The mission of Boxtales Theatre Company is to bring myths and folktales from around the world to young audiences using masks, movement, music, and storytelling. Their shows and assemblies fire imaginations, inspire creativity, strengthen cultural pride, encourage tolerance, and engage young people in the excitement and immediacy of live performance.
Boxtales Theatre Company is an award winning touring company, based in Santa Barbara. Since 1994, Boxtales has been entertaining and educating, creating many original works of theatre pulled from world myths and folklore. Boxtales' work is designed for multi-generational audiences and has been primarily booked into youth and family programming. They have toured much of the western states, and regularly perform in the greater Los Angeles area in venues such as the Getty Center, Getty Villa, Geffen Playhouse, Museum of Tolerance, The John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, La Mirada and the 24th Street Theatre. They also perform educational outreach shows in school assemblies.
Beyond the traditional disciplines of the theatre, Boxtales Theatre Company makes use of many styles borrowed from other performance and cultural traditions such as storytelling, masks, dance, martial arts, circus arts, acro-yoga and radical sports. They try to create images in the mind of the audience without the use of too many props or a set of any kind. They often transform from one character to another on stage, using simple props, costume pieces or just physical characterization. Sometimes they will take turns playing a character. Boxtales has found that this "Actor Driven" and "imagistic" approach engages their audience's imagination, and tends to make the work open to various interesting interpretations.
Most of the company members, over the years have trained with James Donlon and Sigfrido Aguilar. Their influence on the style of the company is significant. In time they began training with master teachers in different performing art traditions from the cultures the stories were coming from. This allows Boxtales to maintain a flavor of the culture the stories are coming from, while developing as performing artists. Boxtales has now traveled to Greece, Germany, Spain, England, Hungary, Mexico, India, the American South and Pacific North West, to develop the work.
Boxtales Theatre Company have always based their work in world mythology and folklore. Myth has played a significant role in the development of civilization. Through the development of myths mankind has been able to pass down from generation to generation the history, beliefs, and values of our ancestors, and teach us how to live a better life. Looking at the world today, people are reminded how relevant and important this is now.
Photos by David Bazemore