Touchstone Theatre to Present THE MORNINGTIME OF NOW

By: Oct. 10, 2014
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Touchstone Theatre presents neighbors from the north side, Mock Turtle Marionette Theater, with The Morningtime of Now, a puppet musical featuring the music of Anne Hills and the puppetry of Doug Roysdon. The play performs November 6-9, 2014 at Touchstone Theatre.

Based on the early-1900s nature writings of a precocious six-year-old named Opal Whiteley, performed by former Touchstone apprentice Kayla Prestel, The Morningtime of Now captures a young girl's enchanting, pastoral world in puppetry and song.

"I sit on our steps and I do print," six-year-old Opal writes. "The wind comes creeping in under the door. It calls to me to come go exploring. It sings of the things that are to be found under leaves. It whispers the dreams of the tall fir trees. I hear all the voices calling me. I listen."

Michael Smith brings Opal's lyrical diary to life with his musical compositions. Award-winning singer-songwriter Anne Hills, called by AllMusic Guide "one of contemporary music's premiere vocalists", provides a counterpoint to Opal's words through song and stories of her own encounters with nature. Together they take the audience to Opal's literary oasis, "The Blue Hills." The play's themes revolve around reconnection with childhood, nature, and self.

Rounding out the cast are Jay Ansill on harp and fiddle, as well as former and current members of the Touchstone apprentice corps. Doug Roysdon, founder of Mock Turtle Marionette Theater directs. The production had its premiere at the Charles A. Brown Ice House in May of 2014, with Lehigh Valley Stage's Sarah Thomas calling the play "a world for the audience to step into, and once inside it's easy to lose oneself in the magic." The upcoming performances of Morningtime, influenced by the initial run's interplay between audience and performer, is a fuller show and includes an additional song and marionette puppet.

The Morningtime of Now is the first in Touchstone's two-part "Spotlight on the Valley" initiative this year, featuring remarkable theatre art from fellow Lehigh Valley arts organizations. In February, "Spotlight on the Valley" continues with Allentown Public Theatre's production of True West by Sam Shepard.

Touchstone's season of mainstage productions is supported locally by season sponsors First Generation, an integrated marketing communications company, and RCN. WDIY provides Media sponsorship.

The Morningtime of Now, written and produced by Anne Hills and Mock Turtle Marionette Theater, performs at Touchstone November 6-9, 2014. Shows are Thursday through Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm; tickets are $25 / $15 for students and seniors, with group rates available on request. On Thursdays, Touchstone offers a pay-what-you-will option at the door, allowing patrons to name their own ticket price. Advance tickets may be purchased at 610-867-1689 or online at www.touchstone.org



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