The Earthquake in Chile, רעדת אדמה בצלה

Storytelling with Pictures


Artwork and Performance: Patricia O’Donovan

Text: Adapted by Patricia O’Donovan based on the story by Heinrich von Kleist 

Box and lights: Mario Keizman

Production: AMBULO theater



Since I studied wayang golek, the traditional puppet theater of West Java ( see my post "Hanuman's Jump") and came to know about an earlier form, that of telling the stories with pictures instead of puppets ( wayang beber) I am looking at traditions from many cultures all over the world where stories are told with the visual support of pictures. The storyteller/ performer often points a finger or a stick to the image or figure in the story. 


In my work I use light as a pointer. My images are cutout from black paper, glued onto semi translucent paper and illuminated from the back.



 I made cutouts illustrating Heinrich von Kleist's story and as I act out the dialogues and narrate I illuminate the figures from behind with a lamp. They are arranged as comic strips into 14 panels. Each panel sits on a perspex support and I focus the light onto the image I want.

The public sees both me and the image. 



 Social and cultural barriers break down in times of crisis such as an earthquake, like the buildings, they come crumbling down. There appear windows of opportunity to make changes and yet, once the pangs of hunger, the panic and the earth calm down, the old moral rules, the ethical codes and the social ladder build up again. It seems that only in times of crisis we share our humanity, all of a sudden we are equal, we understand each other, we sympathize. But the roots of convention are deeper than any momentary vision that things could be different. That love and forgiveness are a way of healing. 


Click here for a teaser video


Click here for festivals and summary of the show


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