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Big Brother and glow-in-the-dark dinosaurs

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Lightwire Theater is a New Orleans-based group that blends theater, puppetry and dance. Their upcoming show will follow the journey of a dinosaur brought to life by a mad scientist and is well suited for families of all ages. PHOTO BY NICHOLSON/CARNEY/POPP


BIG SKY—This winter, the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center has so far welcomed five shows and looks ahead to finishing with the best performances of its 2020 season.

On Saturday, March 7, WMPAC brings Aquila Theatre’s production of George Orwell’s seminal novel “1984” to its stage.

Aquila Theatre is perhaps the foremost producer of touring classical theatre in the U.S. and visits Big Sky on this year’s national tour as part of their mission “to bring the greatest works to the greatest number.” In addition to their production schedule in New York, Aquila performs in over 50 cities annually.

“This is a particularly powerful time for this performance,” said John Zirkle, WMPAC’s executive director. “The questions Orwell raises about privacy, technology and the role of the media are uncannily pertinent today.”

Not to mention Orwell’s eerily accurate predictions of technological devices. Among his science fictions that are uncomfortably close to today’s reality are the telescreens in every household capable of recording conversations and transmitting them to Big Brother, a shadowy governmental organization that is always watching.

The next show of the season, Lightwire Theater, will be one of the most unique performances WMPAC has ever produced. Lightwire Theater is a New Orleans-based group that blends theater, puppetry and dance; actors wearing glow-in-the-dark costumes perform on a pitch-black stage.

The show chronicles the story of a mad scientist who brings a dinosaur to life. When that dinosaur wanders away and gets lost, it encounters all sorts of creatures that illuminate the meaning of love and home.

Zirkle first saw the group five years ago. “It was love at first sight,” he said. “I knew this show would be absolutely perfect for a Big Sky audience, and I’ve been trying to bring them to WMPAC ever since.”

The group will light up the WMPAC stage for two performances on Saturday, March 14; the initial 5:00 p.m. showing sold out so quickly that a second showing at 7:30 p.m. was added to meet demand.

“We’re proud to bring this type of world-class entertainment to Big Sky, particularly because both of these shows are coupled with honest meaning,” Zirkle said. “I can’t wait to hear what our audiences take away from them.”

Rolling Stone has called Lightwire “absolutely incredible,” and the group’s creativity rocketed them to the semi-finals of “America’s Got Talent.” The show is well suited for families with children, but promises to be mesmerizing for everyone.

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