About the Program:
Presented by Maas Theater and Dance from the Netherlands.
See that egg? The one in the museum gallery guarded by two bored attendants? It's very expensive and no one is allowed to touch it. But just when the job of these attendants starts to feel extra boring, they're needed more than ever! Will they succeed at keeping the egg safe? Join Dutch theater/dance company Maas in a charming production for young audiences featuring miming actors, a chase scene, and a hysterically egg-cellent time.
What to EGG-spect
Time to Pantomime
The EGG-tion HERO actors’ costumes give us information about their roles as museum attendants as well as their performance style: their white gloves, black-framed glasses, and black clothing are characteristic of what mimes traditionally wear.
You might notice the similarity between the word “mime” and “pantomime,” which is the type of performance movement that mimes use. They are, in a sense, playing a complex game of pretend: with hand and body motions as well as with facial expressions, they create the impression that they are engaging in actions and interacting with (often invisible) props. The actors in this show are frequently silent, relying on their motions and gestures to convey meaning, just as mimes express themselves non-verbally—in other words, without words.
Now it’s your mime time: Try having a “conversation” with a friend or family member without any words only using gestures and facial expressions. Remember: No talking, please!
This show’s title is EGG-tion HERO, a play on “action hero.” What is an action hero? Perhaps you’ve seen Hollywood films where “the good guy” tries to “save the day” and stop the villain,
or “bad guy,” from causing trouble. There are often action scenes, complete with chases, close calls, and high stakes hijinks. EGG-tion HERO, too, has these qualities, with the danger coming from the risk that the central character, a Tfragile, valuable egg, will break. Heroes don’t have to wear capes. They can be seemingly ordinary people who work hard to do the right thing. In EGG-tion HERO, the attendants are heroes, working selflessly to protect the egg.
Who are your real-life heroes? Reflect on how they “do good.” Then, grab a piece of paper and some markers, colored pencils, or crayons, and draw a picture of your hero in action!
What to Look & Listen for
The attendants use minimal sets and props, allowing you to interpret scenes with the aid of your imagination.
Watch how the actors pantomime daily activities. For example, we see one attendant take a break to
prepare a hot drink. Note the other activities that they mime. Mimic these movements—and others—in your own pantomime play. Then use pantomime to act out the series of steps in your own morning routine.
EGG-tion HERO takes the fantasy to a whole new level when the egg starts moving. Keep an eye on the egg. When you first see the egg, what are your expectations for it? As the show continues, does the egg break (pun intended!) any of those expectations?
What to Think About
Reflect on the ways the attendants keep themselves occupied while stationed near the egg. What do you do when you have to wait in silence? Choose and role-play a scenario that requires patience. Use mime. Can your family and friends tell what you’re waiting for?
List ways that the attendants establish the high stakes early in the show. For example, they state that the egg is “very expensive” and “very fragile.” For that reason, “No one is allowed to touch it.” Identify other elements that get the audience invested in caring about the egg. Recall the moments in the show when you felt nervous. Express what concerned you.
Reflect on one of the show’s central questions: What is art? The attendants may ask this question at the beginning of the show. For millennia, adults and children, artists and audiences alike, have asked the same question. Now that you’ve seen this show, describe how you define art.
Maas Theater & Dance, The Netherlands
Direction Willemijn Zevenhuijzen
Performers Lisa Groothof and Dwayne Toemere
ABOUT THE COMPANY
Maas Theater & Dance is physical, imaginative, and distinctive in every sense. We perform for everyone: children from the age of 3, school classes, families, teens, and young adults. You can see us in our home city of Rotterdam and around the world. Maas represents something new for the Dutch performing arts scene combining two separate disciplines, dance and theater, in a single company.