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ND grad to perform with marionettes

Liz Harter | Thursday, February 7, 2008

Joe Cashore, a 1971 Notre Dame alumnus, will take the stage tonight at Saint Mary’s Little Theater to showcase his life’s work in a marionette performance titled “Simple Gifts.”

The event will feature Cashore manipulating his marionette puppets to music.

“The original vignettes presented in ‘Simple Gifts,’ through a combination of virtuoso manipulation, beautiful music, theatrical illusion, and artistic insight, provide a sensitive vision of what it is to be human,” said Cindy Laughlin, director of artistic services at Baylin Artist Management, the group that manages the marionettes.

“The performance spans the range of emotions with characters and actions that are amazingly convincing,” she said.

Cashore, who graduated from Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, has been creating marionettes since he was 11 years old. He began performing with his creations, which can have as many as 42 strings attached, in 1990.

The marionettes, their clothing and all of the props were made entirely by Cashore. He does not speak during the performance.

The marionettes performed at Saint Mary’s once before, about 11 years ago, said Richard Baxter, director of the Office of Special Events.

“Each year I try and bring in a performance that would be appropriate for family audiences and this seemed like a good opportunity,” Baxter said.

The performance is part of the College’s Performing Arts Series for the 2007-2008 school year sponsored by the Office of Special Events.

Cashore has performed in Europe, the Far East and various locations in North America such as the Kennedy Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

The performance will feature music by composers such as Vivaldi, Strauss, Beethoven and Copeland.

The show will be at 7:30 tonight in the Little Theater. Student tickets are $5.