Part of a Recital sponsored partnership with the New Hazlett Theater, Recital is presenting a series of editorially-independent previews and reviews of the 2018–2019 Community Supported Art (CSA) Performance Series. Below is their preview of Porto Domi by Felicia Cooper, a collaborative response from Recital editor David Bernabo, season review panelist Jason Baldinger, and guest panelist Maggie Lynn Negrete.
A young girl, a snail, a bus ride, and the search for home.
Felicia Cooper creates a magical world of puppetry with Porto Domi
By David Bernabo
“I was traveling on a long haul, off-brand Greyhound bus,” says puppeteer, dancer, educator, and maker Felicia Cooper. “There was a family in the front row seat, just hanging out with their dad, the driver, treating the whole bus like their living room.” Charmed, Cooper spoke to the family’s youngest daughter, who disclosed that, “she imagined there were snails living in the luggage compartment!” This encounter with a family and their makeshift home-away-from-home led Cooper to develop Porto Domi, a new family-friendly, multimedia puppet show that follows a young girl and her best friend, a garden snail, on a bus ride, as they search for the meaning of “home.”
In our ever-changing world, home can mean many things. It’s part of how a person defines themselves. Home is a term that often resets with each generation. Home is the house that you were born in or your hometown or a new country that promises a fresh start. “When I talk to people about this show, almost everyone has had a very personal, recent experience with their own definitions of home,” says Cooper. Home can be a dream when no place provides a sense of comfort or stability.