The Tree of Life
The AUSPICIOUS ADVENTURES of an IMPROBABLE PRINCESS
by Betsy Tobin
Performed by Kathryn Moller & Betsy Tobin
Music by Jesse Manno
In this original story inspired by a trip to Bali, an ordinary woman enters a temple in an exotic land and exits almost unrecognizable. Her transformation continues through a series of everyday events and adventures that catapult her into previously unknown metaphysical and emotional realms. She encounters inner and outer demons, spirits and a host of other unlikely travel companions. This quirky comedy about culture shock and what we gain from exposure to other ways of life incorporates ceremonial aspects of Balinese performances. It draws inspiration from the fantastic characters and inventive storylines of the great Hindu epic, the Mahabharata.
The shadow puppet design is stylized like the traditional Indonesian wayang kulit puppets, particularly in the use of intricate cut-outs. The puppeteers perform the show live behind a small screen with simple sets and shadow puppets. Video shadow sequences superimposed over the action portray the main character in busy city streets and bustling marketplaces. As the Improbable Princess makes forays into other realms, dream imagery spills off the small screen onto surrounding surfaces to immerse the audiences in the experience.
Serious subjects are treated with a sense of humor in The Auspicious Adventures of an Improbable Princess. As in Balinese plays, good triumphs over evil in this tale for adults and children ages 10 +. Composer Jesse Manno performs live with his original sound score inspired by Balinese music.
Funded in part by the Boulder Library Foundation and the Boulder County Arts Alliance.