Skip to content

Shumiatcher Sandbox Series Preview – Lipstick Smears and Mermaid Tears: Memoirs of a Sinking Soul

October 23, 2013
A shot from Lipstick Smears and Mermaid Tears: Memoirs of a Sinking Soul/Courtesy Tamara Unroe.

A shot from Lipstick Smears and Mermaid Tears: Memoirs of a Sinking Soul/Courtesy Tamara Unroe. Check out more photos in our Flickr gallery.

You know what they say: one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

When that person is Tamara Unroe, the treasure in due course becomes sculpture. Add puppets and songs and what you have is a piece of theatre called Lipstick Smears and Mermaid Tears: Memoirs of a Sinking Soul.

The premiere production is part of the Shumiatcher Sandbox Series and for this Unroe is grateful to the Globe Theatre for the opportunity and the Saskatchewan Arts Board for financial assistance. The show runs 45-minutes and features puppets (hand-held and shadow) and live music. It is scripted, but there is breathing room for improv and maybe a bit of audience participation.

Our hero is an elderly merman named Norman, who reflects on his life and times as an entertainer in a cabaret. That’s all I’m going to tell you about the storyline. You can discover the rest for yourself by catching a performance in the Templeton Studio.

“It’s a world made of garbage that people enter,” Unroe said, indicating a set comprised of sculptures created from discarded items that are supported by metal frameworks and range in size from milk jugs to nails and screws and pins.

“I just make stuff and the stuff I make are things I like to bring to life,” she explained. “I always begin with objects. Building objects. Playing with objects. That’s what I do.”

Unroe was born and raised in Halifax where she became fascinated with puppets as a child. The epiphany was a workshop she attended at the age of seven. The creature she designed there was a “Medusa-type dark princess,” as she now describes it. “I was a happy kid, but whenever I drew stuff it looked kind of scary.”

Many years later, as a student studying sculpture at the Emily Carr School of Art in Vancouver, she was required to write a term paper for a history course and chose shadow puppets as her topic.

It’s a world made of garbage that people enter. I just make stuff and the stuff I make are things I like to bring to life.” — Tamara Unroe

Unroe is now a resident of Saskatchewan. She lives in the village of Tugaske in a century-old farm house she purchased for $100. “No electricity. No running water,” she said. The two-storey home has been renovated over time.

The move from Vancouver was prompted by burnout. As a sculptor, Unroe soon discovered that in order to make ends meet she had to work steadily. “No breaks,” she said. “I couldn’t afford down time.”

Unroe’s partner in life and in art is Birger M. Huber, who constructs his own guitars and who contributes to this show as a musician performing original compositions. Multi-media artist Mariann Taubensee collaborated in the creation of the sculptures and Deborah Neville served as director.

Lipstick Smears opens Thursday, Oct. 24th, at 7:30 p.m. in the Templeton Studio Cabaret. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by visiting the Globe’s ticket section or calling the box office: 306.525.6400 or 1.866.954.5623.

LIPSTICK SMEARS SCHEDULE

Thursday, Oct. 24th, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 25th, 8 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 26th, 8 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 30th, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 31st, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 1st, 8 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 2nd, 8 p.m.

All shows are at the Templeton Studio Cabaret in the Globe Theatre (1801 Scarth Street). Tickets are available for all shows. Parking information can be found here.

Nick Miliokas is a freelance writer and editor based in Regina. You can reach him by email at rozenstern@rocketmail.com.

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: