By Manual Cinema
An impressive and magical piece combining music, cinema, theater and puppets to bring the classic monster created by Mary Shelley in the nineteenth century to life.
Love, loss and creation merge in unexpected ways in this thrilling classic gothic tale, written in 1818 by Mary Shelley and now redefined by North American company Manual Cinema 200 years later. Internationally renowned for their special multimedia style, this interdisciplinary group stiches together the classic story of Frankenstein with its authors own biography to create a story about the beauty and horror of creation from a female perspective. Stories of Shelley, Victor Frankenstein and his Monster expose how the forces of family, community and education shape personhood or destroy it by their absence. Frankenstein is a show that appeals to both emotions and intellect, combining live shadow puppetry, acting, music - with an ensemble that includes clarinets, flutes, cello, marimba, percussion and voices - and cinematic techniques, involving the audience in a visually immersive story and a film with multiple dimensions in real time.
Cast and crew
Adapted by Manual Cinema from Mary Shelley’s novel of the same name. Concept: Drew Dir | Devised by: Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace and Julia Miller | Original music: Ben Kauffman and Kyle Vegter | Storyboards: Drew Dir | Music and sound designers: Ben Kauffman and Kyle Vegter | Puppet designers: Drew Dir and Lizi Breit | Scenic design and projections: Davonte Johnson | Costume and wig designer: Mieka van der Ploeg | Lighting designer: Claire Chrzan | 3D puppet designer: Lizi Breit | Prop designer: Lara Musard | Stage production manager: Erin Albrecht | Video mixing and live sound effects: Shelby Glasgow | Sound engineers: Sadi Tremblay and Mike Usrey | Puppeteers: Sarah Fornace (Victor Frankenstein, Mary Shelley), Julia Van Arsdale Miller (The Creature, Elizabeth Frankenstein) Leah Casey (Caroline Frankenstein, Percy Shelley, vocals), Sara Sawicki (Alphonse Frankenstein, Lord Byron), Myra Su (Ensemble) | Musicians: Peter Ferry (percussion), Zachary Good (clarinet, aux percussion), Deidre Huckabay (flute, aux percussion, piano), Lia Kohl (cello, aux percussion, vocals), Nora Barton (cello, aux percussion, vocals understudy), Jeff Kimmel (clarinet, aux percussion understudy) | Premiered at the Court Theater with Charles Newell (artistic director) and Stephen J. Albert (executive producer) | With the support of: Ari Edelson, artistic director of the Orchard Project, University of Columbia | Originally developed with the Public Theater’s Devised Theater Initiative in a research residency partnership with the University of Colorado and a Jim Henson Workshop Grant.
A fusion of theater, cinema, music and puppets
Fusing performance, design and video, this group was formed in 2010 by Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace, Ben Kauffman, Julia Miller and Kyle Vegter. Its style combines shadow puppetry, cinema and innovative music and sound to create powerful visual stories that captivate the audience, both on stage and screen. Their shows use old overhead projectors, puppets, actors, live cameras and multichannel and live music to transform the cinematic experience into a process that can be enjoyed live, appealing to the audience’s ingenuity and sense of theatrics.
“An exquisitely stylized, self-contained reality that seems to belong both to the early nineteenth century, when Shelley’s novel was written, and to the dark corridors of its author’s imagination”.
“An ingenious merger of live music and captivating visuals. No matter where you look, you’ll find beauty and intrigue”.
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