Department of Performing Arts

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  Spring Forward in Time at The Harry Hope

The Eastern Harry Hope Theatre (Shafer Hall, corner of High and Valley Streets, Willimantic, CT) will host an array of contemporary shows starting with By the Willow, An Adult Puppet Extravaganza, presented by international guest artists, Faye Dupras of Canada, Yann-Gael Marie Poncet of France, and Andrea Rubinstein of Brazil on Thursday-Saturday, February 24-26, at 8pm; Sunday, February 27, at 4pm. They bring multiple talents to Eastern and represent the best in the new, youthful vision of what puppetry and people productions can be in intimate surroundings like our Harry Hope blackbox theatre.

Utilizing found objects, shadow and rod puppets, live actors and music, Madam Dorka and her apprentice Gobo tell the amazing story of Felicia and Lucien, two lovers whose lives become intertwined with the branches of a willow tree. By the Willow is an adaptation of a Romanian folk tale and the actors in colorful folk costumes narrate the story and manipulate the rod and shadow puppets that represent the main characters. Adding carefully chosen musical textures, musician Yann-Gael Poncet performs on violin, guitar and other instruments.

Reviews from the show seen at the Ottawa Fringe Festival state that "It is a simply stunning use of props and set and is an absolutely magical performance by actors, musician and puppets alike. The craft and skill plus the wonderful story combined make this a must-see!"
After a performance at Peaks Island, Maine, another review points out that "while suitable for children, it is also serious theatre for adults. It certainly broadened my notion of what a 'puppet show' can be!"

Next Arthur Miller's The American Clock directed by Ellen Faith Brodie, Director of Theatre will run Tuesday-Saturday, April 12-16, at 8pm; Sunday, April 17, at 4pm. As Christopher Bigsby states, "The American Clock is about survival and in that sense is celebratory. It is, he (Miller) insists, a vaudeville and as such consists of a series of scenes connected with music. Forty years earlier he would have written it as an earnest social drama. That drama is there but almost as postmodern quotation. Now it becomes an impressionist epic, a pointillist landscape, a series of tableaux, a mural, as he (Miller) restages the past for the benefit of the present." As Miller himself has said, "I think the job of the to remind people of what they have chosen to forget."

Last up at the HHT will be Short Stuff 2005, student written and directed one-acts to be presented Thursday-Saturday, May 5-7, at 8pm; Sunday, May 8,at 4pm. These shows will tour to the Sargent Theatre in NYC as part of the CSU Theatre-In-New York Showcase of Student Talent May 26-28 in rotation with shows from CCSU and SCSU. Tickets for Harry Hope Theatre shows are $5 for Eastern students and children under 12; $10 for Senior Citizens and Eastern faculty and staff; $12 for the general public.

For more information and reservations, please call the HHT box office at 860-465-5123.

83 Windham Street, Willimantic, Connecticut 06226 USA
Phone: (860) 465-5325 | Fax: (860) 465-5764
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