Tailspinner Children’s Theatre’s Masks and Puppets Go on View at Gordon Square Gallery

Fri 1/5 @ 6-9PM

Alison Garrigan was a prominent actress, director and costumer who had worked with most of the area’s top theaters when she decided more than six years ago to fulfill a long-time dream: starting a professional children’s theater, something that hadn’t existed in Cleveland in a long time.

She’d already had experience as the co-founder of another company, Bad Epitaph, which produced adult shows at various venues for several years in the early 2000s. But Talespinner Children’s Theatre has an ambitious vision, with new scripts written by Clevelander playwrights based on folk tales and myths from around the world. With her crew of talented performers and behind-the-scenes folks, she creates multi-disciplinary, interactive showcases that incorporate music, chants, drumming, dancing, stylized movement, costumes, masks and puppets.

Garrigan took advantage of her 2016 Creative Workforce Fellowship grant to travel and visit other theaters around the country to soak up new ideas to expand Talespinner’s already vast range of production elements. And while it’s called a “children’s theatre,” and definitely has a mission to excite and engage children’s imaginations, its performances are sophisticated enough to enthrall adults as well.

Now the curious can check out the distinctive visual elements that comprise a Talespinner performance outside the theater at Character Within: The Puppets and Masks of Talespinner Children’s Theatre, opening at the Gordon Square Art Space Fri 1/5, with a reception @ 6-9pm. It features some of the masks and puppets Garrigan has created.

It will be on view through Sat 1/27. And during its January run on all four Saturdays, TCT will be hosting performances and workshops starting at 1pm. This Sat 1/6 @ 1 & 3pm there will be performances of TCT’s 2017 touring show The Bremertown Musicians, followed by youth acting workshops. There’s a mask-making workshop Sat 1/13 and a puppet-making workshop Sat 1/20. On Sat 1/27 there will be 1 & 3pm performances of TCT’s 2018 touring show Jan and the Trickster, again followed by youth acting workshops.

All events are free and open to all.

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