Lightwire Theater uses electroluminescent puppets

Lights, puppets, action

Lightwire Theater is coming to Vernon Nov. 23 to bring new life to two favourite tales: The Ugly Duckling and The Tortoise and the Hare.

“It’s electronics. It’s lights. It’s dance. It’s a great story.” That’s how radio provocateur/talent judge Howard Stern summed up Lightwire Theater when the New Orleans-based troupe competed in the semifinals of America’s Got Talent in 2012.

Fresh on the heels of their breakout success, this innovative company is coming to Vernon Nov. 23 to bring new life to two favourite tales: The Ugly Duckling and The Tortoise and the Hare.

“It really is an unforgettable theatrical experience,” said Erin Kennedy, Vernon Performing Arts Centre’s artistic director. “The show’s four performers arrive on stage in complete darkness, leaving only (their) striking electroluminescent puppets visible to the audience.”

Producing spectacular visuals using cutting edge technology, moving sculpture and dance, Lightwire Theater is a unique act to say the least.

The recipients of the prestigious Jim Henson Foundation Grant, the troupe is able to “erase” their dancers, so that all you see are lit-up characters flitting about the stage.

“What you see on stage is just the puppet. It’s a glow-in-the-dark adventure that combines dance, puppetry and technology,” said Eleanor Carney, who is part of the seven-member cast.

With their breakout show, Darwin the Dinosaur, Lightwire is giving new life to the Hans Christian Andersen classic, The Ugly Duckling, which follows in Darwin’s footsteps through the use of electroluminescent puppetry, created by Corbian Visual Arts and Dance.

The show also has its important message of acceptance, and combines Aesop’s fable, The Tortoise and the Hare, now more than 2,500 years old, which continues to drive home the time-tested adage that “slow and steady wins the race.”

With stunning visuals, poignant choreography and creative use of music ranging from classical to jazz to pop, both performances culminate in an hour’s worth of entertainment.

They literally bring these classic tales into a new and brilliant light.

Lightwire Theater’s The Ugly Duckling and The Tortoise and the Hare stages at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 23. Tickets are $20/adults, $17/seniors and $15/students with family pack pricing available. Contact the Ticket Seller box office for details at 250-549-7469 or order online at


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