My CultureSource story about the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum’s ‘Wonder of Learning’ exhibit

Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 7.50.02 AM.pngThe Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum (AAHOM) currently has an exhibit that you might initially walk past without realizing it.

Why? Because the AAHOM atelier designed in conjunction with the exhibit The Wonder of Learning: The Hundred Languages of Children—now on display at U-M’s Duderstadt Center and Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design through August 26th—has dim lighting in order to accommodate activities involving shadow play and flashlights.

“The idea of the atelier is to have a kind of art studio,” said Lorrie Beaumont, AAHOM’s Director of Education. “ … Shifting Forms is the name of ours.”

Indeed, light, color, shadow and movement are all points of exploration in the semi-dark room. Visitors can make their own shadow puppets, or play with more intricate puppets available on-site; they can shine a flashlight through small shapes of colored plastic, and rotate them in space to see how this affects the shadows they cast; and they can turn a large mobile in front of a flashlight, to see how movement alters its shadow-image on the wall. No two visits to the exhibit will be alike, encouraging repeat visits for parents and children looking for summertime activities. The exhibit is on view through Labor Day weekend. READ THE REST HERE

REVIEW: Michigan Shakespeare Festival’s ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ feels light on its feet

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Janice L Blixt, Robert Kauzlaric, and Alan Ball in Michigan Shakespeare Festival’s “The Taming of the Shrew.”

When a comic Shakespeare production includes a tip of the Elizabethan muffin hat to the Three Stooges (playful poking and slapfighting), Monty Python (an underling standing in for a horse, complete with clicking coconut halves), and Marx Brothers-style vaudeville (sight gags like a bucket being kicked when death is mentioned, and a huge stack of books being rendered light by the removal of the smallest volume), you know the director’s main goal is to turn up the laughs.

Such is the case with John Neville-Andrews’ Michigan Shakespeare Theatre production of “The Taming of the Shrew,” now playing at Canton’s Village Theater. The choice may well be strategic, since the bard’s classic war between the sexes often gives modern audiences – particularly those of the feminist persuasion – a panoply of reasons to cringe. Continue reading