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String and Shadow Shines in Jean Sweeney

Giant puppet performance enthralls crowd

String and Shadow Puppet Theater, a troupe of artists based in Olympia, Washington, performed “Ship of Fools: A Giant Puppet Odyssey” at Jean Sweeney Open Space Park in Alameda on August 5. The warm summer Saturday evening was nothing short of magical, as approximately 300 captivated attendees gathered to witness the spellbinding performance.

Under layers of colorful fabric and dancing cardboard, six puppeteers, three musicians, and three mimes brought to life a story of friendship, love, loss, and acceptance that resonated with every member of the audience. Aboard a mysteriously sentient ship, three mimes set sail from the Port of Styx across the mythical boundary waters connecting the world of the living to the underworld. Along the way, they encountered a world of beautiful and strange creatures: hermit crabs carrying houses on their backs, a ghostly humpback whale, and much more.

The event was hosted in partnership with Rhythmix Cultural Works. Their next event is “Pour Your HeART Out,” a benefit for youth arts, on Saturday, August 19. Tickets are still available, with proceeds going to fund arts education for 100,000+ Bay Area youth.

The family-friendly performance enraptured the sold-out crowd. The skillful artistry of the puppeteers, musicians, and mimes left the audience in awe, and the park was filled with the echoes of laughter, applause, and a shared sense of wonder.  It was truly an evening to remember, where storytelling and art merged seamlessly, creating memories that will be cherished for years to come. String and Shadow’s next performances are scheduled for Utah, Montana, and Washington.

Maurice Ramirez is the official photographer for the City of Alameda. Reach him at [email protected]. His photography is collected at MauriceRamirez.com. His posts are collected at AlamedaPost.com/Maurice-Ramirez. All photos are ©2023 Maurice Ramirez.

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