Using stunning puppet theatre to engage and delight audiences, Tears of Joy Theatre returns to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on Oct. 15 with The Toad Prince, a “Beauty and the Beast” story set in China that even includes a smoke-breathing dragon.
This charming theatre company produces, develops, and presents theatre in a way that celebrates the diversity of world cultures, and to teach and enrich children’s lives. The Toad Prince brings to life this story about discovering the importance behind showing kindness to those around you in a show sure to enthrall all ages.
The Toad Prince tells the story of Indri, the son of a water sprite who was born with the head and hands of a toad. Indri, who has grown bitter and sad due to his appearance, starts on a quest to become beautiful, for which he must find virtue and sit with it for nine days. Along the way, he meets Mingli, whom he believes will lead him to become virtuous, but while it does not give him the results he hopes for, it does start him on an adventure where he learns how important caring for another more than himself is. While it is not his relationship with Mingli, nor his relationship with a dragon that he summons that shows him the true meaning of being benevolent, it is his relationship with Mingli’s daughter Meinu that teaches him the most important lesson to becoming beautiful, because beauty is not strictly about appearances.
Imaginative, charming, and inspiring, Tears of Joy Theatre’s strong belief in community comes through in how they bring live theatre experiences to individuals and communities with limited access to live performance and arts education. They believe in creating community through their work with artists, students, and audiences.
The Toad Prince uses a very traditional form of rod puppets. The puppeteers are beneath the puppets, hidden behind the set. This is a particularly strenuous form of puppetry, as the puppeteer’s arms are extended upwards, slowing the flow of blood and oxygen to the very parts of the body that are exerting the most energy. The puppeteers perform for up to 45 minutes, and each puppet weighs around 10 pounds.
Sure to charm audience members of all ages, The Toad Prince is a show that can be enjoyed by the entire family.
The Toad Prince is coming to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on Sunday, Oct. 15 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the Centre Box Office, online at www.chilliwackculturalcentre.ca, or by calling 604-391-SHOW(7469).