Saturday, November 25, 2006

ChristMiVeSt Participants Interviewed!

Below you will find a bit more about the participants in ChristMiVeSt! We were interviewed by one of the largest papers in Connecticut, the Hartford Courant.

My only issue is that they said I would be "reading" the stories... I actually don't read them, I am a storyteller, so I quote them, and I add character voices and utilize the whole stage to create an imaginary landscape for the action!

So, here is a link, and below is the text of the story.



By Regine Labossiere
Courant Staff Writer

November 23 2006

MANCHESTER -- A mime, a ventriloquist and a storyteller are putting on a show in which Henry, a modern-day Ebenezer Scrooge, complains about a cellphone he bought that doesn't work and the Ghost of Christmas Present gets stuck in a fax machine.

Three Connecticut artists - two from Tolland and one from Trumbull - will host and perform in "Christmivist," a set of solo performances celebrating Christmas and the holidays to be held at Cheney Hall on Dec. 8 and 9.

The show's title is derived from combining the words Christmas, mime, ventriloquism and storytelling.

The mime, Daniel Cossette, 25, of Tolland, created Ambassador Ministries, a professional Christian performing arts organization and mime troupe, about five years ago. Through his organization, he performs at events such as church parties and street fairs. Through the years, he has met many other artists, including Judy Buch, a Tolland-based professional speaker and ventriloquist, and George W. Sarris, a New York-based commercial actor who lives in Trumbull.

Cossette decided to put together a Christmas show that incorporated their skills and traditional Christmas songs and stories.

"It's a really great family show," he said. "...What's fun about mime is ... you see all the colors, you see all the presents. You get drawn in because it's all your imagination. That's what really makes it captivating."

Buch, a grandmother in her 60s, said she believes that many of the traditional Christmas songs and stories aren't heard as much as they used to be because of the politicizing of Christmas. She said people are taught to say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" and she's excited that the show will return to the traditions, but with a twist.

"It's funny and fun, but there are the old traditions as well," Buch said.

She will use a few of her peoploids, cartoonishly life-like puppets created by an artist who worked with Jim Henson. One of her peoploids is Henry the Scrooge. Another is Daisy, who loves the holiday so much that practically every other word out of Buch's mouth reminds her of a Christmas carol, which she then proceeds to sing.

"Adults will enjoy it because they'll remember the old-time ventriloquists," Buch said. "Kids will love it. ... They've never seen anything like it."

Sarris, 58, will read four Christmas stories: "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi," sections of the Bible from the books of Matthew and Luke and an original written by a friend who also writes for Marvel Comics and DC Comics.

"I pantomime actions and go into character voices, so it's pretty interesting what I do," Sarris said, adding that he's taken miming lessons from Cossette.

Cossette said his long-term plan is to create a performing arts center in Hartford County that promotes the type of acting he and the others will show at Cheney Hall.

"I want to bring creativity more to the forefront here because I think there's a lot of creativity here in Connecticut but the artists have to evacuate to New York or Boston to be recognized," Cossette said. "You don't have to go away to be respected when you do what you do."

The three said they hope the Christmas show will be a step in that direction.

"I think it's really an important thing to do," Sarris said, explaining that all three have Christian backgrounds and appreciate the singers who perform at churches.

But, he said, "There are other kinds of arts that need to be developed. I think it'll be wonderful to have a center where there are more than just singers. ... I can't think of anything that's competing with it."

"Christmivist" will be at the Little Theater of Manchester at Cheney Hall Dec. 8 and 9 at 7 p.m. Tickets at the box office will be $15. For more information or to purchase tickets beforehand, call 860-870-5432.

Contact Regine Labossiere at
Copyright 2006, Hartford Courant

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