The Conway Symphony Orchestra, in collaboration with the University of Central Arkansas Schedler Honors College and El Zócalo Immigrant Resource Center, will present a puppet theatre adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s "The Halloween Tree."
Directed by Honors College faculty Adam Frank and with a live orchestra ensemble led by Israel Getzov, "The Halloween Tree" uses shadow puppetry and 3-D puppets to tell the story of three children trying to save their friend on Halloween night.
As the children chase Pip through time to ancient Egypt, Stonehenge, Notre Dame and Mexico, they learn about the ways we understand the borderland between life and death throughout history. The performance includes original compositions by Paul Dickinson (UCA), Karen Griebling (Hendrix College), Michael Pagan and Cory Winters.
"The Halloween Tree" is suitable for children 8 and up and is said to appeal to adult and young audiences.
Performances will run Oct. 7 and 8 in Conway and Oct. 27 in Little Rock.
The Conway performances begin at 8 p.m. at UCA’s newly-renovated McCastlain Hall Ballroom, located just west of the university’s main entrance on Donaghey Avenue.
Ticket prices are $10 for students and $15 for the general public and are available for advance purchase through Reynolds Performance Hall box office, 501-450-3265 (in Conway area), toll free 1-866-810-0012 or online tickets.uca.edu/conway-series.
Tickets will also be available for purchase at the door. Seating is general admission and limited, so advance purchase is strongly recommended.
A pay-what-you-can performance will be performed at 7:30 p.m Oct. 27 at the Central Arkansas Library System’s Ron Robinson Theatre, 100 River Market Avenue. A $10 donation is suggested.
Proceeds from the Oct. 27 performance will go to El Zócalo to support developing educational, entrepreneurial and support services for immigrants. To celebrate the beginning of holiday season, a crafts marketplace will precede the Oct. 27 performance at 6:30 pm. The marketplace will feature handmade crafts and clothing items created by independent, Central Arkansas immigrant artisans.
Supported by grants from the UCA Foundation, the Arkansas Arts Council, and the Mid-America Arts Alliance as well as support from the UCA College of Fine Arts and Communication and the Schedler Honors College, "The Halloween Tree" project will also include a series of puppetry workshops.
Led by Puppeteers of America president Jan Wolfe and Jim Henson Fellowship winner Katie Campbell, college students at University of Arkansas at Little Rock and at UCA will be trained to share puppetry and storytelling skills with underserved communities in central Arkansas.
For more information on the puppetry workshops, contact El Zócalo Executive Director Kelsey Lam at LRImmigrantCenter@gmail.com.
"’The Halloween Tree’ has provided a unique opportunity for UCA to collaborate with two very community-oriented organizations — Conway Symphony and El Zócalo Immigrant Resource Center," Producing Artistic Director Adam Frank said. "From the introduction of the story, to the creation of the music and puppetry, to the organization of the puppetry workshops, this has been a truly collaborative effort and a great way to connect arts with underserved communities in Arkansas. Our hope is that the project will involve those communities both as audience members and, through the puppetry workshops, as art makers."