ABOUT FANTASIA DE COLORES, Novembre 2015.
- Gwendolyn Hallsmith, in the audience, Sunday October 18, 2015 for FANTASIA DE COLORES, by Maura Campbell, sent a note. Here is an excerpt about the cast: ‘… I have never seen such commitment by a cast to experimental theater in my life.”… Thank you, Gwendolyn, for sharing this beautiful compliment.
- Theatre Review: One of the successes (at the Off Center for the Dramatic Arts) was sometimes-Vermont playwright Maura Campbell’s “Fantasia de Colores,” a surreal “trip “ by a mother and daughter from their conservative Iowa home to the debaucheries of Mexican Carnival and back. The storytelling is made up of fleeting vignettes, often disjointed and some seemingly irrelevant, but together they created a mosaic. The story is more of an impression. The production was by the Jericho-based Theatre Mosaic Mond, founded and directed by Georgette Garbés Putzel in 2009. Its motto is, appropriately, “Life is a mosaic; diversity is essential.” Jim Lowe is theater critic and arts editor of the Times Argus and Rutland Herald.
- Theater Review: New play takes intriguing, colorful journey by Jim Lowe (Times Argus, October 24 2015) BURLINGTON — Beebee and her mother, Gloria, are stuck at home facing their virtual imprisonment caring for the invalid father and husband, Daniel. But their imaginations aren’t imprisoned; anything but, particularly when inspired accidentally by ingesting hallucinogenic mushrooms.Maura Campbell’s new play “Fantasia de Colores,” a fantasy of colors, thoroughly enjoys Beebee and Gloria’s “trip” from their home in Iowa to the debaucheries of Mexican Carnival and back. At Thursday’s second-night performance at the Off Center for the Dramatic Arts Theatre, Jericho-based Theatre Mosaic Mond delivered a beautifully imaginative performance, beautiful and fascinating — and just a bit weird.“Fantasia de Colores” is being presented as part of the most welcome season of “Original Content at the Off Center,” Burlington’s 50-seat black box venue for new experimental theater. Mosaic Mond, a relatively new theater company in the area, founded and directed by Georgette Garbés Putzel, has been producing new and experimental theater in Vermont since 2009. Its motto, appropriately, is “Life is a mosaic, diversity is essential.”Beebee and Gloria’s hallucinogenic adventure inexplicably takes them to a Mexican clinic for unmarried girls. There they meet the oddball doctor in charge, a sweet teen from California, and a couple of native men who attract their carnal attentions. And, there is Carnival.
However, the plot doesn’t do the beautiful surreal storytelling justice. Seemingly realistic vignettes are joined by dreamlike theatrical phrases involving colorful ghost-like characters and video in creating a virtually seamless experience.
What separates “Fantasia de Colores” from much “experimental” theater is that the characters, including the illusive ones, are sympathetically drawn and performed, and draw the audience in. So does the storytelling, which — despite being nearly 100 minutes without intermission — proved fascinating nearly from beginning to end. It was a beautiful but unsettling experience, visually and colorfully.
The immature Beebee was given a sympathetic performance, both touching and entertaining, by theater professional Laura Roald, a Vancouver native in her Vermont acting debut. Her Beebee was contrasted by Putzel’s seemingly down-to-earth Gloria, nearly successful in hiding peculiarities of her own.
Although the pace could have picked up, the remainder of the cast proved an unusually successful mix of different levels of experience. Olivia Vita, a freshman at Mount Mansfield Union High School, gave a tender performance as the pregnant teen. Andy Krackow did great double duty, giving dimension to the clinic doctor and Dad’s new respiratory therapist.
Grady Shea and Matt Stern were both convincing as desirable Mexican men. Finally, Madeline Nickerson, a sophomore at MMUHS, and Felicia Starr, newly part of Vermont’s professional theater family, gave life to the all-important spirits.
Sherman Plumley’s imaginative and colorful set and props, more than novelty, gave real form to the dream. Stephen Pite’s video of a vocal troupe fit in but wasn’t necessary, and a small-screen video of pithy sayings proved superfluous. With lighting by John Lindsay and uncredited imaginative costumes, it was a most compelling “trip.”
Campbell, currently living in Florida and working electronically in Barre, is known in Vermont for such plays as “Memory Palace” and “Rosalee Was Here,” and is truly an able and imaginative playwright. Despite — or because of — its surrealism, “Fantasia de Colores” is a compelling and entertaining journey.
[Notes from the director: Sherman was indeed the skillful creative builder of the two beautiful main pieces of the set ( the Spanish fans) designed by Georgette Garbès Putzel. The rest of the set and props, as well as the costumes were designed and created by Georgette Garbès Putzel].
ABOUT THEATRE MOSAICMOND
- Seven days talks about Theatre MosaicMond: Seven Questions for… Theatre Mosaic Mond Founder Georgette Garbès Putzel
ABOUT THOSE MOTHERS, November 2014.
- << … I wanted to tell you that it was so great to see your work on Saturday night, and to be a part of it. It was top notch, all of it: acting, sets, costumes, the additions of video, voices, audience participation. So many moving parts, and everything went smoothly, perfectly. And a full house! Bravo! ...>> Karen Kane @Paris by Design, http://www.parisbydesign.com, specializing in fantastic travel to Paris, France and Montréal, Canada.
- <<….Aah thanks for being a great teacher. Andrew and I were talking about how fortunate to have you as a director >>. Lisa Ackel Judge and Andrew Judge, the couple in the audience for Those Mothers.
- Margaret Harrington Tamulonis, host and producer CCTV Channel 17 :<< I was astonished by the play Those Mothers at the North End Studios [sic,The Off Center for the Dramatic Arts]. Unfortunately for the reader it has finished its first run in Burlington on November 23, so since I was fortunate enough to see it, I’ll tell you about it. The theme of Those Mothers is the mother-daughter relationship set against a background of world war, poverty, totalitarianism, materialism, educational deprivation, misogyny and the real human condition,which is tragic. From moment to moment this play lived and breathed, captured us in its world, educated us, and when it ended we knew we had experienced something unique and amazing. It’s a big subject set on a small stage and the staging and acting were so engaging I felt I didn’t want to be anywhere else for the one hour running time of the play than in that little theatre named The Mosaic Mond [sic, Theatre Mosaic Mond]. The author Tina Escaja is an award winning digital artist, novelist and poet. Those Mothers (written in Spanish as Madres and expertly translated by Leonora Dodge) draws upon Ms. Escaja’s upbringing in Franco’s Spain where for four decades women were regarded as breeders for the state with no civil rights of person, property or soul. The writing of this play is masterful, moving, deep, complicated, crystal clear and enchanting. Also te play is not limited to place or to generation. It reaches into the past and brings the present close and real. I is emotionally powerful and intellectually enlightening. Georgette Garbès Putzel, director creator of the play, also designed the set and costumes, and played one of the three leading roles, as mother. Her acting style is natural, believable, so the audience doesn’t take long to recognize her as a particular mother, a familiar mother, but never a stereotype. Ms. Garbès Putzel’s concept for the play appeals directly to all the senses of her audience and she succeeds in clarifying the script for us. Her stage pictures are sharp, multilayered, and quixotic. Many scenes comprise just the mother and daughter circling each other exchanging parts as simply as easy breathing. I perceived that each scene was like a little ply in itself, yet it all connected ion a circular way, or may be like a changing mosaic. I need to mention here that this is a multi-media play with a screen on front stage left. On this screen, a chorus of three comments throughout like a sub-conscious, subliminal text. Also scenes are projected upstage center to lead the audience into a universal world of images that further explicate the play. Stephen Pite did the video and stills for the monitor and projector and along with Diego Mattos’s lighting, the world of Those Mothers lives and breathes as wonderful theatre. Tracey Girdish plays the other mother, who is also a daughter. She is an actor such as Bertold Bercht dreamed – someone in the moment and real. I was moved by her performance and convinced by her changing roles. That’s theatre magic, to take the audience in like that and open up our hearts and minds. Gianna Kiehl is the third leading character playing a daughter and baby ghost. Here we have a gifted, natural actor. In a flash she projects how she falls in love in a millisecond, how she yearns to be comfortable in her developing body, how stung she is from the hand of her father, how much she wants to get out of where she is and to understand the world and how she fits into it and most of all how she communicates with her mother. Al the actors were very good and as an ensemble made this play a success for the audience to experience. What Mosaic Mond has given us is a grand collaboration of talent spanning decades in ages and experience. The reasons Burlington, Vermont needs this non-commercial, experimental theater is 1) because Mosaic Mond opens a door for the audience into a whole world of ideas, images, questions and answers 2) teher is nothing comparable in Burlington because this kind of theatre is not university theatre or conventional theatre 3) Mosaic Mond carries on the global pursuit of the theater artist to lift audiences to new awareness >>.
ABOUT FUGATO LABILE FOR CAMILLE CLAUDEL in 2014.
- Emails to Theatre MosaicMond from the Audience at “Fugato Labile for Camille Claudel” in 2014.
- << Bonjour à tous, hello to all! Just a note to let you know I had a real treat last night—Theatre MosaicMond performed “Fugato Labile for Camille Claudel,” in English & then French. A touching account of an artist who should have been known in her own right (Claudel was Rodin’s model and muse, and a brilliant sculptor). Original script, brilliant use of stage, sets, lighting, and the French performance was like being bathed in soft light and music >>. Karen Kane @Paris by Design, specializing in fantastic travel to Paris, France and Montreal, Canada.
- << …. I think your play deserves to be seen by a wider audience ….>> Michelle Hewitt, from Boston.
- << Your performance was exquisite. You are a genius! The memorization and the details of timing, scenery, music, sound effects, lighting, props (especially balloons in lieu of tiles) and projected photos all warrant further exposure. I loved how you started out as a young and happy Camille and metamorphosed into an old and slow one. I hope the video goes viral and the story gets told over and over. Camille deserves this! I want to share with others. love, >> Doctor Joanna Weinstock, from Vermont.
- << An amazing show! I cannot say enough how impressed I was by all your hard work (and memorizing lines in both languages with editing and all, wow) and just how you conceived this to being all the elements needed for a powerful story of one woman!. Brava really…music, projections, movement, voices, lighting and moving thru time . And your research evident of a sad and unnerving story. I was so glad to be part of it. Millle mercis!.>> Angelique MClennan, member of the Burlington Choral Society, Vermont.
- << Very well done. Congrats. You really reached the depth of the injustice and her despair. Such imaginative art direction and staging too. Appreciated the comic relief of the balloons! >> Sally Ballin, Independent Associate USANA Health Sciences.
- << I must tell you how much your performance has stayed in my mind. The first thing I did when I got home on Friday night was to email all of my colleagues that speak French to try to go to your play. My only regret is that I didn’t spread the word here at my school sooner. I learned so much; I know nothing about Camille Claudel’s life. Your writing of the script was stellar! I do not have enough superlative adjectives to tell you how much respect I have for you, your acting and your dedication to your work.>> Irene Bihun, Special education and coordinator for bringing the arts into the class rooms at Champlain Valley Union High School.
- << My friend Judi and I were so moved by Camille Claudel. Your play and your performance were extraordinary. Your passion and many talents are a wonder. Your use of media and props, your timing and the interlacing of other ghostly voices in the background, well, immense thought and creativity.>> Sandra Costes, Jericho, Vermont.
ABOUT A VISIT FROM MISS PROTHERO, in 2009