Ping Chong + Company presents this theatrical collage of multimedia, puppetry, and Central Yup’ik drum and dance, exploring moments of cross-cultural encounter in the epic, changing landscapes of Alaska. More…
Three performers use movement and puppetry to reveal a series of little-known historical narratives of collisions between people and cultures in Alaska. These histories--at times humorous, at times tragic--juxtapose against the creators' own personal memories as "insider" and "outsider" in the Last Frontier.
"Cultures collide and coexist in Ping Chong + Company’s sumptuous anthropological collage 'Alaxsxa | Alaska', which harmoniously incorporates puppetry, movement, and video...In monologues, they contrast their respective cultures and evoke the roughness of life on the northern American frontier. Created collaboratively by Chong and the performers, including puppeteer Justin Perkins, this theatrical feast bursts with vitality as vast as its subject." Full Review
“A multimedia, interdisciplinary portrait of a place: It uses puppets...projections...interviews with locals, and short comic scenes to shape a kind of impressionist primer for Alaska...There’s a slight nod-along quality here — quick references to Syrian refugees, for instance, make the audience hum in comfortable agreement. But Beaver’s charisma and charm blast through all that. The two moments when the production simply turns to him are unforgettable.” Full Review
“The imagistic work that Chong and his collaborators have created offers a broader introduction to Alaska. But the tone is so varied, the style so rangy that some of its impact drips away...For a play about a chilly place, ‘Alaxsxa/Alaska’ is most absorbing when it eases up and thaws out. There is elegant shadow puppetry here and eloquent video sequences. Fans of Chong’s stage wizardry will expect nothing less. Yet the play’s emotive core is found in its simplest scenes." Full Review
See it if Are interested in History and culture, enjoy mixed media, are fascinated by indigenous language
Don't see it if Like big productions, not interested in other cultures/lifestyles, need only standard formats in a play.
See it if you enjoy thoughtful and inventive contemporary theater with multimedia and dimensions
Don't see it if you only like linear storylines and traditional plots and characters.
See it if you like original theater and thinking about the personal and the political side of identity
Don't see it if You only enjoy traditional theater with a single plot and protagonist
See it if Alaska is of major importance to you. The play, with 3 talented, committed performers, deals with far too many issues in 90 minutes.
Don't see it if you’re expecting a linear play. It’s rather disjointed- indigenous people, polar bears, global warming, history, snowmobiles, tourism, etc.
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