Michael Cooper’s Masked Marbles at the Hayes Center in Blowing Rock

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Michael Cooper is a “Poet of the Stage” — an eye-popping visual artist and a virtuoso mime whose exquisite performances combine breathtaking handcrafted masks, original stories of courage and wonder, outlandish stilt dancing, and a physical repertoire ranging from the madcap to the sublime. Cooper, whose programs have been hailed as “moving sculpture, will bring his one-man extravaganza Michael Cooper’s Masked Marvels to the Hayes Performing Arts Center in Blowing Rock for a special 10am kids & family performance on Saturday, June 13.

Masked Marvels is as subtle as it is high speed,” says The Irish Times. “Think of Spaulding Gray crossed michaelcooperwith Superman, plus an amazing array of masks…Best of all was the Giant on stilts. Creating his vast self before our eyes, he began dancing on bare tiptoes with a grace that proved surprisingly beautiful…..”

Taking up to 300 hours to produce a single paper or cloth mask, Cooper, whose performances have dazzled audiences for almost 30 years, has elevated this most ancient of theatre crafts to the level of a fine art. His ability as a wordsmith enables him to reel in the most discerning of crowds with the nuance of a poet, the joy and timing of a first-rate comedian, and the twists and intrigue of a master storyteller. And whether he’s high kicking on giant legs, animating one of his magical creations or, quite literally, “leaning on air,” the unending enthusiasm of this masked marvel captivates both young and old.

“Michael Cooper’s Masked Marvels enthralled young and old, and ignited an entire audience’s imagination,” raved Caroline Seaton-Lyon, from the Church Hill Theater in Church Hill, Md. “Michael brings his wonderful characters to life with the most marvelously, strikingly beautiful masks I have ever seen.”

Michael Cooper’s Masked Marvels will play on Saturday, June 13 at 10am. Tickets are $20 for adults, $14 for students and are available now by calling the Box Office at 828-295-9627. You may pay by credit card or by cash (in person). Tickets can also be purchased online at www.HayesCenter.org by credit card. Special group rates are also available (10 person minimum). Season and Flex Passes can be purchased and used throughout the entire ’09 season.

The mission of the Mariam & Robert Hayes Performing Arts Center is to pursue excellence in every way including programming and superior services for our patrons; engage audiences of diverse ages, cultures, and economic backgrounds; instill in the children and youth of the community a life-long love and participation in the arts; and be a community gathering place for active exchange about culture and creativity.

The Hayes Performing Arts Center is located at 152 Jamie Fort Road (off Hwy 321), Blowing Rock, N.C. Tel:828-295-9627


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