Over the past 15 years, Normand Blais has carved out a niche for himself in the Quebec theatre world by inventing and gaining recognition for a new role on creative teams—that of prop designer. He is also the first to hold this position at Cirque du Soleil.
On Zumanity, Normand is in charge of designing hand props for the artists, in addition to furniture and objects for the stage created by set designer Stéphane Roy.
Normand has participated in the production of over one hundred plays since completing his studies in Theatre Production at Cégep de St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, in 1987. From the outset, he made a veritable speciality out of his ability to unearth objects resonant with meaning, as well as his legendary attention to detail. In Montreal, Normand is "prop designer in residence" for contemporary theatre troupe La Compagnie Jean Duceppe, but that doesn't prevent him from sharing his talents with most of the city's other theatre companies.
Many renowned Quebecois directors have called on Normand to help breathe life into productions that include both classics and original works. His ingenious and pertinent finds contributed to the success of the musical The Man of La Mancha, directed by René Richard Cyr, which in 2002 was awarded the Prix du public and the Prix de la meilleure production en région by the Académie québécoise du théâtre. In the same year, Normand also designed props for Italian quick-change artist Arturo Brachetti, internationally acclaimed by critics and the public alike.