Anteaters dining restaurant-style, hippos with sleeping problems, prankster penguins, and fly-swatting frogs: They're all part of ZooZoo, Imago Theatre's long-running show that plays in Portland over the holidays before heading off on a final national tour.
The cast of beloved creatures—designed by the company's co-founders and artistic directors Carol Triffle and Jerry Mouawad—are made from "all sorts of material from foam, to papier mache, to soft material for the costumes," according to Mouawad. "We have a team of fabricators that work with us. Once we define a creature design, Carol and I work with the team to define how it's created."
The duo first began working with masks and costumes in 1979, for FROGZ, building on that with Biglittlethings in 2003. ZooZoo was the next evolution of their marriage of mime dance, music, and masks, premiering in 2009. Following successful national and international tours—the New York Times told audiences to "Just watch"—ZooZoo is back in Portland for a final run before heading off for its last tour. Catch it while you can, and click through our slideshow for a sneak peek at the weird and wonderful characters that populate the Imago show.
ZooZoo plays at Imago Theatre Dec 11–Jan 3.