‘The Sealskin’ puppet show comes to the East End

Credit: West of Roan

Credit: West of Roan

The magical world of Seal People finds its way to the East End when Channing Showalter and Annie Schermer bring their multi-media shadow puppet performance to Bridgehampton on Sunday, October 23.

Channing and Annie live in North Carolina, but they are currently biking their way through Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont performing their new shadow puppet show “The Sealskin.” When Sag Harbor’s William Burford, Artistic Director of Bloodstone Theatrical, had a chance meeting with them on the road, he convinced them to take a slight detour and bring “The Sealskin” to our neck of the woods.

“The Sealskin” tells the story of a boy whose father is a fisherman and whose mother is a seal — he’s of two worlds, but at home in neither. It’s a familiar tale in Irish, Scottish, Icelandic and Scandinavian mythology, which is filled with stories of Seal People, a.k.a. selkies, silkies, selchies, or roane. According to legend these beings live as seals in the ocean, but shed their skin to become human on land. This original story is inspired by the old myths and legends and told with puppetry, song and shadows.

Channing and Annie, who call their puppet company West of Roan, began collaborating after they met in the Pacific Northwest. In their work, they draw inspiration from myths to explore their own relationship to the wild self and things like fear, darkness, demons, love, isolation, joy and transformation.

Using light and shadow to set the scene, their puppets walk, swim and fly within and between the topside world and the one below where creatures and intricacies of the subconscious live. Channing and Annie also sing and play fiddle to round out the emotion and structure in their storytelling.

“The Sealskin” by Channing Showalter and Annie Schermer will be performed on Sunday, October 23 at 6 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse, 977 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton.

Admission is free and no reservations or tickets are required. The show runs one hour. Voluntary donations to support the artists will be accepted in the lobby.

For more information, visit www.westofroan.com.