French theatre presents : Comment j’ai appris à parler aux oiseaux (Ages 5 to 9)

Saturday, Feb. 10 and Sunday, Feb. 11 at 3 p.m., NAC Azrieli Studio

“D. Kimm skilfully mingles goofiness, conspiratorial moments with her audience,
and poetic asides brimming with possibilities.”

Le Devoir, May 10, 2017 (Transl.)


OTTAWA, January 24, 2018 – A peek into the world of birds, custom-made for young audiences! Smack dab in the middle of Winterlude, it’s well worth leaving your nest to meet multitalented artist D. Kimm and her quirky alter ego, Mademoiselle Mouche, an endearing, slightly clown-like character who’s fond of kung fu and hip hop. She’s totally adorable. Her funny stories and oversize projections of birds are delightful. She goes to the gym to get in shape for flying, and she’s learning to speak bird. One day, surely, she’ll take flight!

Conceived, written, directed and performed by D. Kimm // Lighting: Lucie Bazzo // Music: Guido Del Fabbro // Video images: Allison Moore // Costumes and props: Maude Audet, Erica Schmitz and Nicole Villiger // Artistic consultants: Simon Boulerice, Yves Dagenais, Jasmine Dubé and Hélène Langevin

Produced by Les Filles électriques in association with NAC French Theatre

Running time: 55 minutes



Multidisciplinary artist D. Kimm (poetry, spoken word, performance, video) is the artistic director of Montreal-based theatre company Les Filles électriques and the Phenomena Festival. She creates highly original works (La salle des pas perdus, La mariée perpétuelle, La mythologie expliquée) that incorporate new technology and are infused with surrealism and a 19th‑century aesthetic (circus arts, curio cabinets). Shifting effortlessly between genres, she formed Mankind, an electronic music duo, with Alexis O’Hara, and Brahmine, an ensemble of 10 zany and free-spirited creators. Comment j’ai appris à parler aux oiseaux is her first play for young audiences. © Rolline Laporte




Comment j'ai appris à parler aux oiseaux is your first play for young audiences. What prompted you to write it?

“The idea came to me suddenly, unexpectedly, while I was working on another project which I subsequently abandoned. I read Yoko Ogawa’s very beautiful novel Petits Oiseaux (‘little birds’). One of the characters in the book is autistic, and only speaks ‘bird.’ I immediately thought of this title: Comment j’ai appris à parler aux oiseaux (‘How I learned to talk to birds’). I knew right away that it would be for children. That scared me, because I’d never written anything for young audiences. But try as I might to avoid it, there was no denying that because of its poetic and playful nature, its honest and straightforward theme, this was going to be a play for children.”

Read the full interview on the show’s webpage


After a peripatetic year of performances in venues outside the National Arts Centre, the Enfance/jeunesse series returns to the beautiful new NAC for our 2017–18 season!


Our pre-show activities are back, to the delight of theatregoers young and old! Join us for a paper bird-making workshop, and visit our reading nook, created in partnership with the Ottawa Public Library and stocked with books related to the themes of the play.

Where: Azrieli Studio Foyer
When: 45 minutes before each performance

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