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Wednesday, October 01, 2014

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'Who's Hungry' tackles food insecurity crisis

Published 11:49 am, Sunday, March 30, 2014
  • "Who's Hungry," an experimental table-top puppet theater play that aims to raise awareness of those who must choose between life's basic necessities, will be staged April 4 and 5 at the Silvermine Arts Center, 1037 Silvermine Road, New Canaan. From left, Rachael Lincoln, Darius Mannino, Zachary Tolchinsky and Sheetal Gandhiwith the puppet created by Dan Hurlin. Photo: Contributed Photo, Contributed / New Canaan News Contributed
    "Who's Hungry," an experimental table-top puppet theater play that aims to raise awareness of those who must choose between life's basic necessities, will be staged April 4 and 5 at the Silvermine Arts Center, 1037 Silvermine Road, New Canaan. From left, Rachael Lincoln, Darius Mannino, Zachary Tolchinsky and Sheetal Gandhiwith the puppet created by Dan Hurlin. Photo: Contributed Photo, Contributed

 

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"Who's Hungry" is an experimental table-top puppet theater play that aims to raise awareness of those who, on a daily basis, must choose between life's basic necessities -- food or rent, food or medicine, food or bus fare.

The production, written by Dan Froot, designed and directed by Dan Hurlin, with music by Ami Denio, weaves together the stories of five homeless and/or hungry residents of Santa Monica, Calif., incorporating puppetry, dance, music and text.

Performances take place Friday, April 4, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 5, at 3 p.m. in the Sara Victoria Hall at the Silvermine Arts Center, 1037 Silvermine Road, New Canaan.

The 90-minute puppet theater adaptation tells the oral histories of the Santa Monica residents through five 15- to 20-minute segments,

woven together much

as a chef weaves a succession of flavors

into a cohesive multicourse meal.

Froot, an award-winning playwright, composer, choreographer and performer, is an associate professor in UCLA's Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance. Hurlin is a puppet artist who designed

and constructed the objects and sets, and directed the piece.

The project incorporates a range of puppetry styles in order to give each of the five stories its own aesthetic treatment. Presented on a specially built 24-foot dinner table, the audience views the action from one side, as if they are banquet guests. Incorporated into the evening are Delft china, Matchbox cars, televisions and rod puppets, as well as puppets inspired by Japanese Bunraku (traditional Japanese puppet theater).

The real-life stories include Angel, who tumbled into homelessness after a prominent career as an interior designer; Sharon, a caseworker for an addiction recovery agency and recovering heroin addict herself; and Mike, who endured an eviction from subsidized housing while undergoing a dire health crisis.

Tickets are $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers and can be purchased by visiting www.silvermineart.org or calling 203-966-9700, ext. 22.