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'Life of Pi' stage adaptation features life-sized puppets and questions about nature of reality

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"Life of Pi" at the American Repertory Theater. (Courtesy of the American Repertory Theater)
"Life of Pi" at the American Repertory Theater. (Courtesy of the American Repertory Theater)

"Life of Pi" has had many lives. Born as a novel in 2003, it tells the story of an Indian teen whose family packs up its zoo animals in crates and sails off from Pondicherry, India, for a new life in Canada. The ship sinks, and Pi alone survives: adrift on a raft, with a very hungry, fully-grown Bengal tiger.

Part fantasy, part psychological thriller, "Life of Pi" also veers into theology, philosophy and our perceptions of reality. The novel was adapted into a movie in 2012, and now, it's on stage at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Richard Parker is depicted as a puppet. (Courtesy of the American Repertory Theater)
Richard Parker is depicted as a puppet. (Courtesy of the American Repertory Theater)

The animals, including zebras, a hyena, orangutans and of course the tiger, Richard Parker, are depicted using puppets, moving around the stage almost like a ballet, manipulated by a team of puppeteers. The show will be in Cambridge through January when it moves to Broadway.

Here & Now's Robin Young joined director Max Webster and actor Adi Dixit after a recent performance.

This segment aired on December 22, 2022.

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