Experience the Animal Kingdom like you’ve never seen it before…
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 unveiled its first feature-length theatrical production, Animalia. Based on Nat’s poetry series The Galapagos Nocturnes, 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 designed to lend a touch of mystery to our empirical world.
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.
Written, Directed, and Produced by Nat Allister
The men came from the sea.
Salt clutching at their beards, they
climbed down the brine-laced ladders
of the great anchored sloop
and rowed the jolly boats ashore.
With them they brought canvas and ropes, cans, glass jars, magnifying glasses, notebooks, pencils. They brought cartographical instruments, looked for lines and axes, drew syntaxes in the sand.
It was about systems, he would say years later, looking back.
It was like fingers finding a matchbook
after groping for years in the dark.
From “The Galapagos Nocturnes” (©2010 Gold Wake Press)
production art by the Lady Octavia
“The Fox & Beggar Theater staged an amazing show, drawing the largest crowd I’ve seen in my nine years here. In addition to dazzling special effects, the production flowed seamlessly and raised the bar on what theater can and should do.”
– John Russell, Managing Director, The Montford Park Players