ZooZoo Brings Avant Garde Family Theater to Socorro

SOCORRO, N.M. October 23, 2015 – New Mexico Tech is hosting an exciting stage extravaganza on Halloween weekend, when Imago Theater brings their imaginative new show “ZooZoo” to Macey Center as part of the Performing Arts Series. The show will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30.

From 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., prior to the performance, Tech Club – Club Macey will host an event for the 21-and-older crowd featuring a fair-like pretzel bar, $5 for non-members.


Anthropomorphic frogs are one feature of the ZooZoo show coming to Macey Center.



Imago Theatre tours internationally while also producing a season at its home base in Portland, Oregon. The company's critically acclaimed productions FROGZ and ZooZoo have played at the prestigious New Victory Theatre on Broadway. ZooZoo has received rave reviews from the press. The New York Times called ZooZoo “a mastery of mime, dance and acrobatics.”

Carol Triffle and Jerry Mouawad, the creators of Imago, have been called alchemists, magicians, theatrical animators, and physical comedians. Defying classification, they have populated the stage with characters and beings such as comedic amphibians, acrobatic larvae, circus boulders, and metamorphosing humans in works which tantalize the senses, the intellect, and the passions.

“They’re a group I’ve wanted to bring to Socorro for a long time,” said Ronna Kalish, director of the Performing Arts Series. “I started 10 years ago and couldn’t get it done. This is the culmination of many years of trying to organize an Imago Theatre tour of New Mexico. They are so novel. There’s hardly anyone out who puts on a show like this.”

From adaptations of classics to excursions into vaudevillian existentialism, Imago's repertoire is as vast as the forms they shape. With commissions for stage, film, and television, Imago blurs the lines of the expected to break new ground, exploding performance boundaries yet maintaining humor and humanity.

Imago’s shows have been described as Cirque Du Soleil-evoking acrobatics mixed with Mummenschanz-like mime, set in a unique, yet accessible, French-influenced, avant-garde playground.  ZooZoo is penguins playing musical chairs, a cat trapped in a giant paper bag, hippos with insomnia, anteaters as waiters, and a madcap revue of illusion, comedy and fun that has inspired audiences nationwide. Imago has performed in China, Europe and at some of North America’s most revered festivals.

Imago Theatre's work is based on the teachings of Jacques Lecoq, who influenced many artists worldwide by examining and observing the world through movement. Observation is a key component of all Imago artists – designers, writers, directors, and composers.

Human beings are by nature mimics. As children we learn through copying the world around us. Mime is the art of reflecting the world by imitation. However, the highest form of imitation is not parody. Imitation is an art form of the highest order in which the actor embodies the object, animal, element or form he is attempting to mimic.

“One of the reasons I love them is that they’re funny for ALL ages,” Kalish said. “Their humor cuts at every level.”  What’s special is that they give human characteristics to animals, utilizing mime and audience interaction.”

Triffle and Mouawad founded Imago Theatre in 1979 and began touring the United States with original mask theatre.  In 1997 Triffle wrote and directed Ginger's Green which marked the beginning of canon of original music-theater works that includes Ajax, Oh Lost Weekend, No Can Do, and Missing Mona. In 2006 her music-theatre works changed form and often featured anti-clown heroes played by Danielle Vermette and Mouawad in works titled Hit Me in The Stomach, Mix Up, The Dinner, Simple People, Backs Like That, Splat, and Beaux Arts Club.

Triffle and Mouawad co-directed FROGZ and ZooZoo on Broadway. Triffle has staged works for The Jefferson Dancers and The Oregon Symphony. Her acting appearances in Mouawad's original plays include Dead End Ed, Samuel's Major Problems, Serial Killer Parents, Apis, Tick Tack Type, Stage Left Lost and Zugzwang. Awards include Best Touring Production by the Independent Reviewers of New England, Oregon Arts Commission Fellowship, New York Dance Film Awards, Portland Theatre Awards for choreography, costume design, and best original play.

Mouawad has adapted magical realism literature for the stage, incorporating multimedia, puppetry and stage illusion in Verdad (in collaboration with Triffle) and Half Light. Modern classic adaptations include Blood Wedding, The Imaginary Invalid, Exit the King and Uncle Vanya. His adaptation of Sartre's No Exit on a moving stage played at American Repertory Theatre and Hartford Stage Company.

He has staged work for BodyVox, The Portland Opera and The Oregon Symphony. The U.S. premiere of Caryl Churchill's A Number was directed by Jerry at Imago Theatre. His series of original silent works titled "Opera Beyond Words" include; Apis, or the Taste of Honey; The Cuban Missile Crisis; Tick Tack Type; Stage Left Lost and Zugzwang.

His recent Pinter productions include The Lover (2013) and The Caretaker (2014) On Broadway he co-directed with Triffle FROGZ (2000, 2002) and ZooZoo (2010). He has appeared as actor in Triffle's original works Ajax, Ginger's Green, Oh Lost Weekend, Missing Mona, The Dinner, Simple People, Backs Like That and Splat. Awards include Oregon Arts Commission Fellowship, Portland Theater Guild Fellowship, Best Director by the Independent Reviewers of New England, the New York Dance Film Award, and Portland Theatre awards for acting, light design, choreography, and best original play.

This fun for all ages show is sponsored by Wells Fargo, IRIS PASSCAL, NM Tech Student Government Association, Socorro Insurance Mart, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory-Associated Universities, Inc. and Econo Lodge.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for senior citizens 65 and over, and $10 for youths 17 and under, and are available online at www.nmtpas.org, or at the N.M. Tech Cashier’s Office (second floor of Fidel Center), Socorro County Chamber of Commerce (101 Plaza St.), Burrito Tyme Drive-up (Bullock) or at the door.

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