B.C.’s longest running entertainment series for children is back in Penticton for its 32nd year, and another stacked lineup has been booked for the 2015-2016 season.
This season’s debut performance of the Children’s Showcase will be The Light of Mu, a show developed for Science World that magically blends art and science.
“It’s kind of like a Cirque du Soleil show where it’s all the visuals and can be very abstract and artistic,” said technical director Charity Zapanta.
The story starts by showing the protagonist, Mu, burst out from “the shadows of doubt” into a new world of light.
Her journey sees her travel through the spectrum of the rainbow, where her perspectives continually grow and change.
“There’s no one way to see things. If the world is like a rainbow, there is no one colour that’s better than the others; they all have their own perspective – just as each person and each culture has their own perspective.”
The underlying theme is presented through visual representations of what harmony could look like. Zapanta said the message may not sink in it right away or be consciously identified, but it has a strong effect.
“She journeys through the whole spectrum of the rainbow,” she said. “Each scene goes from red to orange to green and continues, and there’s a different prop for each scene, and the props help express the emotion that can be used with the dance.”
The show was developed in Vancouver, and coincidentally, the producers crossed paths with Michelle Taneda from Penticton, who’s been living in the city for the past three years. Taneda will be featured in the Light of Mu as a supporting character, and is well-known for her involvement through the Chitu Ryo Karate Club.
“She’s a local superstar in the Okanagan,” Zapanta said. “Michelle’s a martial artist by training, but she’s also such a beautiful performing artist that’s coming to her own. Coming home and showcasing her skills on a different level and a more artistic level is going to be really exciting for everybody.”
The Light of Mu is considered a stage show, but Zapanta said the performance will fully immerse the audience.
“It’s considered four-dimensional. As they say in theatre the fourth wall is broken, so the performers actually interact with the audience.”
To keep the audience’s attention from wandering, she said the live performances are balanced with alluring light and shadow tricks.
“The characters really come out and play and interact with the kids, and the props represent different elements, although sometimes the props come alive, so they can have their own personalities too – it’s this beautiful dance between these inanimate objects and the actors.”
The Light of Mu kicks off the Children’s Showcase season on Oct. 4. The showcase will feature four performances throughout the season, all take place on Sunday afternoons from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Cleland Theatre. Although single tickets are available at the door for $12, and tickets for all four shows costs just $30, and tickets are transferable. They can be purchased at Tumbleweed Gallery and the Visitor Information Centre in Penticton; The Beanery Coffee Co in Summerland; and Oliver Veterinary Hospital.