Richard Kroeker


Le Theatre du Petit Cercle

This theatre was built in the Acadian fishing village of Cheticamp on Cape Breton Island in the summer of 2004. Each year the community hosts a francophone children's theatre camp, and the Theatre du Petit Cercle is one of the main venues for these summer performances. It is located between the Atlantic coast and the Cape Breton Highlands where conditions create hurricane force winds throughout the year. The theatre is constructed to withstand these winds. It is anchored to a playground slide which acts as a mooring post from which the form of the theatre swings downwind in a curving shape like a fishing boat. It is wind transparent, breaking the wind down, but at the same time offering as little wind resistance as possible. The walls are more porous at the top than at the bottom. The double walls are diagonally braced and the lower part of the wall cavity is filled with stone ballast ‒ like the ballast of local lobster traps and crab pots. The seating, made of salvaged bleachers, is also held against the wind by fishing nets filled with stones. The form of the theatre positions the audience near the action, creates shelter, and contains the sound.