MUMMENSCHANZ Comes to Annenberg Center, Now thru 12/14

Known for its zany visual theatre and silent storytelling for family audiences, MUMMENSCHANZ performs its latest program, 40 Years. This Swiss troupe returns to Philadelphia with longtime favorites and new skits in five performances: tonight, December 11 at 7:30 PM, Friday, December 12 at 8 PM, Saturday, December 13 at 2 PM and 8 PM and Sunday, December 14 at 3 PM at the Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut Street. Tickets are $20-$75. For tickets or for more information, visit or call 215.898.3900. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Box Office. Dance Celebration is co-presented by Dance Affiliates and Annenberg Center Live.

Using visual effects and props, the universal stories told by MUMMENSCHANZ have been described as "witty madness...dazzling and delightful" (New York Times). In the wordless universe of MUMMENSCHANZ, the ordinary becomes extraordinary when common materials, everyday objects (like toilet paper) and colorful abstract shapes and forms like the famous "Clay Masks," "Slinky Man" and "Giant Hands" spring to life. The stories are unique in that they have no sound or music; the language of MUMMENSCHANZ is universal. Founder Bernie Schurch notes, "We are musicians of the silence." By creating a playful yet compelling experience through the inventive use of shadow, light and creative manipulation of objects, MUMMENSCHANZ offers timeless insight on the human condition. The result is a visually stunning spectacle that transcends cultural barriers and sparks the imagination.

The program begins with a giant gray hand pushing the curtains encouraging audience interaction from the start of the performance. The "aahs," laughter, chuckles and squeals of delight set the tone forming a sound score of its own. The twenty plus inventive segments explore topics such as relationships through masked performers, daily activities such as eating embodied by a green Muppet-like character, pure magic created by a giant slinky tossing a red balloon into the audience and a huge lump of cloth that engulfs the front rows of the audience. The characters are endless and portrayed by a stellar cast of four incredibly skilled theatre artists. MUMMENSCHANZ has also appeared as part of the Dance Celebration Series in 2010-11 and 2001-02.

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