Three Maine Theatre Troupes Converge With Puppets

News   Three Maine Theatre Troupes Converge With Puppets
 
Freeport, ME's Figures of Speech Theatre, Portland Stage Company, and Portland's Mad Horse Theatre join forces for five performances of an award-winning theatricalization of an Inuit (Eskimo) story, Anerca.
Bunraku puppets of the Inuit boy and the old Shaman woman
Bunraku puppets of the Inuit boy and the old Shaman woman Photo by Photo courtesy Portland Stage Company

Freeport, ME's Figures of Speech Theatre, Portland Stage Company, and Portland's Mad Horse Theatre join forces for five performances of an award-winning theatricalization of an Inuit (Eskimo) story, Anerca.

Through puppets, performers, music, movement, shadow projections, dreamlike imagery and poetry, the production reveals the story of a 15 year-old Inuit boy who must find a way to bridge the worlds of his initiation work with an older Shaman woman, and the fascinations of white culture.

"In a series of dramatic images, realities merge, diverge, and oppose one another, following the idiosyncratic logic of dreams and visions, the timeless concentration of ceremony..." the program reads. In Eskimo, Anerca means the soul or that which is eternal.

Anerca was originally created and performed by Figures of Speech Artistic Directors, husband and wife team John Farrell and Carol Llewellyn. Premiering in 1985, it was directed by Michael Rafkin, artistic director of the Mad Horse Theatre, who directs the current remounting.

Anerca then toured internationally, funded in part by grants from the Henson Foundation and the Puppeteers of America Endowment Fund. In 1986, it received the Citation of Excellence from Union Internationale de la Marionette. Anerca's production at Portland Stage includes the artistic participation of co-Artistic directors Christopher Akerlind and Anita Stewart, with the former designing lights and latter set and costumes.

A program quote from the creators says, "Anerca is thus a celebration of Inuit culture's impact on our lives and creators of theatre. . .A meditation on animism, on environment, on reality as a product of the mind and the imagination."

Anerca will be performed at PSC for five performances only. A free post-show forum will take place at PSC approximately 10 minutes after the final performance on Sunday. The topic will be "Cross-Cultural Communication," and include guest speakers.

For tickets or information, call (207) 774-0465, or refer to the Portland Stage Company regional theatre on Playbill On-Line.

--By Blair Glaser

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