Sleeping Beauty Dreams, a Whimsical Mexican Puppet Show, Comes to Vancouver

The classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty is beloved by children and adults alike: a princess falls under a magic curse, to be awakened by the interventions of a king/prince.

But what if Sleeping Beauty took matters into her own hands and freed herself? And what if it was presented in charming puppet-form?

Starting tomorrow and running until February 4, 2018, Mexico’s Marionetas de la Esquina are mounting Sleeping Beauty Dreams, a puppet show by Amaranta Leyva, with music by Simon Bellefleur, at Presentation House Theatre (333 Chesterfield Avenue, North Vancouver).

In this Canadian premiere, co-directed by Lourdes Pérez Gay and Kim Selody, the narrative of Sleeping Beauty has been reimagined and updated, transforming the heroine into an overprotected princess who courageously leaves the confines of the palace walls in order to seek self-fulfillment and love. A frog has cursed the princess, causing her fearful parents to forbid her from leaving the castle. On her journey of discovery, she meets a “latch-key” boy whose single mother, a maid in the castle, is often forced to leave him alone when she goes to work.

What makes this production particularly special is the collaboration between Mexico’s famous Marionetas de la Esquina team and a local Vancouver cast. The Mexican troupe, headed by Lourdes Pérez Gay, traveled to Vancouver to train local puppeteers/actors, who include Timothy Gosley (worked with Jim Henson on Fraggle Rock), Randi Edmundson, Linda Carson, Brent Hirose, and Shizuka Kai. In late 2018, Presentation House Theatre members will travel to Mexico to train actors there in mounting their production, Jack and the Bean.

Photo 7: (L to R) Kim Selody, Co-Director, and Artistic Director of Presentation House Theatre; Shizuka Kai; Lourdes Perez Gay, Co-Director, and founder of Marionetas de la Esquina; Brent Hirose; Randi Edmundson; Linda
Carson; Emiliano Leyva Ramirez, Marionetas de la Esquina; Timothy Gosley. Photo by Emily Cooper

The production promises to delight children aged 5 and up, as well as adults who still believe in magic and the empowering spirit of bravery. Overall, expect a highly creative theatre experience that offers universal lessons to all viewers regarding the need to go beyond familiar areas, live life more fearlessly, and create your own narrative. The puppets themselves are gorgeous, as is the use of props and background imagery.

More information and tickets can be found on-line.

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