BUCKFIELD — Celebration Etc., the Celebration Barn’s ensemble theater company will present their latest work, with special guests Fritz Grobe and Aaron Tucker, at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16 at the Oddfellow Theater.

Building on Celebration’s Barn tradition of original and physically-based theater, Celebration Etc. is a collaboration between Amanda Huotari, Kavi Montanaro, Ian Bannon and Kelly Nesbitt. With backgrounds in music, photography, puppetry and improvisation, the foursome works collaboratively, telling stories through movement, sound and visual imagery.

Celebration Etc. will open the evening with “The Edging Dream,” a powerful and visually poetic story of a shipwreck. Coached by Robert Post, this piece is inspired by the theater of the Barn’s founder, mime-master Tony Montanaro, who invented “physical graphics” as a way for actors to use their bodies to tell stories on stage.

The heart of the evening will be the company’s new one-act play, “Thumbs Up.” This funny and poignant story is about the adventure of 20-year-old Lexi who, while hitchhiking her way to Canada, finds herself in the company of wild mix of odd characters who all converge on a clam shack in Machias.

Grobe and Tucker will bring more laughs to the evening as they perform in “The Squeezers” and “A Pregnant Pause.”

Huotari is executive director of Celebration Barn Theater. Her solo show, “The Soiree,” was a hit at the 2010 Orlando Fringe Festival. She’s performed coast-to-coast including shows with The San Francisco Mime Troupe, Seattle’s Moisture Festival and The New York Clown-Theatre Festival. As a longtime host of the “Early Evening Show” with Michael Miclon, she’s at home on stage at the Oddfellow Theater.

Kavi Montanaro saw the work of his father’s early ensembles first hand while growing up at Celebration Barn. Most recently he’s studied with improv master Keith Johnstone and puppet-artist Theodora Skipitares.

Bannon is director of education for Figures of Speech Theater in Freeport. In addition to working through out the state as an artist-in-residence, Ian performs FST’s touring puppet show, Jester Kings of Java.

Nesbitt is a Portland-based musician who performs her own solo original music and plays regularly with the western swing and country band, The Mezcalitos. Her theater performances have taken her far and wide, including the International Women’s Clown Festival in Andorra.

“The early Barn troupes played a huge role in shaping the aesthetic of movement theater in this country. Now, we’re building on a 40-year tradition to create something totally new that I hope audiences will find fresh, funny and full of surprises,” Houtari said.

Tickets are $14 adults, $12 seniors and $8 for children 12 and under. To purchase tickets, call the Oddfellow Theater Box Office at 336-3306 or visit www.Oddfellow.com.


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