Canadian Stage Presents IGNORANCE by Calgary's Old Trout Puppet Workshop, Nov 27-Dec 15
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by BWW News Desk
Canadian Stage presents Ignorance, an inventive (and completely adult) puppet documentary about the evolution of happiness from Calgary's world-renonwed Old Trout Puppet Workshop. The newest production from the troupe behind the international hit Famous Puppet Death Scenes stops in Toronto as part of a critically acclaimed Canadian tour from Tuesday, November 27 to Saturday, December 15 at the Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley St.). Tickets from $22 to $49 are available by phone at 416.368.3110, online at www.canadianstage.com, or in person at the box office.
“With its incredibly poignant and creative productions, The Old Trout Puppet Workshop has completely transformed the idea of what puppetry can mean for adult audiences, and in Canadian Stage’s ongoing desire to explore multiple forms of what we call theatre, this company, and this show, have a very special place,” said Matthew Jocelyn, artistic and general director. “Performers and puppets will take audiences on an incisive look at the origin of bliss – trying to explain when we lost it, where we went wrong and how we might find our way again.”
Bouncing between primitive man and modern man, urban sprawl and prehistoric cave life, Ignorance blends live performance with comedy, over-sized puppet heads, balloons, lighting, sound and video effects. Puppeteers Nicolas Di Gaetanto, Trevor Leigh and Viktor Lukawski bring various characters to life on stage, becoming extensions of the hand-crafted puppets themselves, with Judd Palmer (artistic director and co-founder of The Old Trout Puppet Workshop) as the an omniscient narrator. A bleak and harsh Garden of Eden, designed by The Old Trout Puppet Workshop creative team, with animation from four artists, is the backdrop for this imaginative performance.
The production is The Old Trout Puppet Workshop’s first attempt at Open Creation - the entire show was written on the internet for all to see, with crowd-sourced comments, criticism and contributions. Learn more on the Ignorance Blog at www.theoldtrouts.org/ignorance. Especially relevant in a time when communities are online, Ignorance addresses the age-old “ignorance is bliss” adage and poses the question: in our quest to know so much, have we lost a connection with what actually makes us human?
The Old Trout Puppet Workshop is a motley gang of artists churning out ideas for a whole heap of unlikely things: puppet shows for adults and children, sculptures, films, music, books, plays, paintings, and pedagogy. Founded on a ranch in southern Alberta in 1999, the company has toured productions across Canada and into the United States and Europe. The Old Trouts have mounted seven main stage shows, most of which are lurking in crates at the workshop, ready to deploy. The Old Trouts also run an apprenticeship program, with technical and administrative wings, and created the puppetry for Feist’s Juno Award-winning music video, Honey, Honey. In November 2012, Old Trout co-founder and artistic director Judd Palmer was nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award in Children’s literature for his book The Umbrella.
Ignorance will be on stage at the Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley St.). Performances run Monday through Saturday at 8 p.m. with matinees on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. The performance runs 75 minutes with no intermission.
Tickets from $22 to $49 are available online, by phone at 416.368.3110 or in person at the box office. For details visit www.canadianstage.com. Discount tickets are available thanks to Sun Life Financial, Discount Ticket Programs Sponsor.
Written by The Old Trout Puppet Workshop with anonymous contributors and directed by The Old Trout Puppet Workshop, Ignorance features performers Nicolas Di Gaetanto, Trevor Leigh and Viktor Lukawski, with narrator Judd Palmer. Puppets and props by Peter Balkwill, Erin Baskerville, Juanita Dawn, Nicolas Di Gaetano, Jen Gareau, Pityu Kenderes, Deneen McArthur, Judd Palmer and Clunk Puppet. Lab: JoNathan Davis, Kyla Read and Shawna Reiter. Animation: Paul Dutton, Sitji Chou, Jessi Schroeyers-Frederick and Tyler Lemermeyer.
Costumes by Jen Gareau with the assistance of Laurana Rayne, Lighting design by CimmeRon Meyer, Projection design by Jamie Nesbitt, Sound design by Trevor Leigh, Set design by The Old Trout Puppet Workshop, Set construction by The Old Trout Puppet Workshop with the help of
Founded in 1987, Canadian Stage is one of the country’s leading not-for-profit Contemporary Theatre companies, with the 2012.13 season marking the organization’s 25th anniversary season. Under the direction of Artistic & General Director Matthew Jocelyn, the company presents multidisciplinary theatre with a focus on emerging performance styles that integrate theatre with other artistic mediums such as dance, film, visual arts and more. Sharing innovative and vibrant theatre from Canada and around the world, the company stages an annual season of work at three major venues (the Bluma Appel Theatre, the Berkeley Street Theatre and the High Park Amphitheatre) and runs a series of artist development and education initiatives, as well as youth and community outreach programs. For more information, visit www.canadianstage.com.
Ignorance photo courtesy of The Old Trout Puppet Workshop