Noted artist and storyteller Brian Andreas' wood sculptures and dramatic texts have been adapted for the stage by Jane McEneaney, founder of the N.Y.E. Theatre Company, and will be premiered Aug. 20 at the Gascon Theatre Center. The run is through Sept. 25.
Andreas' work has been exhibited in over 100 galleries and museums. He has also published two books, "Mostly True" and "Still Mostly True."
In adapting Storypeople to the stage, McEneaney has not altered any of Andreas' texts. His stories remain intact but they have been woven together to form conversations between characters, with live percussion added to punctuate the dramatic highs and lows. The setting is a playground maze, and the actors have been costumed to resemble Andreas' drawings, while the movement is derived from children's games.
Storypeople features 16 artists celebrating and rediscovering the wonders of childhood through storytelling, color, dance, dance and live percussion. Their focus is on Andreas' sculptures, which take the form of 3'-4" tall in stylized human figures, assembled from recycled barn and fence wood and then combined with "found" objects such as twists of wire. They are painted in bright colors, hand-stamped (a letter at a time) with original stories on their bodies, and then adorned with shaded spirit faces blended into the wood surfaces.
Featured in the cast are Tracy Birmingham, Douglas Brandl, Kary Cawley, Carol Clark, Susan Lubeck, Joseph S. Moser, Shano Palovich and Frank Spinelli.The Gascon Theatre Center is located at 8737 Washington Blvd. in Culver City. For tickets and information call (310) 322-3142.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent