Mind of a Snail is a shadow puppetry duo currently based out of Vancouver B.C. Canada, on the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlil̓wətaʔɬ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Since 2003, Chloé Ziner and Jessica Gabriel have been developing a multilayered style of visual storytelling using handmade projections. Their performances play at the intersection of puppetry, visual arts, clowning & music. They have recently been integrating live video and interactive live-streaming into their tool kit. As artistic collaborators, they love exploring beyond the boundaries of traditional theatre, and creating magical immersive experiences for their audiences. Mind of a Snail’s shadow theatre is like an early animation created live before your eyes.
They have created original work for Vancouver Art Gallery, Telus World of Science, Persephone Theatre in Saskatoon and numerous other organizations. They have also performed in theatre & arts festivals across Canada such as Wildside Festival in Montreal, Revolver Festival in Vancouver, Summerworks in Toronto, Casteliers International Puppetry Festival in Montreal, Festival International des Arts de la Marionnette à Saguenay and many more. International highlights include a tour of Taiwan 2017 & performing on the mainstage of the Puppeteers of America Festival in Minneapolis in 2019 with their show “Caws & Effect”. During covid, they quickly pivoted to an interactive online format and have performed live virtually for a number of festivals across Canada & internationally, including Festival Internacional de Teatro de Sombras in Brazil and Red Pearl Clown Festival in Finland.
Recent projects include: facilitating a two week puppetry workshop for members of the disability community with Real Wheels Theatre; projection design for Leah Abrahamson’s “Songs for a Lost Pod”; creating “Improv in 5 Dimensions” a hybrid live-digital show with a team of five remote improvisers for Vancouver Improv Festival; working with the band “The Giving Shapes” to make visuals and explore narrative for their new concept album “Earth Rings Like a Bell”; and a creation residency with comedy duo Hip.Bang! to devise an experimental theatre experience called “Ti:me”.
Their show “Multiple Organism” won the Critic’s Choice Innovation Award at the 2018 Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards. They were nominated for Outstanding Projection Design for Persephone Theatre’s production of “Matchstick” at the 2015 SATAwards in Saskatoon. Their shows “Multiple Organism”, “Curious Contagious”, “Caws & Effect” & “Against Gravity” have won dozens of awards including “best of fest” “artistic risk” and “patron’s pick” at Fringe Theatre festivals across Canada and the USA. Mind of a Snail did dramaturgy and directed the puppetry in Scantilly Glad’s show “Something in the Water” that won Best Theatre Award at the 2021 Adelaide Fringe.