Pup­pets, bi­cy­cles and sto­ry­telling take cen­ter stage

The Morning Call - - FESTIVAL UNBOUND - By Kathy Lauer-Wil­liams and Margie Peter­son

A new mixed me­dia play about poet and Beth­le­hem na­tive Hilda Doolit­tle; a bi­cy­cle theater group that cel­e­brates the Christ­mas City; sto­ry­telling by lo­cal veter­ans; and a Pol­ish theater troupe ex­plor­ing in­equal­ity and poverty in Beth­le­hem are a few of the more than 20 free and tick­eted events Oct. 4-13, that are part of Touchstone Theatre’s ten-day Fes­ti­val Un­Bound.

Fes­ti­val Un­Bound plans to use art to spark con­ver­sa­tion about how the city has changed in the 20 years since the clos­ing of Beth­le­hem Steel, and to imag­ine its fu­ture to­gether now that it is “un­bound” from the Steel.

Here are a few spot­lighted shows to check out.

Info and tick­ets: 610-867-1689, Touchstone.org or fes­ti­val­un­bound.com

‘The Se­cret’ from Mock Tur­tle Mar­i­onette Theatre

“The Se­cret” is an ex­plo­ration of the Le­high Val­ley’s cel­e­brated fem­i­nist writer and LGBTQ icon Hilda Doolit­tle (H.D.) from Mock Tur­tle Mar­i­onette Theatre. It pre­mieres

Oct. 5-8 at Touchstone Theatre in Beth­le­hem.

Us­ing nar­ra­tive, song and pup­petry, “The Se­cret” jour­neys to Beth­le­hem’s past. It is di­rected by Jen­nie Gil­rain and fea­tures pup­pets by Doug Roys­don.

Doolit­tle (1886-1961) was born in Beth­le­hem’s Mo­ra­vian com­mu­nity, where she found her style in early child­hood. As she de­vel­oped her tech­nique, Doolit­tle’s in­no­va­tive and ex­per­i­men­tal poetry and prose es­tab­lished her as a lead­ing Mod­ernist writer in the early 20th cen­tury. She is widely rec­og­nized to­day as a fem­i­nist vi­sion­ary.

“The Se­cret” be­gins in 1894 Beth­le­hem, with the young Doolit­tle walk­ing down Church Street on a snowy win­ter evening with her brother and par­ents when she con­fronts the memory of how her grand­fa­ther si­lenced Doolit­tle’s mother. This si­lenc­ing of women, be­comes a cen­tral theme of the play — and of Doolit­tle’s life and work — as she re­jects tra­di­tional fem­i­nine roles and seeks her own voice.

Doolit­tle is por­trayed on­stage by two ac­tors, and 13 uniquely

PHOTO COUR­TESY MOCK TUR­TLE MARIONETTE­S

Doug Roys­don cre­ated 13 marionette­s of Hilda Doolit­tle for “The Se­cret”

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