Fri. & Sat. August 3 & 4 at 8pm, Sunday August 5 at 4pm

INDUSTRIOUS ANGELS is hand-made by Laurie McCants, in collaboration with director/lighting designer Sabrina Hamilton, scenic designer F. Elaine Williams, and composer Guy Klucevsek, who has created a haunting score with piano, violin, accordion, and toy piano.

Funded in part by the Amherst Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

INDUSTRIOUS ANGELS is a solo hand-crafted-story-spinning-shadow-puppet-memory-play-with-music evoking the secret creative lives of women, mother/daughter bloodlines, and the ghost of Emily Dickinson. In a shadowed attic, crammed with curio cabinets, work tables, chests and drawers (containers for mementos and unmentionables), a daughter searches for what it is that ties together her mother, herself, and a radical, elusive poet.

A story about the crafting of stories, INDUSTRIOUS ANGELS was conceived by actor/creator Laurie McCants on a visit to Emily Dickinson’s home, where the poet wrote the almost 1800 poems that were found after her death.  The story unfolds through puppetry, paper-cutting, music, movement, light and dark, and the weaving together of words.  It is a dance of the hands honoring women’s handiwork:  mending, preserving, ordering, adorning, writing, hiding.

This piece was developed at the Ko Festival of Performance and the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. It first premiered at the Ko Festival in 2011 and is being reworked and revived this year at Ko in conjunction with Annual Meeting of the Emily Dickinson International Society which is being hosted by the Emily Dickinson Museum.

An elite group of musicians, from as far afield as Vienna, gathered to record Klucevsek’s score for INDUSTRIOUS ANGELS. They include Todd Reynolds on violin, pianist and toy piano prodigy Isabel Ettenauer, and the composer on accordion.

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LAURIE McCANTS (Playwright/Performer) co-founded the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble (BTE) in 1978. Her original work includes THE ALEXANDRIA CARRY-ON (in collaboration with composer/performer Theo Bleckmann, designers Sabrina Hamilton, Rand Whipple, and Elaine Williams), which was performed at the Ko Festival in 2004, prior to its Egyptian tour.

She has been a rehearsal residency artist at Ko, and she has taught two of our 6-day intensive workshops; one on “Breath, Voice and Presence” and another, co-taught with fellow BTE member, Gerard Stropnicky, on “Creating Theatre from Historical and Documentary Sources.”

Other work includes OUR SHADOWS, a bilingual puppet play created with the Egyptian theatre WAMDA, and SUSQUEHANNA: MIGHTY, MUDDY, CROOKED RIVER OF THE LONG REACH (created with her BTE colleagues). Among the hundreds of roles she has played at BTE, she counts as favorites Winnie in Samuel Beckett’s HAPPY DAYS, and the Gravedigger in HAMLET. She directed BATTLES OF FIRE AND WATER at Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, Alaska, where she was honored to be adopted as a kiks.adi Tlingit.  She has served on the Board of the Network of Ensemble Theaters and in 2011, she was awarded a “Distinguished Achievement” Fellowship through the Theatre Communications Group/Fox Foundation Fellowship.

GUY KLUCEVSEK (Composer) has created a unique repertoire for accordion through his own composing and by commissioning over 50 works from composers including John Zorn, Aaron Jay Kernis, Lois V Vierk, Fred Frith, Alvin Lucier, Mary Ellen Childs, William Duckworth, Jerome Kitzke, Stephen Montague and Somei Satoh.

His music/theatre pieces include  Squeezeplay — collaborations with Mary Ellen Childs, David Dorfman and Dan Froot (KoFest alums), Dan Hurlin, Victoria Marks and Claire Porter — which The Village Voice called “delicious”; Hard Coal, with The Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble,  Chinoiserie, with Ping Chong (KoFest alum) and Company, which was featured on the 1995 Next Wave Festival at BAM, and Cirque Lili (2000), with French circus artist Jerome Thomas, a piece which has been performed over 250 times world-wide, always with live music.

Solo performances include the Ten Days on the Island and Adelaide Festivals in Australia, the Berlin Jazz Festival, New Music America, Serious Fun! at Lincoln Center, Bang on a Can, Spoleto Festival/USA, and the children’s television show Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. He has also performed and/or recorded with Laurie Anderson, Anthony Braxton, Anthony Coleman, Bill Frisell, Fred Frith, Robin Holcomb, the Kronos Quartet, Natalie Merchant, Pauline Oliveros, Present Music, Bobby Previte, Relâche, Jubilant Sykes, and John Zorn. Other artists who have recorded his compositions include Dave Douglas, Carol Emanuel, Relache, Aki Takahashi, Margaret Leng Tan, and Twisted Tutu.

Klucevsek has released over 20 recordings as soloist/leader, including Polka Dots & Laser Beams and Who Stole the Polka?, which were chosen as the best recordings of 1992 by John Schaefer on the nationally-syndicated radio program New Sounds, and  Transylvanian Softwear, which was cited as a 1995 Recording of Special Merit in Stereo Review. You can also hear him on John Williams’s scores for the Steven Spielberg films The Terminal, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Munich. He has performed on Broadway in Fiddler on the Roof, Victor/Victoria and Piaf.

He was recently awarded a prestigious United States Artist Fellowship.

SABRINA HAMILTON (Director/Lighting Design) is the Artistic Director of the Ko Festival of Performance in Amherst, MA. For many years she worked with the New York theatre company Mabou Mines as Lighting Designer, Production Manager, Stage Manager, Performer, and Assistant Director. Other credits include work at the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Goodman Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum and 6 years as Route Lighting Designer for New York’s Village Halloween Parade under the direction of Ralph Lee. International lighting credits include work in Bologna, Florence, Milan, London, Grenada, Geneva, Nuremburg, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Amsterdam, Brussels, Cardiff, Edinburgh, at the Bristol Old Vic, the Theatre Academy in Tampere, Finland, and at the International Theatre Festival in Havana, Cuba.  Her directing work, primarily original pieces, has been seen in New York, Berlin and throughout New England. Two summers ago she directed CRAVINGS: Songs of Hunger & Satistfaction at Ko, which went on to as sold-out, 3-week run at the Central Square Theatre in Cambridge, before being nominated for an IRNE award.

Hamilton has spent many years on the Lighting Commission of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) and was the USITT representative to the Lighting Design Working Group of OISTAT, the international parent body of USITT. In addition, Hamilton has served on a  panels for the N.E.H, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Designers and on multiple panels for the Massachusetts Cultural Council.. She holds a B.A. from Hampshire College and double M.F.A. in Directing and Lighting Design from the UMASS/Amherst. She considers herself a “recovering” academic and  has been on the faculties of Hampshire, Williams and Trinity Colleges, and Long Island University, and served as the Program Director of the M.F.A. Theatre Program at Towson University for 2006-7. Other service includes 2 terms on the Board of Directors of the Network of Ensemble Theatres.

F. ELAINE WILLIAMS (Scenographer) a puppet and scene designer, is a longtime collaborator with Laurie McCants on such original plays as The Alexandria Carry-On, seen at the Ko Festival in 2004, and as an Affiliated Artist with Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble. She recently designed puppets and scenery for Georgia’s official folk life play, Swamp Gravy:  The Big Picture and scenery for The Little Foxes at Theatre in the Square.  She has designed for the Center for Puppetry Arts (Frankenstein, Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, Beauty and the Beast, UNIMA-USA Citations of Excellence winners, Anne Frank:  Within and Without and The Plant Doctor, among others), Stage One:  The Louisville Children’s Theatre, the Alliance Theatre, and Georgia Shakespeare Festival.  Elaine teaches and designs in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA.

TODD REYNOLDS (violin) is based in NYC, Todd Reynolds is a violinist, composer and technologist, is a longtime member of Bang On A Can, Steve Reich and Musicians and an early participant in Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project

His commitment to genre-bending and technology-driven innovation in music has produced innumerable collaborations with artists that regularly cross musical and disciplinary boundaries, regularly placing him in venues from clubs to concert halls around the world.

As a cross-genre improviser and collaborator, he has appeared and/or recorded with such artists as Anthony Braxton, Uri Caine, John Cale, Steve Coleman, Joe Jackson, Dave Liebman, Yo-Yo Ma, Graham Nash, Greg Osby, Steve Reich, Marcus Roberts and Todd Rundgren, and has commissioned and premiered countless numbers of new works by America’s most compelling composers, including John King, Phil Kline, Michael Gordon, Neil Rolnick, Julia Wolfe, David Lang, Evan Ziporyn and Randall Wolff. His interdisciplinary work includes ongoing collaborations with SoundPainter Walter Thompson as well as media artists Bill Morrison and Luke DuBois.

Reynolds is a founder of the band known as ETHEL a critically acclaimed amplified string quartet with whom he wrote and toured internationally. His current string quartet, which features all-star young lions from New York’s new music scene, tours with Meredith Monk’s Songs of Ascension and enjoys collaborations with artists from Gavin Bryars to Kenny Werner. Outerborough, a self-produced and recorded double CD set on Innova Recordings features his own music as well as a collection of compositions by a veritable who’s who of American composers, a unique sonic fiesta, all written for Reynolds’ own inimitable acoustic-electric voice.

ISABEL ETTENAUER (Toy Piano) was born in St. Poelten, Lower Austria, in 1972. After studying in Vienna, Switzerland and London she started an exceptional career as a pianist and, since 2001, as a toy piano virtuoso. Ettenauer is a regular guest at international festivals and concert halls. Highlights were performances at Wigmore Hall (London), the Avignon Festival, the Opéra de Lille (France), the Ravello Festival (Italy), the International Gaudeamus Music Week (The Netherlands), the IGNM Musikfest at the Vienna Konzerthaus, concerts in Athens and Cyprus, as well as a US tour which brought her to New York and Washington, plus a tour to Taiwan. Her London toy piano debut in the BMIC Cutting Edge Series 2002 was selected as pick of the week by several UK newspapers.

Beside her numerous solo recitals, Isabel’s biggest creation, together with French Circus artist Jérôme Thomas, has been her CIRCUS LEBASI –  a music  circus programme performed in a wooden tent. This project was a commission by Linz09, the European Capital of Culture in 2009.  Inspired by her unique performances, composers from all over the world have written more than 40 new works especially for her. Her CD THE JOY OF TOY, with nine compositions especially written for Isabel, was awarded the Pasticciopreis of the Austrian Public Radio Österreich

Press reviews call her “outstanding, unusual, spectacular and impressive:”

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Adult $24 (includes $2.00 processing fee), Senior 65+ $20 (includes $2.00 processing fee), Student $20 (includes $2.00 processing fee), People with SNAP or EBT cards $11 (includes $1 processing fee)


Friday 8pm, Saturday 8pm, Sunday 4pm

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