By Kendall Buzzelli
We spoke with Kevin Chick, an actor with Lightwire Theater and a performer in Moon Mouse, A Space Odyssey, coming to Wharton Center on Sunday, April 15. He gave us the inside scoop on everything you need to know about Moon Mouse, Lightwire Theatre, and what it’s like to perform in the dark.
So what’s your background?
Kevin attended fellow Big 10 school, the University of Iowa, where he studied theater. After college, he moved to Argentina for two years to work with a touring company that travelled across South America.
His favorite roles have been comedic, physical characters, and he soon found puppetry to be an area of great interest. He worked with Muppets creator, Jim Henson, and found Lightwire Theater by chance – on a cross-country motorcycle trip, where he auditioned on a whim. Kevin has been with the company for a little less than two years.
How would you describe Lightwire Theater in a few words?
Kevin says it’s “hard to sum up what [they] do.” He classifies Lightwire Theatre as dance puppetry done completely in the dark through use of stylistic lighting technology.
Whoa, whoa, whoa – in the dark?
Yes! All performances, including Moon Mouse, A Space Odyssey, are done completely in the dark. Kevin says it was hard to get used to, but the company is extremely diligent about rehearsing to overcome these challenges.
The actors first do the show in dim lighting without costumes on. Soon enough, they will add costume items into the mix and continue to dim the lights until soon the only illumination is coming from the costumes.
Kevin says that every movement is calculated on and off stage. Everyone has a path they must follow to insure the safety of the actors and the costumes.
“It takes a lot of memory to perform in a Lighwire Theater production,” says Kevin.
The Moon Mouse, A Space Odyssey company tours across the nation. How do they take these paths and adapt them to theaters across the country?
The company of Moon Mouse takes the show to a variety of spaces with different capabilites. Being able to adjust to what they have has become the norm. Kevin says problem-solving is key when learning how to tweak the show to fit the space.
What should the audience expect when they come see Moon Mouse, A Space Odyssey?
In simple terms, Kevin says, “To not understand what they see.”
By that, he doesn’t mean we won’t understand the plot line or the story, but rather that miraculous things will be happening on stage. Moon Mouse is a show for families and children, and everyone is amazed by the show when they leave the auditorium.
“With the internet, you can know everything you wish to know almost immediately,” says Kevin. “With this show, you won’t know how everything happened. And it’s truly a magical feeling.”
Kevin Chick and Moon Mouse, A Space Odyssey will be at Wharton Center on Sunday, April 15, at 1:30pm and 4:00pm. Tickets are still available for both performances, and are available for purchase on our website, by calling 1-800-WHARTON, or by visiting the Wharton Center Ticket Office. Don’t forget to follow Wharton Center on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for behind-the-scenes looks at all things Wharton Center.