Asheville Creative Arts' Mobile Unit to Launch with SLUG AND SNAIL, Oct 2013
Building on the success of its inaugural production, A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD, Co-Founders Abby Felder and Robbie Jaeger introduce Asheville Creative Arts' MOBILE UNIT, a touring arm that will bring the company's signature theatrical style directly into the community. This October, the MOBILE UNIT will premiere with SLUG AND SNAIL, a table-top puppet show created and performed by Co-Founder Abby Felder, which features dramaturgy by renowned Czech puppet artist Frantisek X Watzl, original music composed and performed by sound artist Andrew Phillips, and additional direction by Co-Founder, Robbie Jaeger, director and choreographer of the musical hit FROG AND TOAD.
SLUG AND SNAIL is a charming and uplifting puppet performance in which a Snail who loses its shell meets a Slug who tries to prove Snail is actually better off without it. They begin a journey to determine whether life with or without a shell is better, which puts them in situations sometimes frightening, sometimes funny, but ultimately leads them to friendship. It is a 30-minute interactive experience with a whimsical score that encourages singing along.
Noted for creating "innovative works for children and families" by Asheville Macaroni Kid, Jaeger adds, "It is an important part of ACA's vision and mission to reach diverse audiences, and the Mobile Unit, which brings arts directly into the community, will ensure that children in a range of locations have access to Live Theatre."
SLUG AND SNAIL is meant to be enjoyed by families with children 4-8, and can include a workshop with music- making, story-creating, and puppet-building activities created by Literary Advisor, Lucy Hazlehurst, who brings more than two decades of experience working with young audiences. Additional activities are developed in accordance with NC Standard Course of Study with guidance from Educational Advisor, Stephanie Wilder, who draws on more than three decades of teaching in public and private schools. "The participatory aspect of the performance gets young audiences thinking about important themes, such as friendship and community, in a fun and fundamental way. Performances can be followed up with engaging activities that put these themes into practice, while developing skills, such as literacy, abstract thinking, and creativity," says Felder.
MORE ABOUT THE CO-FOUNDERS
Abby Felder (Co-Founder/Producer/Puppet Designer) A Charlotte native, she has worked in the professional theatre for over a decade as a designer and builder for puppet theatre, and Off- and Off- Off Broadway in NYC as a theatrical producer and not-for-profit arts administrator for Pan Asian Repertory Theatre. Her work has been seen at HERE, La MaMa ETC, Chashama, and Incubator Arts Project in NYC as a resident artist with Pioneers Go East Collective. Her original operatic performance installation developed with PGEC, HILDEGARD (vision cycle) will premiere at La MaMa ETC this November.She has also worked with New York City companies Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater, 52nd Street Project, Concrete Temple, EST, and Czechoslovak American Marionette Theater. She holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College where she studied with puppet artist Dan Hurlin and Shirley Kaplan, who is co-founder of the Obie Award-winning children's theater, The Paper Bag Players, and also completed an apprenticeship with puppet artist, Frantisek Watzl and woodcarver/puppet builder Vaclav Krcal in Prague, Czech Republic.
ROBBIE JAEGER (Co-Founder/Director/Choreographer) is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. An award winning theatre artist, he has worked on over 100 theatrical productions as director, choreographer, performer or designer with companies such as Actors Theatre of Charlotte, Children's Theatre of Charlotte, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Theatre Charlotte, Queen City Theatre, The Greenroom, Lake Wylie Community Theatre, and various Elementary, Middle, and High Schools throughout the area. Recent NC credits onstage include PAGEANT THE MUSICAL for Actors Theatre of Charlotte, A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD (nominated for a Creative Loafing Award for his performance as Toad), ALICE IN CONCERT, and THE SECRET GARDEN for Children's Theatre of Charlotte, and 9 seasons of CHARLOTTE SQUAWKS for Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Offstage Credits include: director, choreographer and costumes for ACA's inaugural production, A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD; choreography for REEFER MADNESS (2011 Creative Loafing Best Choreography award) and XANADU (Queen City Theatre Company), Direction and Choreography for LES MISERABLES (Matthews Playhouse) Costume Design for CHARLOTTE SQUAWKS (Blumenthal PAC), and CHESS (Queen City Theatre).