SOUTH PARIS — At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 23, the Celebration Barn Theater will present Figures of Speech Theatre’s “Nightingale,” an exotic retelling of the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale, featuring vocalists and lifelike puppets.

Figures of Speech Theatre uses original vocal music, live actors in flowing silk costumes and 4-foot tall carved puppets in their presentation of “Nightingale.”

“Nightingale” explores the importance of maintaining a connection with nature. The emperor of China learns of the existence of a plain gray bird whose song is the sweetest in all the world. He summons her to court, where she moves him to tears. Later he is given a jeweled mechanical bird, which makes him lose interest in the Nightingale and banish her from his empire. But when he is alone and gravely ill, his tiny compassionate friend returns to bargain with death and save the emperor.

Figures of Speech Theatre has performed throughout Japan, North America and Europe. In 1996, “Nightingale” played a successful Broadway run at the New Victory Theater and won the UNIMA Citation of Excellence, the highest award in American puppet theater.

The story is framed by narrators played by Andrea Goodman, formerly a principal vocalist with the Meredith Monk Ensemble, and Carol Farrell, co-founder of Figures of Speech. The production features an original score composed by Goodman.

Tickets to see Figures of Speech Theatre’s “Nightingale” are available for $14 for adults, $12 for seniors (60-plus) and $8 for kids (17 and under). All tickets are general admission; members receive priority seating. Lobby and concessions open at 6:30 p.m. Purchasing tickets in advance is strongly recommended.

To purchase tickets or find more information, visit or call the Barn’s box office at 207-743-8452. Celebration Barn Theater is located just off Route 117 at 190 Stock Farm Road in South Paris.

Puppets from Figures of Speech Theatre’s “Nightingale.” 

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