Mike Quinn is a man of many cinematic trades—a talent mentored by Jim Henson and Frank Oz—and he sees a bright future for puppetry, a style of performance theatre. His passion for it predates meeting these two icons and he is fully aware of its rich history. At an early age, he staged his own live puppet shows for family and friends, and he was always encouraged to pursue his dreams.
This form of entertainment can be traced back to the days of early man. Some simply manipulated the stuffed dolls with their hands and others took the form further, like to have a light source cast upon them so their shadows are projected upon a larger surface. This technique not only helped make them become larger than life but also create a mystique to enthral many a viewer. Quinn is well aware of the many styles of puppetry that can be used to tell a story. In the 90’s, his shift to work behind the camera showed his passion also included directing. He worked on many a TV pilot in the UK and said Mira Mara was one program where he brought in skilled shadow puppeteers to perform while a human actress was regaling fantastic tales to a cast of puppets. It went to full series production, was filmed throughout Wales and Scotland, and was broadcast in Gaelic speaking countries.
“I think this style is a very poetic and abstract artistic way of doing visuals. I also enjoy watching a different form known as bunraku (Japanese puppet theatre). You have three people working a full figure on a tabletop. They are usually seen behind the puppet, sometimes dressed in black, partially visible … they study forever to be very precise. It’s incredible!” observed Quinn.
Tickets can be bought at the McPherson Theatre Playhouse (3 Centennial Square, Victoria, BC) at the box office or online.
Showtimes: OCT 30, 8PM OCT 31, 8PM NOV 1, 2PM
Kaleidoscope Theatre‘s Halloween spectacular is not just taking place in the support of bringing youth to the arts. It’s also a major fundraiser for the theatre company to keep their programs running year-round. Artistic Director Roderick Glanville leads this year’s production of Little Shop of Horrors and he recounts his youth as one of simply finding the right place to belong when the academic side of the education system didn’t quite hold his interest very well. Fortune would find him discovering theatre at the suggestion of his teacher and he loved it.
“From that point on, throughout my whole schooling. I was involved in every theatre program, did every single show (all the way through middle school and high school), excelled in all communications and theatre and formed my own,” said Roderick.
Frequent attendees of this autumn-centric show will find familiar names in this production. This director knows that he should not stress them out since they are volunteering their time to put on a Halloween treat for the theatre-loving community of Victoria, BC. He likes to see performers come back and not feel burnt out because of how stressful last year’s event went. The point is to have fun, and it’s shown in The Addams Family Musical and Rocky Horror, which played in the past two years.