Amahl and The Night Visitors Q&A

Amahl and The Night Visitors Q&A

When and where are the performances of “Amahl and the Night Visitors”?

Friday the 18th at 7:30 pm
Saturday the 19th at 2 pm and 7:30 pm
Sunday the 20th at 2 pm

All at the Stephen B. Humphrey theater on the SJU campus! (Where we had this year’s talent show.)

What is it?

Amahl and the Night Visitors is an incredible opera that’s acted by 23 giant puppets that were originally commissioned by Queen Elizabeth II almost 50 years ago. Prep students have been mastering the art of controlling these puppets for months, and their work will finally be paying off this weekend. The CSBSJU college choir and orchestra are cooperating with Brother Paul-Vincent Niebauer to make the performance unforgettable.

What’s something you’ve learned from the show and/or the puppetry?

Grace Knoblach: I control/am King Casper’s right hand (man). Something I’ve learned throughout this show is how crucial movement is in theatre. It’s crazy how quickly you can bring puppets to life, too.

What would you tell people to convince them to come see Amahl and the Night Visitors?

Jack Rogers: I control a village peasant that I have deemed Peter Kirsh. Kirsh can be identified by his dynamic leg movement and quizzical expression on his face. To convince folks to come, I would tell them that, besides the visually stunning set, talented singers, charismatic puppets, and spirit-lifting story, the intricacies of this show are ones that cannot be found elsewhere. It truly may be a once in a lifetime opportunity: even our highly experienced director, Brother Paul Vincent, admitted to never having seen a show quite like this. The lifesized puppets with onstage puppeteers beside them is a rare (but beautiful!) fashion for a musical, and they will not want to miss it.


What’s been your favorite part of being involved in the production?
Caleb Thompson: I run Amahl’s feet. Although it’s not the most glamorous job, it’s been a blast! My favorite part of Amahl has been working with puppets.  It’s been extremely interesting and fun exploring the similarities and differences between traditional acting and puppeteering.  It has also been extremely neat to grow attached to and to grow more comfortable with the puppets (which were slightly unsettling at first) just as you would with your character in traditional acting.
In your opinion, what’s the most interesting thing about Amahl and the Night Visitors?
Christian Brenny: I just so happen to play the part of Amahl’s arms! The most interesting part of Amahl and the Night Visitors is the fact that the puppeteers need to convey as much emotion within the puppets’ movements as possible. It’s interesting because the constraints of the puppets only allow for a certain amount of emotion to be conveyed. Finding the movements that maximize the “emotional output” of the puppets is challenging.