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March 3, 2003

UMBC Department of Theatre Presents Fanto: A Mysterious Vaudeville

FantoThe Department of Theatre presents Fanto: A Mysterious Vaudeville, featuring newborn puppets and misled clowns. A curious variety show starring inanimate objects (from dancing tubes to lusty packing tape), Fanto uses theatrical illusion in ten original acts ranging from the spooky to the surreal.

Conceived by faculty director Colette Searls, Fanto features commissioned puppets by artist Don Becker, with lighting design by Ryan Griffin, sound design by Terry Cobb and original music by Kristian Twombly.

Click here towatch a brief video clip on Fanto (RealVideo format).

About the Director
A new member of the UMBC faculty, Colette Searls most recently worked in California, where her directing credits include Maria Irene Fornés' musical Promenade, and Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream at the University of California, Irvine. She has directed several original mixed media puppet plays, including Weight of the Head, which appeared at New York's HERE Theater's 2000 Puppet Parlor. Ms. Searls spent several years running an artist-in-residence program for incarcerated and at-risk youth, which received the Bravo TV Network's national Arts for Change award in 1997. Performance credits include a principal role in Claire Braz-Valentine's Women Behind the Walls, co-created with incarcerated women, and performed inside Soledad state prison. More recently, she toured with the California Commedia Troupe to Spain where she performed and assisted with mask training at Madrid's La Sala Mirador Theater. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Ms. Searls received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and her M.F.A. in Directing from UC Irvine.

Tuesday, March 11, 8 pm (preview)
Wednesday, March 12, 8 pm (opening night)
Thursday, March 13, 4 pm (a free showing for the UMBC campus community, reservations recommended)
Friday, March 14, 8 pm
Saturday, March 15, 8 pm
Sunday, March 16, 4 pm

Note: Fanto is not suitable for infants and toddlers.

$5 general admission, $3 for the preview.
Ticket proceeds benefit the Department of Theatre Scholarship Fund.
Theatre Box Office: 410-455-2476

Theatre Box Office: 410-455-2476
Public information: (24 hour recorded message): 410-455-ARTS
General Department of Theatre information: 410-455-2917
Media inquiries only: 410-455-3370

UMBC Arts website:
UMBC News Releases:
Department of Theatre website:

From Baltimore and points north, proceed south on I-95 to exit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the Theatre.

From I-695, take Exit 12C (Wilkens Avenue) and continue one-half mile to the entrance of UMBC at the roundabout intersection of Wilkens Avenue and Hilltop Road. Turn left and follow signs to the Theatre.

From Washington and points south, proceed north on I-95 to Exit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the Theatre.

Visitor parking regulations are enforced on all University calendar days. Hilltop Circle and all campus roadways require a parking permit unless otherwise marked.

Online campus map:

Images for Media
High resolution images for media are available online: or by email or postal mail.


Posted by dwinds1 at March 3, 2003 12:00 AM