Spotlight On: New show debuts in 'ShadowStories'
"ShadowStories," three shadow puppet plays featuring live music, will be performed at 10 a.m. March 15, Charles A Brown Ice House, 56 River St., Sand Island, Bethlehem.
"ShadowStories" is the brainchild of Doug Roysden, creator of the Bethlehem-based Mock Turtle Marionette Theatre, which performs puppet shows throughout the Lehigh Valley and beyond, featuring the scripts and handmade puppets of Roysden, along with other creative contributors.
"ShadowStories" highlights the music of Gamelan Mekar Sari, an orchestral ensemble of Valley devotees of Indonesian music. An international theme flows throughout all three Mock Turtle plays.
One play, "The Grumpy Gecko," Mock Turtle's new shadow play, has a Bali theme, another, "Travels to Tondo," is African-influenced, and still another, "Legend of Sung Low," has China elements. Drums, gongs, cymbals and metalophones are some of the instruments played.
Roysden has been interested in the arts for as long as he can remember.
"I was always drawn to all phases of the arts -- music, performing drawing " he says.
"Puppetry may be the place where all those lines cross. It gave me a chance to do all the things that I love best. I was both an art major and an English major. Both disciplines are the fundamental basis for doing puppetry. Writing is the single most important component of the puppetry show, next to the puppets themselves."
With "ShadowStories," Roysden is excited to introduce an unusual art form to the audience.
"Basically, I would have to say it is an introduction to the art of shadow puppetry," he says of the performance. "And it is very much a family show. It's not just the kids who will be seeing shadow puppetry for the first time, but their parents, too."
Roysden is quick to mention that after the "ShadowStories" performance, children and families in attendance can meet and greet cast members and musicians.
"A puppet-making workshop will also be held immediately following the performance for a small extra cost," he adds.