On Stage

A Length of Rope

Of choices and changes

Attend

What: "A Length of Rope"

Where: Cirque Lab, 1401 6th St.

More:

WHEN: 8pm Sat., April 8 and 6pm Sun., April 9

Cost: Entry is by donation

Info: http://www.alengthofrope.com

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Bellingham has a boomerang effect. Many people move away from the city of 80,000-plus on a regular basis, but after spinning around the earth’s axis for a spell of time, they eventually come back around.

Although she’s not here to stay, circus artist Ariel Schmidtke is looking forward to her return to the city by the bay after a four-year absence from local stages. And in lieu of a boomerang, she’ll be bringing other tools of her trade—a rope and a trapeze—to share with audiences at “A Length of Rope” performances April 8-9 at the Bellingham Circus Guild’s Cirque Lab.

Using acrobatics and shadow puppetry, the one-woman show explores significant choices every human comes to during the course of their lifetime. The rope and trapeze suspended on opposing sides of the stage represent the struggle of choosing between different directions, whether that pertains to a choice of place, identity, friendship or love.

As someone who’s upended her life many times in the name of pursuing her creative passions—whether it was studying with the Dream Science Circus at the age of 18, touring the country with the New Old Time Chautauqua, or exploring the origins of Nouveau Cirque in Paris—Schmidtke says “A Length of Rope” came about when she realized she needed to move on from a three-year teaching assistant job in Wilmington, North Carolina.

“Though I loved teaching, the public school system wasn’t working for me,” Schmidtke says. “I found I could connect with my students best when working in informal educational situations. I also had to make a decision about choosing between a sedentary career life, and a more transient artistic life. This show came from many of the doubts I felt while working through those decisions.”

Although it was her own life choices that spurred “A Length of Rope”—which she honed living in Alaska for the past nine months and studying at creative nonprofit Anchorage Community Works—Schmidtke hopes audiences will connect to the work in their own way.

“This show is also all about making emotional connections,” she says. “I leave the narrative open to interpretation. Though there is an obvious struggle taking place, I allow the audience to make their own decisions as to what that struggle may be. In that way it makes the show not only cathartic for myself, but for the audience as well. We work through those struggles together, and I hope that by the end of the show many audience members will feel a sense of resolution.”

Prior to her solo feat of emotional and physical endurance,  Schmidtke’s former Capistrano Circus members Strangely and Esther de Monteflores will each be performing their own original pieces. Expect accordion prowess and witty banter from the former, and multimedia slackwire exploration from the latter.

“I have always been in awe of the work Esther creates, and we have a similar aesthetic view,” Schmidtke says. “I like working with Strangely because he fills in a lot of the performance skills I lack. He is great at interacting with the audience and improvising. Aside from that, the members of this troupe are not just artistic colleagues, they are great friends as well.”

New Money Silver Reef
More On Stage...
Broad Comedy
Fun with feminism

It’s not often a Q&A page on a website is the place to go for a quick laugh, but when it comes to Broad Comedy, pretty much everything the female-focused ensemble does is designed to elicit a visceral reaction.

To wit, when asking if people should book Broad Comedy for their next big…

more »
Black's Back
The joke’s on us

When asked if he thinks Donald Trump is the worst or best thing to ever happen to comedians, standup star Lewis Black didn’t pause before saying he thinks the sitting president is “good for comedy in the way that strokes are good for a nap.”

Lewis notes he’s had the same answer since the…

more »
New Voices
How Sweet the Sound

Bellingham TheatreWorks is committed to producing the works of local playwrights and actors, and Eryn Elyse McVay’s How Sweet the Sound truly fits the bill. When the drama focusing on a charismatic leader and the three girls who depend on him for their well-being opens Jan. 4-5 at the…

more »
Events
Today
Bellinghamster One-Act Theater Festival (BOAT)

7:00pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Cascadia Weekly's Fiction 101 Contest

10:00am

A Forest of Words Poetry Competition

10:00am|Whatcom County

Ferndale Book Group

2:30pm|Ferndale Library

Infra-Supra Opening Reception

5:00pm|Western Gallery

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Ferndale Books on Tap

6:30pm|Downtime Taps

Creekside Open Mic

6:30pm|South Whatcom Library

A Sea Change

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Intro to Improv

7:00pm|Improv Playworks

Plant Society Talk and Meeting

7:00pm|Sustainable Living Center

Trove Web
Tomorrow
Bellinghamster One-Act Theater Festival (BOAT)

7:00pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

A Forest of Words Poetry Competition

10:00am|Whatcom County

Cascadia Weekly's Fiction 101 Contest

10:00am

Call to Artists for Spring Juried Exhibit

10:00am|Jansen Art Center

Literacy Council Seeks Volunteers

10:00am

English Country Dancing

1:30pm|Bellingham Senior Activity Center

Wine Tasting Social

5:30pm|Lighthouse Grill

Incognito

6:00pm|Ciao Thyme

Basic Emergency Preparedness

6:00pm|Ferndale Library

Winter Soups for the Body and Soul

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Bangladesh Travelogue

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Balkan Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Good, Bad, Ugly

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Choir of Man Trove Web
Friday
Bellinghamster One-Act Theater Festival (BOAT)

7:00pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Cascadia Weekly's Fiction 101 Contest

10:00am

A Forest of Words Poetry Competition

10:00am|Whatcom County

Call to Artists for Spring Juried Exhibit

10:00am|Jansen Art Center

Literacy Council Seeks Volunteers

10:00am

Wild Things

9:30am|Lake Padden Park

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

Books and Bites

1:00pm|Blaine Library

Peace Vigil

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Art Auction Gala

5:30pm|Lightcatcher Building

Photography Exhibit Opening

6:00pm|Fourth Corner Frames and Gallery

Family Story Night

6:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Quieting the Monkey Mind

7:00pm|Village Books

Urinetown

7:00pm|BAAY Theatre

Courthouse Vaudeville

7:30pm|Territorial Whatcom County Courthouse

Sanford-Hill Piano Series

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

VoicePlay

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Space Trek

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

see our complete calendar »

Choir of Man Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Trove Web Los Vivancos Village Books