Friday, May 6, 2011

Artistry with Strings

I urge anyone who lives in or visits Colorado Springs to take in some live theatre at the Simpich Showcase Marionette Theatre. It is a rare and magical piece of art that entertains and inspires as it tells classic tales and reveals spiritual truths. I was recently enchanted by a moving performance of John Bunyan’s allegory Pilgrim’s Progress in this small, intimate theatre that is perfect for a performance with marionette puppets.

Beautiful puppets adorned in period costumes bring the story to life. David Simpich uses deft movements of his hands and myriad voices with the twenty some puppets to dramatize the story. I am amazed at the many skills he uses to create a flight into fantasy as artisan, craftsman, playwright, actor and stage technician.

Although he convinces the audience that it is the puppets who are talking he resists remaining a silent presence behind the marionettes. He unobtrusively becomes a player as well, touching the audience with his warmth and humanity.

This theatre is beyond the understanding of very young children. But I have good memories of taking our children to these productions years ago when they were old enough to appreciate them. And I look forward to the time when my grandchildren can share this extraordinary experience with me.

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