Runaway Moon’s inspirational 21 Ways To Make The World Last Longer meditates on the little things in life

Real life experiences help inspire human-puppet production

From a theatre company located on Curly Willow Farm, an organic garlic farm in Grindrod B.C., comes a performance featuring both humans and puppets that will inspire us all to remember the little things we do in life can make a big impact on the world.

21 Ways To Make The World Last Longer is a practical, hopeful, and simple tribute to the beauty of humanity. The play was written by Cathy Stubington and James Fagan Tait and premiered at the Spark Festival in Victoria in 2016.

Runaway Moon Theatre Artistic Director Cathy Stubington said the inspiration for the play started with conversations between her and Tait.

“He was in Vancouver and I was in the Enderby area and we became interested in the idea that the little things a person can do make a difference in the world,” said Stubington.

The stories told during the performance come from real life experiences of Stubington and Tait, as well as from stories they’d heard from other people. Small and simple things like teaching an elderly mother to take the bus after she could no longer drive.

One of the most resonant vignettes is the story of Sally, who is learning about the spring birds who visit in and around her small town in B.C. The birds have a message that is brought to viewers throughout the play. Other stories told in the performance include Laura, who reflects on a disappointing Christmas; Greg, who is doing his best to avoid the Internet; and Ross who is meditating as fast as he can.

These are just five of the 28 puppet characters you will meet in this documentary-style puppet production. The play is intended for adults, but Stubington says many youth and younger children have attended with their “significant adults.” She said in many cases watching the performance of puppets and adults has opened up conversations between adults and youth.

In 21 Ways To Make The World Last Longer the 22-inch-high puppets speak directly to the audience.

“People don’t expect to take the puppets seriously, but after a while they start to believe the puppets talking to them whether they intend to or not. It opens up a special place in people’s imaginations,” said Stubington.

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Miriam Manley, executive director of the Revelstoke Arts Council, said the use of puppetry in adult theatre has been gaining in popularity over the past several years.

“There’s something universally mesmerizing about puppets. Part of what intrigued me is that aspect of it,” said Manley.

She was inspired to bring the show to Revelstoke after hearing about the performance from a local mom who had taken her children to see it and loved it. Sasha Walsh took in a performance of 21 Ways with her partner and two children.

“We were just completely entranced for the whole show. It’s just heart-warming and really Canadiana. My three-and-a-half year old was able to sit through the entire 90-minute performance,” said Walsh. “All of the puppets are hand-made.”

21 Ways To Make The World Last Longer will be performed at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre on Sat., October 28 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The 3 p.m. show is recommended for families with children ages three and up, while the 7:30 p.m. show is recommended for families with children ages 12 and up.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit revelstokeartscouncil.com, call 250-814-9325 or email revelstoketheatre@gmail.com. Tickets may also be available at the door prior to the performance.

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