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Figures of Speech presents “The Art of Memory” film & Puppetry Workshop

May 11, 2018 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Join Figures of Speech Theatre for a screening of “The Art of Memory: Stories from Maine’s Outer Islands,” a shadow puppet film based on oral histories gathered on some of Maine’s most remote islands. Following the 35-minute film, audience members of all ages will be invited to peek behind the scenes before creating live shadow scenes of their own stories!

Figures of Speech Theatre partnered with the Island Institute to produce “The Art of Memory.” Director of Education at Figures of Speech, Ian Bannon, led a team of four artists as they collaborated with students in six of the one- and two-room schoolhouses off Maine’s coast. In the spring of year one, Bannon travelled to each island to introduce students to documentary techniques, which they then used to cull stories from other island residents, historical archives, and publications. The entire artistic team returned that following fall to collaborate in the creation and filming of shadow puppet adaptations of their favorite stories.

The resulting 35-minute film combines a variety of shorts ranging from pirate stories to tall-tales to ill-conceived stand-offs with Abenaki Native Americans. The pieces are held together with a layered dreamscape of shadow imagery, narration from some of Portland’s most sought-after voiceover artists, and a captivating original musical score by Dave Noyes of Rustic Overtones.


Figures of Speech Theatre, a puppet theater company founded in Freeport in 1982, is the recipient of four coveted UNIMA Citations of Excellence—the highest distinction in American puppet theatre. The company has toured all over the world – from Sofia, Bulgaria to Tokyo, Japan, to Lima, Peru – while retaining a strong commitment to teaching and performing throughout its home state of Maine.

The Island Institute works to sustain Maine’s island and remote coastal communities, and exchanges ideas and experiences to further the sustainability of communities here and elsewhere. The Institute’s Outer Islands TLC (Teaching and Learning Collaborative) improves the quality and ensures the sustainability of one- and two-room island schools on Cliff, Cranberry Isles, Frencboro, Isle au Haut, Matinicus, and Monhegan by creating collaborative educational and social opportunities for students across islands via technology and face-to-face learning opportunities.

“The Art of Memory” was made possible through the generous support of the Helen & George Ladd Charitable Corporation, the Expansion Arts Fund ofthe Maine

Community Foundation, and the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information regarding the film, visit www.figures.org/memory. To find out about similar educational and artistic opportunities, contact Ian Bannon of Figures of Speech Theatre at (207) 865-6355 or ianbannon@figures.org.


May 11, 2018
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
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Congress Square Park
Portland, ME 04101 United States


Figures of Speech
(207) 865-6355