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ArtsEmerson often brings some of the edgiest theater to Boston — which is a good thing. But it should be pointed out that executive producer Rob Orchard and his soon-to-be-successor David Dower's programming is that they also import and produce some of the area's most satisfying family theater.
A case in point is "The Old Man and the Old Moon," a lovely (if somewhat stretched-out) one-act play by the Pigpen Theatre Company, consisting of seven young men who use acoustic folk music and other low-tech storytelling devices to tell their stories.
It's playing Nov. 19-23 at the Paramount Center Mainstage, but I caught up to the production at the Williamstown Theatre Festival last summer:
Much more satisfying [than the mainstage production at Williamstown] is “The Old Man and the Old Moon,” a charming piece of myth-making by the PigPen Theatre Company on the Nikos Stage, which will also be at the Paramount in November as part of ArtsEmerson’s season.
An old man has to constantly fill the moon with liquid light to keep it aglow. His wife, tired of being taken for granted, leaves him and he goes in search of her, while the moon begins to lose its power.
PigPen blends a host of low-tech storytelling devices, including acoustic music that suggests an Irish Mumford and Sons — though the seven guys all met at the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in 2008. Shadow puppets, mops as dogs, basic projections all form part of the easily engaging storytelling.
Here’s a look:
It’s a great little piece to introduce kids to the theater, though the old man’s adventure story with a crew of sailors overstays its welcome. But you won’t be thinking about that after its lovely ending.
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