Original puppet theatre production ‘The Immortals’ to open April 10

April 8, 2015 | Arts, Events, UToday, — Communication and the Arts
By Angela Riddel

The UT Department of Theatre and Film will close out its 2014-15 season with a work of puppet theatre created by Lecturer Erica Frank, a costume designer of theatre, film and commercial production, with a specialization in mask and puppetry.

Students rehearsed a scene from “The Immortals,” which will feature puppetry and masks created by Erica Frank, UT lecturer in theatre.

Students rehearsed a scene from “The Immortals,” which will feature puppetry and masks created by Erica Frank, UT lecturer in theatre.

“The Immortals” is a play that uses poetry, utopian myth and fantasy to craft a universe in which forces are bringing to rapid decay a world once bright, colorful and full of promise. But all is not lost; “The Immortals” is ultimately a story of hope.

The UT production brings together a talented team of students, faculty and local professionals — composing the music score, creating the voices of the creatures, bringing them to life on stage as puppeteers, and developing and building the puppets and the stage world they inhabit.

“In all of my years here in the UT Department of Theatre and Film, I have to say that this is one of the most ambitiously creative and adventurous productions we have ever produced,” said Dr. Edmund Lingan, associate professor and chair of theatre and film.
“This is a breathtakingly beautiful, amazing piece of theatre art and finely crafted storytelling.”

Frank’s poetic script tells the tale of Chang E, a pale, luminescent immortal of the moon. Displaced by the chaos that has dislodged her from her lunar home, she bemoans the unnatural terrestrial decay: “Your life is scarcely shown and withered, from the sky I’ve been delivered, from moon to shadow in the day, where sun should be to light the way. On this island, once spring eternal, dark north wind has come infernal, price of freedom, dreams will cease, when poisons from planets increase.”

“The Immortals” will open Friday, April 10, and run through Sunday, April 12, and Friday, April 17, through Sunday, April 19, in the Center for Performing Arts Center Theatre. Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

On opening night, the department will hold a free pre-show panel discussion, “Challenges and Hope: Theatre and Positive Change in the Age of Global Warming” at 5:30 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall. Four speakers will make brief presentations, and there will be a talkback session with the audience. The speakers will be Frank; Dr. Andy Jorgensen, UT associate professor of chemistry; Dr. Patrick Lawrence, UT professor and chair of geography and planning; and Dr. Mike Weintraub, UT associate professor of environmental sciences.

Tickets to “The Immortals” range from $7 to $12 and will be available at the door or in advance from the UT Center for Performing Arts Box Office, by calling 419.530.2375, and online at utoledo.tix.com.

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