Encore Michigan

Dreamtigers returns to PuppetART in Detroit

Review March 19, 2015 David Kiley

isabel_dreamtigersDreamtigers has returned to the PuppetART Theater for a run of performances. And if you have kids or grandkids, and have not seen it before, you are missing out.

At a time when parents are, or should be, always on the lookout for truly family-friendly theater experiences that can be hard to find, Dreamtigers is a charming, inventive display of shadow puppetry in a well-crafted story that also shows kids and burgeoning producers how magical a play can be when the writing is strong and players committed to telling a simple story.

Created by The Hinterlands, a Detroit-based ensemble theater company specializing in original works, and first performed at PuppetART in 2012, “Dreamtigers” blends physical theater, shadow and object puppetry, and dance to take you into the strange world of dreams where nothing is as it seems.

Isabel is a little girl from Oaxaca, Mexico who loves everything to do with science. Living with her father and brother in a remote house high upon a cliff, she spends days learning about the wonders of the nature, and night after night, dreaming of the world laid out in her books. After a terrifying dream that is infiltrated by beastly wild tigers, Isabel vows never to sleep again. Soon, the whole family has caught Isabel’s insomnia and life will never be the same.

Dreamtigers is based on the work of Latin American authors Jorge Luis Borges, Octavio Paz, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Julio Cortazar as well as traditional Mexican folk tales. Produced by PuppetART and created by The Hinterlands, “Dreamtigers” is directed by Richard Newman and performed by Liza Bielby, Richard Newman and Dave Sanders. Puppet design is by Rolando Garcia and Carrie Morris.

The actors perform at high energy for about an hour, which is a good recipe for keeping kids as young as five or six engaged for as much time as they will sit still. But make no mistake, older kids, especially those enamored with theater, should leave inspired, as well as entertained. The set is simple and whimsical with stacks of books piled high. Isabel’s bed and tented sheet is very familiar to kids as she goes to bed reading with a flashlight, only to have her dreams come to life in shadows on the tent.

The current run began on March 14. Future performances are March 19, 21, 28 and 29.

For more information, please call the PuppetART box office at 313-961-7777. Box office hours are noon – 3 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday. Or find PuppetART on the web at www.puppetart.org.

PuppetART Theater is located at 25 E. Grand River in Detroit. Plentiful parking spaces, including attended parking garages within easy walking distance.

Week of 8/21/2017

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