentine Canto-Martinez
Video Laure Carnet
The players Julia Kovacs, Aurélie Morin
Technical direction Aurélien Beylier
Administration / production Yannick Valin


TJP CDN d’Alsace-Strasbourg, Théâtre de Villefranche sur Saône, Le Granit Scène nationale, Belfort.

with the baking of

DRAC Rhône-Alpes,Conseil Général de la Drôme

Tour schedule



bt-video2 La-vague-oceane-et-le-village Bleu silhouette Ecran-bleu 05-ane Enfant 05-ane ane-consolation ane-robe carte-marine Julia théâtre de nuit marin-ombre Premier-pas Robe-et-Sabo Silhouette-grande