About the Grant

$20,000 to support Signaling Arcana (MAP 2012), a new shadow theater piece by Christine Marie and Dan Cantrell.

About the Project

Director and inventor, Christine Marie pairs with composer Dan Cantrell to create an immersive large- scale cinematic shadow theater production. Set in the American wilderness as 19th century industrialization looms, this expressionist story explores the theme of the railroad as it relates to the destruction of the environment and the imagination. This production will innovate modern shadow theater by its use of theatrical space, stereoscopic 3D effects, a projected video character and in revealing the mechanism of the techniques to the audience. A live score featuring piano, theremin and accordion will connect the antiquated railroad days with the mystical sounds of unchartered liminal space.

Through fourteen vignettes, the audience witnesses a young couple enjoying the last days of carefree frolic as structured time, toil and trade begin to intrude upon their solitude. As the surrounding landscape changes, their lives incur hardship as they come to terms with the loss of childhood and the destruction of natural resource. The production invites the audience to consider the current environmental crisis in a historical, universal and psychological context. Without the use of dialogue this is achieved with expressionist images, contemporary composition, and a story rooted in the archetypes. As ancient shadow theater utilized gods to portray human desires the western psyche embodies archetypal characters to symbolize the forces of love, hope, fear, greed, desire and destruction.

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