Lightwire Theater takes Tortoise and Hare into the future where the children, Tortoise Junior and Lil’ Hare, explore a whole new world with smartphones and video games.
Courtesy photo

 

Recycling. Technology. Dancing. What seems like an unlikely combination has been woven into an award winning show sure to delight Socorroans of all ages. Lightwire Theater presents “The Adventures of Tortoise and Hare: Next Gen” to start the new year.  The Performing Arts Series (PAS) show is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 17 at 7:30 p.m. at Macey Center.

In this glow-in-the-dark adventure, the familiar tale of the Tortoise and Hare is taken into the future where the children, Tortoise Junior and Lil’ Hare, explore a whole new world with smart phones and video games. When their adventures lead them into trouble, Old Man Tortoise and Big Daddy Hare must work together to save their children despite their past differences.

Lightwire Theater uses recycled materials, draped by black material and a special form of wire to create their characters. Lightwire is internationally recognized for its electroluminescent artistry. The group’s first feature length theater production, Dino-Light, was the recipient of the prestigious Jim Henson Foundation Grant. Lightwire was a semi-finalist in “America’s Got Talent,” and winners of “Tru TV’s Fake Off.”

Professional dancers Ian Carney and Corbin Popp met in New York and discovered they shared a love of technology and theater as well as art. “El-wire” opened up worlds of possibilities in their minds. The electroluminescent wire or “el-wire” is a thin, copper wire coated in a phosphor that produces light when alternating current is supplied. This technique uses no theatrical lighting or external power since the light is supplied by batteries. This gives the dancers and puppeteers freedom to move and dance around stage.

They and their wives form the majority of the troupe, which travels around the country in a 14-foot trailer that holds their props. While hampered by COVID-19, they did manage to do a couple of television shows: Game of Talents which aired March of 2021 and Tu Si Que Vales in Italy which was shot last summer, according to Eleanor Carney. Plus they had two separate Christmas show tours. Based in New Orleans, Lightwire will perform in Austin and Texarkana before coming to Socorro.

The company builds all their characters from ground up, using recycled materials of all kinds. “Our favorite recycled material that we use in all of our shows is election signs,” says Eleanor Carney. “They are light, waterproof (and) easy to bend. Other items are plumbing and fishing supplies, and old sporting equipment.” Each character takes some 200 hours to build. They are formed so that they can be broken down for easy transport and storage.

“The illusion is spectacular and constantly surprising,” says a PuppetMaster review. Dazzling visuals, poignant storytelling and a creative use of music from classical to pop, transforms this classic folklore into a modern-day fable.

Come see for yourself on Monday, Jan. 17 at Macey Center. Masks are required and current COVID protocol will be practiced. Tickets are available online at nmt.edu/pas. The show also will be streamed with links on the PAS website. For more information, call 575-835-5688 or email pas@nmt.edu

Gwen Roath for NMT PAS