Finding best in humanity

Runaway Moon: Puppets head out on the road.

  • Mar. 23, 2016 8:00 p.m.
Puppet power: Runaway Moon artistic director Cathy Stubington works with two of the puppets featured in 21 Days to Make the World Last Longer that will take place at Shuswap Theatre.

Puppet power: Runaway Moon artistic director Cathy Stubington works with two of the puppets featured in 21 Days to Make the World Last Longer that will take place at Shuswap Theatre.

By Kristin Froneman
Black Press

Runaway Moon Theatre Company, known for its environmental productions and community plays often involving handmade, life-like puppets, is presenting its documentary-style puppet production, 21 Ways to Make the World Last Longer, at the Spark Festival in Victoria’s Belfry Theatre next week.

“21 Ways to Make the World Last Longer is a practical, hopeful and simple tribute to the beauty of humanity,” reads a release about the production, which makes its way to Salmon Arm after a Victoria showing. “This brand new puppet play for youth and adults is a 90-minute funny and dramatic sharing of the kooky and maybe necessary approaches to living on an endangered planet.”

Co-written by Runaway Moon artistic director Cathy Stubington and director James Fagan Tait, who also directed the play Tuwitames for Runaway Moon at the Splatsin Tsm7aksaltn Teaching Centre in Enderby in 2014, this production features 28 puppet characters along with their handlers and live actors.

Puppet makers/operators Stubington and Zompopo Flores are joined by guest performers Fagan Tait, Sarah May Redmond and Tom Jones, who are well known to Runaway Moon and Caravan Farm Theatre audiences.

“Using the magic of Runaway Moon rod puppetry and an eclectic quintet of puppeteers, this production is sure to make you wonder, remember and reflect,” reads the release.

Runaway Moon has been exploring and performing its particular style of puppet theatre for more than three decades.

From its roots in Montreal, and a series of productions at the Caravan Farm Theatre from 1989 to 1998, the company has since been based at Curly Willow Farm in Grindrod. Its shows are often held outdoors in deliberately planted settings of corn, sunflowers and other vegetables.

“This new play is created for the indoor theatre setting, allowing the puppeteers to disappear in the dark while the puppet world comes alive in the imaginations of the audience,” reads the release.

21 Ways to Make the World Last Longer takes the stage at the Shuswap Theatre in Salmon Arm March 31 and April 1 at 7:30 p.m., and April 2 at 2 and 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are available at Intwined Fibre Arts on Hudson Avenue, toll free by calling 1-866-311-101, or online at www.ticketseller.ca.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $13 for those 12 to 19 and $8 for children under 12. A family of two adults and two children pay $43.

This production is included in the Salmon Arm Arts Council’s ShuGo tickets for youths aged 12 to 21. These tickets are $5 each and young people must purchase their own tickets at the Arts Centre on Hudson Avenue.