May 15, 2017
The Shadow Builders is one version of the legend of Karagöz and Hacivat (pronounced KAR-a-gerz and HA-jee-vaht), the beloved characters of Turkish shadow puppet plays, supposedly based on real individuals. According to this version of the story, they were masons who loved storytelling and merriment, and paid a price for being a bit too cheerful on the job. The tradition of these puppet characters being based on actual historical figures seems to have originated around the Turkish city of Bursa, which has a museum and an annual festival to honor shadow puppetry.
This is a sneak peek of one of the four brand new stories that we'll be including this summer in our production Hammer, Nail, Tell a Tale that is designed to fit the library consortium's summer reading theme, Build A Better World. (Well, the stories are not literally new; like the other folk tales we perform, they're very old stories. They're just new to us. Well, no, they're not really new to us, either; they're just new in the sense that we've never performed any of them before. Well, at least not live. We've performed most of them in podcasts, but not on stage. There, we hope that's all cleared up now.) The stories we have chosen will reflect this theme not only in a literal sense – involving masons, a carpenter and a do-it-yourself trio of pigs – but also will deal on another level with the concept of making the world a better place and improving the lives of the people in it.
We come to you from the “biggest little city in the world”: Reno, Nevada, where we always hole up every May to put together a new production. It's an especially big job this time , because we're doing four new stories, and – well, they're not really new – oh, you know what we mean.
We hope to see you in person at one of our 50-something performances this summer.
Dennis (Narrator, Karagöz, Sultan) and Kimberly (Narrator, Hacivat, Worker, Servant)