Children’s book author/illustrator Marcus Pfister began his writing career before he became a father, focusing his work on characters and pictures, and not caring much about the actual story being revealed. But when his own children began to tell him their stories, sharing the joys and problems they experienced each day, the content of his work changed to reflect their reality. Utilizing his new perspective, the Swiss citizen gained international success with “The Rainbow Fish” in 1992, spawning a series based on the sparkling title character that continues to win fans today. Darke County Center for the Arts will present Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s radiant production of “The Rainbow Fish” on Sunday, Feb. 10 at St. Clair Memorial Hall in Greenville; the show, the second of DCCA’s 2018-19 Family Theatre Series season, starts at 2 p.m.
Mermaid Theatre’s visually striking production will bring the pages of Marcus Pfister’s storybooks to life on stage, re-creating the beloved tales by using black light to magically illuminate creative puppets and colorful scenery, with evocative music underscoring the dramatic narration. Those fluorescent figures glowing under ultraviolet light will be magically manipulated by ninja puppeteers executing all kinds of illusions, making the puppets swim, shrink, grow, disappear, and more. As another demonstration of Mermaid Theatre’s commitment to excellence in all elements of their shows, Tony-Award-winning Broadway star Laura Benanti and her mother, famed drama coach Linda Wonneberger provide the pre-recorded narration for the stories.
Every production mounted by Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia sparkles, and this tale provides the perfect vehicle for brilliantly illustrating that shimmering quality. “The Rainbow Fish” tells the story of the most beautiful fish in the sea whose scales glimmer in all the colors of the rainbow, but whose selfish pride interferes with his ability to relate to others, making him also the loneliest fish in the ocean. He ultimately shares his shiny scales, resulting in his gaining friends and happiness.
Companion tales performed in this production include “Rainbow Fish Discovers the Deep Sea” and “Opposites.” In the first, Rainbow Fish overcomes his fears and finds the courage to explore the great unknown sea, discovering a new world with wonderful sights and friendly creatures of all shapes, sizes, and colors. In the finale, the undersea wonderland provides the setting for an introduction to the concept of opposites – up and down, over and under, big and little, long and short, and the most satisfying opposite of all, give and take.
Darke County Center for the Arts is celebrating its 40th year of sparkling service to our community, providing a treasure trove of cultural enrichment that will shine on in lives well into the foreseeable future; Mermaid Theatre’s “The Rainbow Fish” provides a remarkably fitting metaphor for appropriately recognizing DCCA’s Ruby Anniversary. To partake of this glittering facet of DCCA’s celebration, contact DCCA at 937-547-0908 or online at www.darkecountyarts.org. Tickets for “The Rainbow Fish” cost just $5, and will also be sold at Greenville Public Library, Readmore’s Hallmark and Darke County Welcome Center in downtown Greenville, Worch Memorial Library in Versailles, and will be available at the door if any remain by showtime.
Marilyn Delk is a director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.