TEMPLE – Temple Stream Theater and Foothills Arts Center will present Figures of Speech Theatre in its award-winning production of “The Beanstalk Variations” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 3, at the theater, Intervale Road. The performance will be full of physical comedy and music for adults and kids alike.

Actors Michael Rafkina and John Farrell, co-directors of Figures of Speech Theatre, will be joined on stage by a cast of pre-industrial puppets, and together they will provide a fresh perspective on the old story of “Jack and the Beanstalk.”

Songs in the production will include “FeeFiFoFum Means I Love You” and Jack’s cowboy-style “Lament for Milky White.”

In “The Beanstalk Variations,” Jack has a problem – a giant problem. Every night he dreams that he’s on stage playing a harp, when suddenly an enormous hand crashes through the ceiling and snatches him away. What can this mean?

Guided by the eccentric Dr. Blaukopf, Jack discovers that you can live in a fairly tale. Figures of Speech Theatre delves into the meaning of the traditional tale.

Approaching Jack’s three ascents to the land of the giants as an empowering spirit journey, they treat his victory over the giant as a triumph over one’s own greed.

Figures of Speech Theatre is an internationally acclaimed professionally touring theater based in Freeport. The company recently returned from a 24-show run at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and a six-month residency in Japan. In 2001, following its successful run at the Kennedy Center, “The Beanstalk Variations” was awarded the Union Internationale de la Marionnette Citation of Excellence, the highest distinction in North American puppet theater.

Tickets can be purchased at the door the evening of the performance.

Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under, or pay what you can. To get to Temple Stream Theater, take Route 43 west to Temple. After the post office, the road turns sharply to the left and becomes Intervale Road. Continue one mile past the Red Schoolhouse, to a white church building on the right.

Figures of Speech Theatre has been conducting puppet theater workshops for sixth through eighth grade students in SAD 9 for the past month. In addition, they are performing “The Beanstalk Variations” and “The Nightingale” for students in four SAD 9 schools.

The educational events are coordinated by the Foothills Arts Center and funded by a 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant, a partnership of SAD 9, UMF and Foothills.

For more information, contact Anne Geller at the Foothills Arts Center, 778-0448, [email protected], and on the Web at www.foothillsarts.org.

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