Great Small Works: colossal performances in miniature

Posted December 1st, 2008 at 10:34 am.

photo of puppet theater with solar system

The Obie-award winning puppeteers of Great Small Works will bring toy theater—colossal events of miniature proportions—to Bryn Mawr College’s Thomas Great Hall on Friday, Dec. 5. Shows begin at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Honored with the Jim Henson Award for innovation in puppetry, the group is at the vanguard of a U.S. revival of the intricate 19th-century toy-theater form, addressing contemporary issues in a provocative and charming way. A towering wall will divide Thomas Great Hall into separate playing spaces for distinct shows including “A Walk in the City, After Italo Calvino.”

Great Small Works was founded in 1995 as a collective of artists who keep theater at the heart of social life. Drawing on folk, avant-garde, and popular theater traditions to address contemporary issues, the company performs in theaters, clubs, schools, galleries, streets, and community centers.

Based in New York City, they produce performances on a grand scale—outdoor pageants with giant puppets and hundreds of performers from diverse communities—or a tiny one—miniature “toy theater” spectacles. Members of Great Small Works honed their craft with the famed, populist, Bread and Puppet Theater.

This presentation of Great Small Works marks the second in this season’s presentation of “alternative space” performances being held while Bryn Mawr’s historic Goodhart Theater undergoes renovation.

Tickets to individual events in the Performing Arts Series are $18 for the general public; $15 for seniors; free for Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore students, faculty, and staff; $10 for students of other schools; and $5 for children 12 and under. Subscription packages offer discounts, mix-and-match ticket flexibility, and priority seating. For tickets, call the Office for the Arts at 610-526-5210. For full season info: www.brynmawr.edu/calendar/performing_arts.shtml

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