The Life of Paper (Pangaea Arts)

Pangaea Arts presents


An Origami Theatre Event

Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre
May 24 – June 1, 2008
(2-for-1 Preview May 23)
Tues- Sat 8 pm; Matinees May 25 & June 1 at 2 pm, May 28 at 1 pm

Show Tickets $22/$18 at
Admission to exhibition, workshops & other ancillary events is FREE

In this ground-breaking world premiere, world-class origami artist Joseph Wu and performers from East and West take audiences on an amazing theatrical adventure spanning centuries, cultures and continents.

The Life of Paper traces the ancient art of paper folding from 105 AD China through Korea, Japan, the Middle East, North Africa, Spain, Germany, England, France and all the way to contemporary North America and Asia, calling on different theatrical styles (from Chinese opera and Buddhist chant to Japanese magic and Victorian English vaudeville) to illustrate the milestones in paper’s long and colourful history. Vibrant characters – artists, professors, musicians, mathematicians, monks and magicians – tell the story, with help from stunning costumes, props, masks, puppets and musical instruments…all made of folded paper.

Award-winning interdisciplinary theatre company Pangaea Arts collaborates with Joseph Wu, Vancouver’s Orchid Ensemble and a cast of talented performers, including renowned Chinese opera performer Ling He, Japanese mime and mask artist Yayoi Hirano, local actors Lenard Stanga, David Warburton, Tomoko Hanawa and stage manager Yvonne Yip. The production, directed and co-written by Heidi Specht, also features music by composer Judy Specht, set and lighting design by John Webber, and costume design by Margaret McKea. The Life of Paper is a partnership with the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre.


The Life of Paper will be complemented by an interactive origami exhibit, opening on May 21 in the Exhibition Hall at the Roundhouse. The public will be encouraged to attend origami workshops and lectures by Joseph Wu, in which they will learn how to create their own paper art and add pieces to the installation over the course of the exhibit’s 2-week run. All are also invited to participate in a paper instrument-making workshop, and then to bring their instruments to the Roundhouse on May 25th (4-5 pm), where they will become part of a large paper orchestra. (Yes, you read that right!) Under the guidance of the Life of Paper artistic team and the musicians of Orchid Ensemble, this one-of-a-kind orchestra will perform a piece written especially for the occasion by composer Judy Specht. The performance will be recorded for later broadcast. (E-mail to reserve your spot in the orchestra!)

The Life of Paper is an epic journey; a meditation on how knowledge is passed between individuals and cultures, and how it evolves over time; a reminder that there is magic in ordinary things, and that myriad stories can be told starting with a single small square of paper.

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