Manual Cinema

COLORADO SPRINGS—Explaining with words won’t do justice to the multi-sensory experience that is Manual Cinema. Imagine going to the movie theater to see a film, but, instead of facing and consuming the media, you are actually totally submerged in it. And that’s because the film is actually multiple feeds — some live, some pre-recorded — projected onto five separate screens. The multi-channel soundscape is cut by live music, performed in theater, and oh— some of the actors are puppets. That’s what Manual Cinema creates.

Manual Cinema is a performance collective from Chicago that specializes in original feature length live cinematic shadow puppet shows. They visit UCCS Presents after building a relationship with the academic Theatre and Dance Program’s Theatre of Ideas initiative, produced by Associate Professor Kevin Landis.

In an effort to make the new Ent Center and UCCS an incubator for new work, Manual Cinema was offered a two week residency in January to develop Frankenstein, a piece commissioned but the Court Theatre in Chicago and the Public Theater in New York. A showing of Frankenstein premiered at the opening gala for the Ent Center, starring UCCS Theatre, Dance and Music students.

Manual Cinema returns in March under the banner of UCCS Presents, to perform Ada/Ava, one of their fully developed performance works that uses shadow puppetry, music and live action.

“The company is one of the most exciting devised performance groups in the country,” notes Landis. “Astonishing work, it is not to be missed.”

Tickets start at $27.50 and are available at or through the UCCS Presents box office at (719) 255-3232. The performance will take place in the Shockley-Zalabak Theater at the Ent Center for the Arts.