Caws & Effect

Mind of a Snail’s large-scale shadow theatre production is an exploration of survival and extinction from a bird’s eye view. Funny, beautiful, and unique, this dramatic presentation features handmade layered projections, puppetry, masks, and an original musical score.

A modern fable, a tongue-in-cheek nature documentary, the animated dream of a sleeping bird—in 2014, Caws & Effect won Patrons Pick at the Winnipeg Fringe and Pick of the Fringe at the Vancouver Fringe Festival. Their latest show, Multiple Organism, won a 2018 Jessie Richardson Theatre Award, Critic’s Choice for Innovation.

Reviews:

“Finally, someone found a good use for those overhead projectors we all remember from high school. This is a family friendly show, and will definitely inspire awe among kids, as the responses among some of the younger audience members would attest.” -Edmonton Journal

“…nothing short of magical.” —NOW Magazine

“If you remember overhead projection from math class as I do, you may think of it as a static tool for presenting equations. In the hands of Vancouver’s Chloé Ziner and Jessica Gabriel it’s everything but. The projector is a magical tool for bringing their story to life. They’re ingenious at using it to stunning cinematic effect.

Through delicate manipulations they make birds soar, fish swim, eggs crack. They seamlessly transition from one scene to the next, moving across panoramic landscapes, and zooming in on the tiniest detail. The 45-minute show is dense with “wow” moments. You won’t want to blink for fear of missing one.” Iris Yudai · CBC News

“The visuals are stunning. The final moments, told through a moving mish-mash of lavender light, dance across the ceiling with a ghostly beauty that feels both old-fashioned yet fresh in a world of backlit glows. Ziner and Gabriel’s background pieces, layers of brightly coloured cellophane, create landscapes that move and grow cinematically like a series of Roald Dahl illustrations come to life.

There’s a sense of child-like innocence to the show that forces you to overlook its flaws. Perhaps it is the handmade quality of the props and costumes, or the bright-eyed exuberance of the performers, but Caws and Effect is a show that generates indulgent “aws” from its audience. While the series of puns begins to grate halfway through and the ending remains unclear,  the charm of the show lies in its ability to connect with the elementary school kid hidden inside each of us. Caws and Effect gives that kid the chance to play with a projector again and watch a magical puppet show – a lovely way to spend an hour of your night.

Caws and Effect is a show of heartfelt craftsmanship that’s charm papers over its weaknesses. It’s a gem of a show.”

Chelsey Stuyt, Vancouver Presents

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