The Geodesic Dome
‘The Geodesic Dome Theatre is not just a place for entertainment
but a safe space for people to relax and be educated in a different way’.
Our amazing multi-sensory Geodesic Dome is a transportable wooden venue that can be built anywhere in a couple of hours. It hosts our Shadow Show and creative workshops, as well as a variety of other outdoor activities such as classes, crafts and performance – it is especially sought after by healers who value its energetic power.
Just like our shadow show stories, the hand-made interior design of the dome, with its patchwork of tapestries, embroideries and hidden treasure pockets, is inspired by traditional storytelling representing diverse cultures from around the world. The mathematical patterns of both the structure and its decorations recall natural/sacred geometrical principles adopted by many cultures, giving the den-like space a magical tribal quality.
We currently have two robust domes made of sustainably coppiced ash and hazel poles: the small one (made circa 2002) reaches 4m across and 2m in height with a capacity of 15 to 20 people; while the large dome (made in 2022) spans 5m in diameter and reaches 3m in height with a capacity of 20 to 25.
Bringing together the teams cross app skills under one roof, the Shadow Shadow show is built for the purposes of education and wellbeing with the environment at its heart. We are aiming for funding to upgrade our solar panel setup and acquire an electric van, which will make our services fully net zero and self-sufficient.
The Mys.Tree Shadow Show
Shadow show performance is a global art form that has been practiced in many different cultures throughout history. No one knows the exact origins of this art form, though it is believed to have originated in China around 2000 years ago!
In China, Shadow puppetry became a popular form of entertainment during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) and has continued to be a popular form of performance ever since. Over time, shadow puppetry spread to other parts of Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Each culture has developed its own unique style of puppetry with its own distinctive puppets, music and storytelling traditions. In Europe Shadow puppetry emerged in the Middle Ages as a form of religious performance; telling stories from the bible to teach illiterate people about the Christian faith, and in Somali Land it is one of the few acceptable modes for performance. During the 19th Century Shadow puppetry became popular in France, where it was known as 'ombres Chinoises' (Chinese Shadows).
In the 20th Century, shadow show puppetry has continued to evolve and adapt to new technologies and cultural influences and is still performed in many parts of the world including in our Fabulous Geodesic dome Theatre. Some Shadow shows have been adapted for animated films, such as the 2018 Chinese film 'White Snake'. The last Harry Potter film features a shadow animation for the telling of the story of the 'Deathly Hallows'.
The Mys.Tree Shadow show has evolved as a concept that is deeply rooted in our collective cultural ancestry and is a space in which to reconnect with each other and learn from the wisdom of folk tales and legends as well as being a space in which to share our current 'cultural stories'. Young people who participate in shadow show performance can learn about different cultures and traditions, promoting cultural understanding and empathy. One of the greatest benefits of shadow show performance is that there is room for experimentation and mistakes. Since the performance relies on the effective use of light and shadow, performers can try out different lighting effects and puppet shapes to see what works. Mistakes can be viewed as learning opportunities.
Furthermore, the use of shadow and light can create a sense of ambiguity and mystery, (hence the name), that allows for multiple interpretations. This can encourage young people to explore their creativity and develop their own unique artistic style, rather than feeling constrained by a rigid set of rules or expectations.
How Anansi, Ant and Fly won the Sun
Blind Man and Hunter
Anansi Garden show July 23-22 (2)
Anansi Garden Show July 23-22
The Shadow Show Workshops
We work with children and young adults to create a Shadow Puppet Show from start to finish. The children will come up with a storyline or theme, write a script, create the puppets and sets, record a sound track and then perform the show for their families and communities. All of these activities are great for self expression and help young people develop their communication and storytelling skills alongside their creative skills. The workshops provide a wonderful opportunity for children and young adults to work collaboratively, learn new skills, and express themselves creatively whilst also promoting their mental health and wellbeing.
There are so may potential benefits of shadow show performance; as a highly visual art form young people will learn how to use these visual elements to communicate ideas and emotions effectively and improve communication skills. The shadow show requires collaboration and those who participate in the performances can develop their communication skills by learning how to work effectively as a team.
The Shadow Show offers a safe space for children to explore emotion and expression through sound (Creation of sound track and learning basic music production skills) and led by Tina Brown.
Storytelling; to share intercultural stories as well as personal stories through expanding creative writing, communication and language skills; led by Guillaume Foulquie
Art and arts skills are used through the conception and creation of scenery and puppets; led by Gulid Mohammed
Using shadow and light, black and white provides a non-discriminatory environment and the screen hides the performers and thus offers a safe space for the more nervous/less confident person.