This week, North Vancouver’s Presentation House Theatre debuted, Sleeping Beauty Dreams, its first collaboration with Mexico’s Marionetas de la Esquina.
This production, running until February 4th, is the Canadian premiere of the work written my Marionetas de la Esquina’s Amaranta Leyva, whose team has translated the original work and instructed the Presentation House team on the art of working their puppets. The loose re-imagining of the classic fairy tale, as told as a bedtime story by Mom ( and Dad to their restless child. Brought to life by the one-of-a-kind mariottes, the story finds a sheltered princess hidden away by overprotective parents and a lonely boy whose single mother works all the time leaving him a latch-key kid, on a journey of self-discovery, independence and friendship. With a dose of parental guilt along the way the story finds a message for all ages under the surface of a production that appears aimed at children.
“We are excited to team with Presentation House Theatre to share this charming production with Vancouver audiences,” says Marionetas de la Esquina Master Puppeteer Lourdes Pérez Gay and Co-Director of Sleeping Beauty Dreams. “In reimagining this classic fairytale through the humour and honesty of puppetry, we see the princess trying to break free of her castle walls to find her true self. In essence, this is a fresh coming of age story.”
Kim Selody, Artistic Director of Presentation House Theatre and Co-Director of Sleeping Beauty Dreams, adds, “While aimed at children five years of age and up, Sleeping Beauty Dreams has much to offer today’s parents. Here we have a boy largely left to his own devices and a girl whose parents keep her within their own four walls because they have been told if she pricks her finger, she’ll die. In many ways, it’s an examination of two parenting extremes as seen through the eyes of children: latch-key kids and helicopter parents.”
Watching the performance surrounded by families with young children brings something extra to the production as the children are more prone to audibly express their amazement during the show, helping us reserved adults to share in their joy.
If this first joint production between Presentation House Theatre and Marionetas de la Esquina is anything to go on, we are in for more unique and exciting works to come.
Sleeping Beauty Dreams is now playing at Presentation House Theatre, 333 Chesterfield Ave, North Vancouver, until February 4. Find showtimes and purchase tickets online at phtheatre.org.