Professional Theatre For Maine

Animals Out of Paper Beautifully Unfolds at The Public Theatre

Posted on 01/06/2011 12:00am

Nominated for the Outstanding Off-Broadway Play of 2009, The Public Theatre is proud to present the New England Premiere of Animals Out of Paper, playing Jan 28 - Feb 6. “We’re thrilled to be one of the first professional theatres in the country to produce this play since its acclaimed New York debut”, says Director Janet Mitchko. Using the Japanese art of origami as a metaphor, Animals Out of Paper is a humorous, emotionally powerful and uplifting examination of love, loss and the healing power of art.

World renowned origami artist Ilana Andrews has “folder’s block”. Her husband has left her, her three-legged dog has run away, and she is struggling to design the crease pattern for a mesh heart sleeve for the treatment of congestive heart failure (A true medical project actually designed by origamist Robert Lang). Opening her studio to a high school hip-hopping origami prodigy and his math teacher (who literally counts his blessings), all three of these compelling characters are folded together, wondrously reshaping each other to create an unforgettable night of theatre. “The great thing about this play,” says Mitchko, “is the way it challenges the audience to see and accept the “complicated creases” in the pattern of our own lives as part of its beauty.”

“We fell in love with this show when we saw it, and we think our audience will respond to it in the same way they enjoyed the play Proof. We are especially excited to introduce our audience to the work of playwright Rajiv Joseph, whose talent is about to explode onto the national scene in March when his newest play, Bengal Tiger in the Baghdad Zoo, starring Robin Williams, opens on Broadway.” Described as “one of the most refreshing new playwrights writing for the theatre today,” Joseph received a prestigious $50,000 Whiting Writers’ Award in 2009, an international award given annually to 10 writers of fiction, nonfiction, plays, and/or poetry who show “exceptional talent and promise in early career”.

Starring in this production will be professional New York actors Caroline Strong as origami artist Ilana, Christopher Gerson as Andy and Vandit Bhatt as Suresh, the brilliant, troubled teenage origami genius. Director Janet Mitchko promises this exciting cast will bring these compelling characters to life. Set designer Michael Reidy, lighting designer Bart Garvey, and costume designer Jonna Klaiber will work their magic as well. The show will feature special origami elements created by Maine origamist and Math professor Eva Szillery, as well as items from the original New York production. An interesting origami exhibit will also be on display in the lobby of The Public Theatre during the run of the show.

Animals Out of Paper will be performed at The Public Theatre, Lewiston/Auburn’s Professional Theatre, Jan 28, 29, 30, Feb 3, 4, 5, 6. Performance Times are: Thurs/Fri 7:30pm, Sat at 8pm, Sun 2pm, with an added matinee performance on Saturday, Feb 5 at 2pm. Adults $18, Sr $16, Youth (under 18) $5, Group Rate (10+) $15. Rated PG-13. For tickets call The Public Theatre Box Office at 782-3200.