Since its beginning in 2001, Synetic Theater has included, among its unforgettable visceral offerings, shows targeted for younger audiences including the much ballyhooed Alice in Wonderland and Beauty & The Beast, both with little to no dialogue.
“I found that families responded well to these shows,” Tsikurishvili says. “I learned that this kind of theater really works well for the young generation. It’s imaginative, it’s visual storytelling and they are into it.”
“When I was 9 years old, I was first introduced to the kind of theater I am doing now, and I was completely drawn in,” he says. “I signed up for the classes and never stopped. Sleeping Beauty is my kind of childhood story and I decided to give a new generation a flavor and taste of this show and introduce them to theater.”
It follows the traditional Grimm Brothers’ classic story that people know and love—an evil witch casts a centuries-long sleeping curse on a princess and a handsome prince must come and save the day. Members of Synetic’s award-winning ensemble are featured including Eliza Smith as Sleeping Beauty, Zana Gankhuyag as her prince, Dallas Tolentino as the king and Irina Tsikurishvili as the witch.
Synetic will perform Sleeping Beauty without any dialogue. “Sleeping Beauty is a very simple story and I’m hopeful that, even though it’s non verbal, the story flows very easily and is accessible for anyone,” he says. “I want youths to come up with some of their own conclusions and ask questions of their parents. The beauty of the arts is that every single person can have their own understanding around it.”
And the way the story is constructed, Tsikurishvili feels audiences will not only watch, but will be transcended by it.
“The no dialogue style allows us to be more authentic, more magical and bring in a fantastic realism,” Tsikurishvili says. “It’s like when kids watch cartoons. There’s no dialogue but it still works really well. I realized kids love this so they come into the theater already somewhat familiar with our way of storytelling.”
As with most productions at Synetic, Riki Kim was called on for the multimedia design, and helped to create a world that audiences could get lost in.
“I wanted to create a magical world; the goal was to create a cinematic quality that went along with the action the performers are doing,” she says. “Our set it very non-specific, but we rely heavily on visuals and sound effects, helping to move the story along.”
December 7 – January 8, 2016
Details and tickets
The arts are valuable for people of all ages, Tsikurisvili notes, and “highly important for young people.
“It teaches you collaboration, how to imagine things, how to create an abstract world. Even if you’re not going to become an artist, you can learn a different appreciation of the arts,” he says. “The arts community goes beyond the theater. It’s in everything these days—the iPhone, buildings—art really impacts humans in general. This is the perfect time and moment to introduce young generations to the theater. They will be hooked.”
The show is recommended for children 7 and above and Tsikurishvili welcomes families to come experience Sleeping Beauty together to see the wonder of it all.
“The visual element becomes the universal theatrical language; it doesn’t matter what verbal language you speak, anyone can ‘read’ this on stage,” he says. “Sometimes I joke that it’s a melting pot of an art form. It unifies us all.”