Professional puppeteering theatre company, Runaway Moon, is bringing their show, Robin and the Timeless Forest, to Revelstoke. Local resident and puppeteer Anna Fin thought it fitting that the final production be in her community. “I’ve loved being part of this production and I really wanted to share it with people here,” she says.
When Fin first moved to Revelstoke several years ago, it was to get out of acting. She had previously attended the Berlin European Theatre Institute and worked in both film and theatre in Europe. “I knew there must be more to life,” says Finn, “so I moved to Revelstoke.”
Needless to say, the theatre is in her blood. Leaving it proved impossible. It started small, Fin helped wrangle children (elfs) for a production. Before long she had won a Kootenay Fest Best Actress award (along with costar Sarah Harper) and directed two local productions – the youth driven Dog Sees God and, in 2015, the feature length Snow Queen. Last year she worked on a project with Mrs. Browning’s high school drama class, called the Super Power Seed, meant to encourage positive self identification by identifying what their innate super power is. One of Fin’s jobs is working as a stagehand and lighting technician at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre (RPAC).
Since September, Fin has been touring with the Runaway Moon Theatre Company, a professional theatre company based in Grindrod, BC that specializes in puppeteering. The company employs paid actors and tours their shows throughout the province. Fin met Runaway Moons artistic director, Cathy Stubbington when the company was performing at the RPAC.
“I mentioned I also acted, and when Robin and the Timeless Forest was created, she asked if I was interested in being a part of it,” says Fin. “I went to the puppet museum in Grindrod at Curly Willow Farm, where Runaway Moon headquarters are. I met the young performers and they put on a scene for me. I immediately knew I wanted to be part of it, I was captivated.”
The performance tells the story of a village surrounded by high stone wall. Outside the stone wall is a giant forest. For hundreds of years, no one dared go beyond wall and everything in village is dictated by a clock that sits atop a tower inside the magical forest. The clock tells people when to eat, when to sleep, when to work when to play. One day, the clock stops. An old woman, the eldest resident, says that someone has to go into the woods and realign the clock.
“Adventure ensue,” says Fin. “It is archaic and unique at one. There is a familiar archetype and it hits home. At the heart of it, a young girl who follows a butterfly into forest and manages to succeed at doing something everyone says is beyond her ability by trying.”
“Cathy is the mastermind behind the show. It started with a youth mentorship project where the story was written and the puppets build. The show still features two young adults.”
The play has been toured throughout the lower mainland, the shuswap and up north and Fin is thrilled to be sharing it with Revelstoke.
“I was riveted when I saw it,” she explains. “The magic of it is unreal, I couldn’t believe it was even possible with something as simple as marionettes. They completely capture your imagination. On top of that, the quality and professionalism of the company and folklore, handcrafted magic it invokes is amazing.”
The performance is suitable for 5+ and is 45 minutes long. Adults need not be fearful of showing up without a child in tow. “The whimsy and throwback to childhood has been a hit with adults,” says Fin. The puppet show features musical numbers. “There is no tech, it is all voices and the magic of marionettes,” she says.
The performance will take place at the Visual Arts Centre. “It’s a little unusual of a venue, but I really love the intimate atmosphere. It is the perfect size,” says Fin.
Tickets are $10 for adults $5 for kids, available at the door, cash only, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Showtimes are Saturday, March 23rd at 3pm and 7pm. Doors open half an hour early, come early to secure a spot.
Located visual arts centre. Viewers are welcome to bring pillows to sit on.
Come out and enjoy an incredible piece of professional marionette work with the family.
Curious about the company? Check out http://www.runawaymoon.org/