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From 4 member  reviews
Members say: Original, Delightful, Absorbing, Ambitious, Enchanting

About the show

Contemporary shadow puppetry performance collective Manual Cinema present 'Ada|Ava,' about septuagenarian Ada who, bereaved of her twin Ava, solitarily marks time in the patterns of a life built for two. More…

Twin sisters Ada and Ava have grown old together playing chess, having tea, and using the rock-paper-scissors method to decide which of them will tend the beam at the top of the lighthouse tower adjoining their home. Ava's death sends Ada into a tailspin. However, a traveling carnival and a trip to a mirror maze plunges her into a journey across the thresholds of life and death. Set in a landscape of the New England gothic, 'Ada|Ava' uses a story of the fantastic and supernatural to explore mourning and melancholy, self and other.

Member Reviews (4)


Original, Delightful, Absorbing, Ambitious, Enchanting
Avg Score

Ambitious, Delightful, Spellbinding, Exquisite, Original

See it if you like ultra-creative mixed-media, absorbing stories and a witty dash of Hitchkock

Don't see it if you need a highly literal storyline and think puppets are silly or pretentious

Ambitious, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Gripping

See it if you want to experience a beautiful and rare art form that is the shadow puppet that's done in a mind-blowing, "how did they do that" way.

Don't see it if you're not open to experiencing atypical theater.

Absorbing, Inventive, Visual, Original

See it if You might enjoy a shadow puppet performance, are willing to try something new, appreciate highly creative work.

Don't see it if You want traditional actors and script, seek a musical entertainment.

Enchanting, Absorbing, Great staging

See it if You not only want to be taken away into a mysterious, enchanting world, but be amazed at what people can do with four projectors and cutouts

Don't see it if You wish to see a typical Broadway show.

June 21st, 2015
"This Chicago troupe is conjuring phantasms to die for in an unclassifiable story of spectral beauty. And its creators allow their audience to see exactly how they’re doing what they’re doing, which is nothing less than turning substance into shadow and shadow into substance. Such self-exposure, ...
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June 22nd, 2015
"The virtuosic group makes elegant live-scored 'silent films' that evoke sweetness, poignancy and fright. Manual Cinema's artists make tangible the care they take...It's been a long time since we've experienced craft, image and emotion blended together like this."
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June 22nd, 2015
"'Ada/Ava' fills a liminal space between the highly technical and the highly emotional, between a well-oiled masterpiece and a casual theatrical experiment, between cinema and theatre. The sheer volume of detail that each performer, musician, and designer has poured into this production inspires ...
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June 21st, 2015
"'Ada/ Ava' deconstructs the components of a film...Although evocative of silent film, the play is really more of a pensive, emotion-filled reverie. 'Ada/ Ava' gives space for the audience to fill in their thoughts with kind and generous words...Director Drew Dir does a fine job blending elements...
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