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.”

Silver Reef Stay and Fly
More On Stage...
Bard Alert
All the world’s his stage

William Shakespeare never had a Twitter account, but there’s no doubt he’s trending—at least in Whatcom and Skagit counties, where his words and his works are set to sparkle on stages throughout much of the summer.

For Shakespeare Northwest’s 18th annual Skagit River Shakespeare Festival,…

more »
Starting Out
Western Summer Theatre

If you haven’t passed by the tail end of Holly Street lately, be aware that Maritime Heritage Park is currently abuzz with action.

In addition to being ground zero for three out of the five plays comprising iDiOM Theater’s Summer Rep lineup, the scenic locale overlooking Bellingham Bay…

more »
Acting Out
A stage kids grow through

At 13, I got caught smooching a boy at church camp and was forced to lead that night’s singalong around the campfire. My punishment was embarrassing, but because I was generally thought of as being a goody two-shoes, it was also kind of exciting to be a rebel.

A few years later, nobody…

more »
Events
Today
Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Skagit Guided Adventures

10:00am

Tall Ship Tours and Sails

10:00am|Squalicum Harbor Marina

Summer Reading Bingo Challenge

10:00am|Bellingham Public Library

Bard on the Beach

2:00pm|Vanier Park

The Birds

7:30pm|Maritime Heritage Park

Fairhaven Summer Repertory Theatre

8:00pm|Firehouse Arts and Events Center

Skagit Tours

10:53pm|Highway 20.

Project Homeless Connect

9:00am|Bellingham High School

Wild Things

9:30am|Boulevard Park

NW Raspberry Festival

10:00am|Lynden

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Books and Bites

1:00pm| Blaine Library

Ferndale Farmers Market

2:00pm|1750 LaBounty Dr.

Seaside BBQ

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Seafarers' Summer

6:00pm|Seafarers' Memorial Park

Family Story Night

6:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Burlington Summer Nights

6:00pm|Burlington Visitors Center

USA dance event

7:00pm|The Majestic

Shakespeare Northwest

7:00pm|Rexville-Blackrock Amphitheater

Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

Festival of Musical Finale

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

Upfront Goes to Camp

9:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Skagit Tours

10:53pm|Highway 20.

Village Books
Tomorrow
Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Summer Reading Bingo Challenge

10:00am|Bellingham Public Library

Tall Ship Tours and Sails

10:00am|Squalicum Harbor Marina

Skagit Guided Adventures

10:00am

Bard on the Beach

2:00pm|Vanier Park

The Birds

7:30pm|Maritime Heritage Park

Fairhaven Summer Repertory Theatre

8:00pm|Firehouse Arts and Events Center

Skagit Tours

10:53pm|Highway 20.

NW Raspberry Festival

10:00am|Lynden

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Seaside BBQ

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

Shakespeare Northwest

7:00pm|Rexville-Blackrock Amphitheater

Skagit Tours

10:53pm|Highway 20.

Four routes, endless views

7:30am

Tour de Whatcom

7:30am|Whatcom County

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|Ferndale Senior Center

Shipwreck Day

8:00am|Downtown Anacortes

Concrete Saturday Market

9:00am|Concrete Community Center

Ayurveda, Eat Right for Your Type

9:00am| Community Food Co-o

Ferndale Renaissance Faire

9:00am|Pioneer Park Soccer Fields

Anacortes Farmers Market

9:00am|Depot Arts Center

Mount Vernon Farmers Market2333

9:00am|Riverwalk Park

Twin Sisters Farmers Markets

9:00am|North Fork Library

NW Art Beat Studio Tour

10:00am|Skagit County

Lummi Island Saturday Market

10:00am

Summer Seersucker Bicycle Ride

10:00am|La Conner

Mind, Body, Spirit Fair

10:00am|Center for Spiritual Living

Lynden Farmers Market

10:00am|Centennial Park

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Sand Sculpture Competition and Rollback Weekend

10:00am| Birch Bay

Summer Book Sale

10:00am|Birch Bay Park

Blaine Gardeners Market

10:00am|H Street Plaza

Correspondence Club

10:30am|Mindport Exhibits

Camping at the Library

11:00am|Deming Library

Your Fall Gardening Starts Now

11:00am|North Fork Library

Cemetery Tours

11:00am|Lynden Cemetery

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Ask a Quilter

2:30pm|Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building

Nooksack River Walk

3:00pm|Horseshoe Bend Trailhead

SpeakEasy 25

4:00pm|Alluvial Farms

Artist Talk with Judy Talley and Elizabeth Sandvig

4:00pm| i.e. gallery

Feast and Frolic in the Field

5:30pm|Viva Farms

Seaside BBQ

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Heart of Anacortes Summer Concert Series

6:00pm|Heart of Anacortes

Andrew Rivers

7:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

Salsa Night

9:00pm|Cafe Rumba

Skagit Tours

10:53pm|Highway 20.

Trove Web Support Vertical
Sunday
Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Tall Ship Tours and Sails

10:00am|Squalicum Harbor Marina

Skagit Guided Adventures

10:00am

Bard on the Beach

2:00pm|Vanier Park

Fairhaven Summer Repertory Theatre

8:00pm|Firehouse Arts and Events Center

Skagit Tours

10:53pm|Highway 20.

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Skagit Tours

10:53pm|Highway 20.

Ferndale Renaissance Faire

9:00am|Pioneer Park Soccer Fields

NW Art Beat Studio Tour

10:00am|Skagit County

Summer Book Sale

10:00am|Birch Bay Park

Sand Sculpture Competition and Rollback Weekend

10:00am| Birch Bay

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Seaside BBQ

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

Skagit Tours

10:53pm|Highway 20.

Sedro-Woolley Community Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #43

Vietnam Veterans Car Show

9:00am|Barkley Village

Birchwood Farmers Market

10:00am|Park Manor Shopping Center

Bellingham Handmade Market

11:00am|Goods Nursery and Produce

Langar in Lynden

11:00am| Guru Nanak Gursikh Gurdwara

Forest Immersion Walk

11:30am|Zylstra Lake

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Skagit History Cruise

1:00pm|La Conner Channel Lodge

Nonfiction & Memoir Writing Group

3:00pm|Village Books

Deobrat Mishra

4:30pm|Turtle Haven Sanctuary

see our complete calendar »

Trove Web Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Support Vertical Village Books