Of the five eggs in Mother Duck's nest, one is the largest and last to hatch. Bigger and paler than the others, this last hatchling is treated as an outsider by Mother Duck and her ducklings. He may be the best swimmer of the brood, but this alone is not enough to ensure his acceptance. Knowing only rejection, this Ugly Duckling goes out into the wild alone. Reflecting upon his plight under the glow of a remote willow tree, he sees a wily cat creeping in the direction of Mother Duck's nest. The Ugly Duckling follows and watches as one lagging duckling is captured and taken back to the cat's lair. In true heroic fashion, this Ugly Duckling succeeds in vanquishing the cat and rescuing the captured duckling. Celebrated by Mother Duck and her ducklings for his uniqueness, all realize that he may have been an ugly duckling, but he has grown into a beautiful and powerful swan.
Creators Ian Carney and Corbin Popp met while dancing in Twyla Tharp’s Broadway show Movin’ Out. An immediate connection was made as they discovered their mutual love of art, theater and technology. After coming across a product called EL wire, the lights turned on. “EL wire” is short for electroluminescent wire: Unlike black lights, the technology can be powered by batteries and requires no theatrical lighting. The possibilities seemed endless. Together with their wives Eleanor and Whitney they began to develop puppetry based creatures that quickly gained personality.
Relocating from New York to Ian and Eleanor’s hometown, New Orleans, they continued the creative process. It was there, in the Katrina ravaged city, that the show began to take shape. The result, after years of engineering and development, is Darwin the Dinosaur. Truly unique and visually dazzling, Darwin is an innovative theatrical experience. Electroluminescent creatures light up the darkened stage in the heart-rending tale of a dinosaur who discovers the true meaning of love. Originally created in partnership with The Detroit Music Hall, Darwin has performed all over the Americas and Europe for enthusiastic audiences of all ages.
Fresh on the heels of their break out success, the creators of Darwin the Dinosaur are at it again! In an age when television, computers and video games reign supreme, the folks at Lightwire Theater (in conjunction with Corbian Visual Arts and Dance) bring their use of cutting edge technology, moving sculpture and dance to another unforgettable theatrical experience.
The Ugly Duckling and The Tortoise and the Hare follows in Darwin’s footsteps with its use of Corbian’s signature electroluminescent puppetry.
Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Ugly Duckling” has helped generations of children understand one of humanity’s universal struggles. Lightwire Theater brings this classic story to the modern stage offering hope to us all as we root for the ugly duckling who exemplifies resilience and heroism along the way to becoming a beautiful swan.
Aesop’s fable, “The Tortoise and the Hare,” now more than 2,500 years old, continues to drive home the time-tested adage, “Slow and steady wins the race.”
Lightwire Theater, with its dazzling visuals, poignant choreography and creative use of music ranging from classical to jazz to pop, literally brings these beloved tales into a new and brilliant light.