“Industrious Angels” Explores Women’s Handiwork Through Puppetry, Paper-Cutting and Music

April 23, 2012 — Laurie McCants will bring her play “Industrious Angels” to Allegheny College for a free performance at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, in the Gladys Mullenix Black Theatre of the college’s Vukovich Center for the Communication Arts.

A story about the crafting of stories, “Industrious Angels” was conceived by actor/playwright McCants on a visit to Emily Dickinson’s home, where the poet wrote, in secret, the almost 1,800 poems that were found after her death.

“Industrious Angels” unfolds through puppetry, paper-cutting, music, movement, light and dark, and the weaving together of words, a dance of the hands that honors women’s handiwork: mending, preserving, ordering, adorning and writing.

The play was developed at the Ko Festival of Performance in Amherst, Massachusetts, and the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.

“Industrious Angels” is hand-made by Laurie McCants, in collaboration with director/lighting designer Sabrina Hamilton, scenic designer F. Elaine Williams and composer Guy Klucevsek, who created a score with piano, violin, accordion and toy piano.

The performance is part of the Year of Sustainable Communities at Allegheny College, a series of activities, workshops and events aimed at inspiring the campus and community to examine what makes a community sustainable in the richest sense of the word — that is, able to provide a good quality of life to those who live and work there and to be resilient in the face of challenges.