On the docks of an unfamiliar city by the sea, a boy stumbles across a mysterious old man, who proclaims he is a peddler of dreams and memories. Over the course of six nights, the man takes the child through six fantastical dreams, mirroring the evolution of life itself: Pisces, Amphibia, Reptilia, Insectum, Mammalia, and Aves. As the dreams grow in strangeness and complexity, the man’s curious past unfolds, hurtling toward a triumphant and staggering conclusion.
In April of 2014, the Fox & Beggar debuted its premiere theatrical production, Animalia. Based on Artistic Director Allister’s poetry series The Galapagos Nocturnes (©2010 Gold Wake Press), Animalia expanded the poetry of the Nocturnes into a full-on theatrical narrative, using the six classes of animals to create a surreal and visually-striking fairy tale to lend a touch of mystery to our empirical world.
Reminiscent of A Christmas Carol or Dante’s Inferno, an old man guides a young boy through six visually striking dreamworlds, following the natural order of animal evolution on the planet; Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, Insects, Mammals, and Birds. Each dream teaches the boy something new about the world, as he begins to develop a curious attachment to the grandfatherly old man.
The plot turns in the second act, as the visions prove to connect to a great and terrible tragedy in the old man’s memory. Soon the audience comes to discover that he is a prisoner of his animal dreams, bound to the strange dances and performances of its characters.
Implementing dance, circus arts, mask-and-puppet theater, elaborate costuming, and a live orchestra, Animalia wove Asheville’s performing arts community together like never before, into a mind-blowing collaboration of ninety-seven artists and performers. The show broke attendance records at Asheville’s iconic Hazel Robinson Amphitheater.
production art by the Lady Octavia