Mummenschanz the word

Mummenschanz has been performed in theaters and theater festivals round the world, on Broadway, even The Muppet Show.

mummenschanz 88 (photo credit:)
mummenschanz 88
(photo credit: )
Every other year at the end of June, I would arrive at Ben-Gurion airport to be greeted by my Safta and Saba and whatever the Israeli summer had to offer. Once, at age seven, my mom and I saw a show in Haifa. I remember sitting in my seat waiting for a dramatic opening but there was none. Instead, the performers and stage remained cloaked in black with the exception of a focus piece: a cardboard box, ventilation tubing or some brightly-colored prop. Then came silent movement and emotion. My most vivid memory is of one character 'crying' trails of toilet paper with the rolls as its eyes. This was Mummenschanz. Founded in 1972 by Bernie Schürch, Andres Bossard, and Floriana Frassetto, Mummenschanz has been performed in theaters and theater festivals around the world, on Broadway, and even on The Muppet Show. It speaks, through its silence, to international audiences. This is the troupe's fifth time in Israel. 3x11, a retrospective on 33 years of Mummenschanz is their most recent production featuring selections from their 100 sketch repertoire and has been touring the globe since 2006 with 170 sold-out performances in its native Switzerland. The source for characters and props is everyday life - nature walks, cooking and museums are all creative hotspots. Even though there is no dialogue or background music, there is much expression. People of all ages empathize with the sad faces, laugh with the happy ones and delight in the unique forms that the actors take on. Speaking with Floriana Frassetto [who saw perform over two decades ago] by phone from Egypt where Mummenschanz was performing, she describes herself as someone who, "expresses her ideas with a sense of colors, shapes and effects." I describe her as a kindred spirit. Explaining the lack of visual clues and the relative low-tech nature of the show she explains, "We used to have drawings to depict the titles of our shows. Everyone tells us what to think, what to do, what to be. We wanted our audience to feel free when imagining." Floriana notes that, "Different audiences react to different things. Women tend to laugh before men. One can probably do a study on societies and cultures through our performances." Mummenschanz will be performing at various venues around the country with tickets priced from NIS 199 to NIS 249. For more information visit www.mummenschanz.co.il.