Mummenschanz to Bring Art of Illusion to St. Johnsbury Academy
Legendary Swiss-based theater troupe Mummenschanz will perform an all-ages, family-favorite show at St. Johnsbury Academy’s Fuller Hall on Tuesday, January 19 as part of the KCP Presents Performing Arts Series. Showtime is 7:00 pm. Mummenschanz uses props, masks, shadow, light, and humor to convey timeless stories with broad human appeal – all without using any music or dialogue.
Founded in Paris in 1972 by Andres Bossard, Floriana Frassetto and Bernie Schürch, Mummenschanz are world-renowned pioneers of the genre known as visual theater. Their performances, sometimes likened to those of popular contemporary dance troupe MOMIX, are constructed of unique illusionist skits. Using movement and gesture to communicate universally-recognized experiences and emotions, Mummenschanz have delighted and beguiled audiences in 60 countries spanning five continents.
The group became widely known in the United States following a 1976 special guest appearance on the first season of The Muppet Show, and enjoyed a sensational three-year run on Broadway from 1977-1979. With continued timeless appeal, Mummenschanz have toured internationally now for 43 years.
Mummenschanz – the name used for both the troupe and the performance itself – is German for “mummery”, or a play involving mimes. But co-founder Frassetto describes the troupe’s captivating use of light, color, choreography and surreal touches as being closer to the Swiss Carnival tradition than to white mask pantomime. Whatever you call it, the show has a way of pulling audiences in. New York Times critic Ken Jawarowski writes, “While my inner grump tried to scoff at ‘Mummenschanz’, my inner kid seldom stopped grinning.”
In a world with so much noise, perhaps the most dazzling aspect of Mummenschanz is the group’s skill at engaging audiences of all ages while remaining non-verbal. Jawarowski adds, “Now the show is particularly vital to young audiences who’ve been raised on beeping gadgets and headphones, and rarely experience the extraordinary power of silence.”
More information and tickets are available at KCPpresents.org or through the NEK Regional Box Office at 802-757-5559. The KCP Presents Performing Arts Series is produced by Catamount Arts working in association with Kingdom County Productions and with grant support from the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information contact Andrea Kane, (802) 349-0749 or email email@example.com.