Arts and Entertainment

UMO offers free tickets to kids’ show

Lyam White and Janet McAlpin perform in “Red Tiger Tales” on Sunday at the Open Space. - Courtesy Photo
Lyam White and Janet McAlpin perform in “Red Tiger Tales” on Sunday at the Open Space.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

The UMO Ensemble recently caught a tiger by the tail. With the goal of bringing a live performance to under-served Seattle schoolchildren, UMO performed “Red Tiger Tales” off-island to an enthusiastic crowd of 1,200 kindergarten through 12th-grade students.

They plan to do it again, only this time on Vashon.

UMO and Open Space will give free tickets to all of Vashon’s children under the age of 18 to see “Red Tiger Tales” at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Open Space for Arts & Community.

In Seattle, UMO partnered with ACT Theatre, garnering financial support from the National Endowment for the Arts to pay for bussing the children to the theater and for producing the show.

“We didn’t have a clue how it would go,” said director Elizabeth Klob, “but it was so amazingly successful, we decided to try it on Vashon.”

Klob met with Janet McAlpin and David Godsey, the founders of Open Space, who agreed to co-produce the performance using funds from a grant from 4Culture, which also supports their “Sunday at 4” series. The result is a free ticket for every child on Vashon to see “Red Tiger Tails.” Adults have to pay their own way at $15 per ticket.

“Red Tiger Tales” is UMO’s irreverent approach to a collection of ancient Tibetan and Zen Buddhist, Sufi and Christian tales of wonder.

“These are universal tales that show up in many traditions,” said Klob, “and our red-nosed clown monks tell the stories.”

Each UMO Ensemble clown monk is assigned a different life problem to tackle, and they do so using masks and puppets, while singing, clowning, dangling from ropes, performing aerial tricks, juggling and balancing.

Last performed on Vashon four years ago, “Red Tiger Tails” includes some recent changes.

“There are lots of improvements,” said Klob. “We’ve taken it to a new level.”

Tickets will be distributed to Vashon students through the schools.

Adults can buy their $15 tickets at the door.

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