Unique experiences brought to life through puppets

The Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts is scheduled to host Mummenschanz, a group of puppeteers and actors from Switzerland for the first time.

Executive Director of the Columbia Theatre Roy Blackwood explained what is different about Mummenschanz’s “You & Me” show and how they utilize their European style with the puppetry and performing actors.  

“It is categorized as physical theatre, which means it’s more than acting,” said Blackwood. “There’s no dialogue with this, and so it’s a unique experience for people, because a lot of times people in contemporary society are not necessarily comfortable with silence. People tend to want to fill silence with noise, and noise isn’t always adding meaning to an experience. If you have a directed experience, like if you think about mime, you know where there is no talking at all, it’s full of meaning and interpretation, but there’s no sound.”

During the performance, Mummenschanz will manipulate how the audience perceives the scale of objects. 

“The scale is really interesting because it’s not predictable,” said Blackwood. “So, things are going to be larger than, sometimes smaller than you would expect them to be. So, that’s kind of fun, like having a pair of gloves six-feet tall that pull the curtain open, you know just a little interesting kind of things like that. They’re gloves sort of styled like Mickey and Minnie Mouse was, so you tend to think of them as ‘Oh, these must be small,’ but they’re not.”

According to Blackwood, this group, with their whimsical costumes, is for the whole family to enjoy. 

“It’s a delightful show, suitable for little kids all the way to grandma, and generally we move toward family style entertainment meaning that there’s not going to be any vulgar language or nudity or vulgar language or nudity or any of that sort of thing,” said Blackwood. “So, this fits right in the middle of all that, so it’s really suitable for anybody in the family. Everybody will be equally amused and amazed by this, so you know, we tend to think in terms of stereotypes like you know maybe people who like mud wrestling and monster trucks won’t like this. I pretty much can guarantee that those people will find joy and pleasure in this as well.”

Mummenschanz’s “You & Me” is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for loge seating are $40, and orchestra and balcony seating is $30. Student pricing is available.