Phosphorescent puppets to start the year at PAS
Recycling. Technology. Dancing. What seems like an unlikely combination has been woven into an award-winning show that will delight Socorroans of all ages. Lightwire Theater presents “The Adventures of the Tortoise and the Hare: Next Generation” to kick off the new year. The Performing Arts Series (PAS) show is scheduled for Monday, January 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Macey Center.
In this glow-in-the-dark adventure, the familiar story of the tortoise and the hare is transported to the future where kids, Tortoise Junior and Lil’ Hare, explore a whole new world with smart phones and video games. When their adventures get them in trouble, Old Man Tortoise and Big Daddy Hare must work together to save their children despite their past differences.
Lightwire Theater uses recycled materials, draped in dark material and a special form of wire to create their characters. Lightwire is internationally recognized for its electroluminescent art. The group’s first theatrical production, Dino-Light, received the prestigious Jim Henson Foundation Fellowship. Lightwire was a semi-finalist on “America’s Got Talent” and winner of “Tru TV’s Fake Off”.
Professional dancers Ian Carney and Corbin Popp met in New York and found they shared a love for technology and theater as well as art. “El-wire” opened up worlds of possibilities in their minds. The electroluminescent wire or “el-wire” is a thin copper wire coated with a phosphor which produces light when an alternating current is supplied. This technique does not use any theatrical lighting or external power since the light is supplied by batteries. This gives dancers and puppeteers the freedom to move around and dance on stage.
They and their wives form the majority of the troupe, which travels the country in a 14-foot trailer that holds their paraphernalia. Although hampered by COVID-19, they managed to do a few TV shows: Game of Talents which aired in March 2021 and Tu Si Que Vales in Italy which was filmed last summer, according to Eleanor Carney. Additionally, they had two separate Christmas show tours. Based in New Orleans, Lightwire will perform in Austin and Texarkana before coming to Socorro.
The company builds all of its characters from scratch, using recycled materials of all kinds. “Our favorite recycled material that we use in all of our shows is election signs,” says Eleanor Carney. “They are lightweight, waterproof (and) easy to fold. Other items are plumbing and fishing supplies, and old sports equipment. Each character takes around 200 hours to build. They are formed in such a way that they can be broken down for easy transport and storage.
“The illusion is spectacular and constantly surprising,” says a review from PuppetMaster. Dazzling visuals, poignant storytelling, and creative use of music from classical to pop transform this classic folklore into a modern-day fable.
Come see for yourself on Monday, January 17 at the Macey Center. Masks are mandatory and current COVID protocol will be practiced. Tickets are available online at nmt.edu/pas. The show will also be streamed with links on the PAS website. For more information, call 575-835-5688 or email [email protected]