Fort Greene

BAMkids show explores relationship between trees, animals, human beings

May 13, 2016 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Magnet Theatre’s “TREE/BOOM/UMTHI” is running at BAM through May 22. Photos by Rebecca Greenfield.
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South African physical theater company Magnet Theatre uses imagery, song, and the body to tell the story of a human’s relationship with a tree during the changing of the seasons. “TREE/BOOM/UMTHI,” now at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), explores the relationships between the tree, the animals and human beings. The show is directed by Jennie Reznek.

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It is performed like a moving illustrated children’s book, with beautiful images using carefully chosen objects, sounds, and song. Performed in three different languages — English, Afrikaans, and isiXhosa — this delicate, inventive work is intended especially for young viewers, who experience and understand the story through their bodies.

Each performance includes a guided post-show audience participation session. “TREE/BOOM/UMTHI” is the winner of the 2014 Cape Town Dassie award for Best Children’s Production.

Magnet Theatre is an award winning physical theater company that has been operating in and out of South Africa for the past 29 years. Emphasizing the language of the body, its members create exciting, innovative, and sophisticated African theater which engages with the present condition in South Africa. “TREE/BOOM/UMTHI” is its first work for audiences under the age of 7.

Magnet Theatre also runs a Youth Educational Trust dedicated to training and developing skills for historically and geographically disenfranchised and marginalized youth in an attempt to address high levels of unemployment among South African youth. This includes the Magnet Theatre Full-time Training and Job Creation Program, which caters to youth who for one reason or another struggle to be absorbed into training at the University. The program offers a carefully structured program to 20 talented performers in each two-year cycle.

Performance dates and times are as follows:

Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15 at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 17 – Friday, May 20 at 10:30 a.m.

Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22 at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

BAM Fisher is located at 321 Ashland Place. Approximate running time is 30 min (+ 15 min post-show activity).

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