Tales from India on stage in Rochester

In part of its “Stories You Should Know” series, Bald Mountain Theater this week presents “Tales from India” this Friday through Sunday at Spice Studio in Rochester. “Stories You Should Know” showcases classic stories from a far-off corner of the world. They evoke the familiarity of stories you grew up with as a child with the flavor and magic of another culture.
This year, the theater company’s tales are drawn from all over India — from sandy desert dunes to thick jungles to towering mountains. Bald Mountain promises to provide captivating stories about a misanthropic princess, a couple fighting over an imaginary cow, a boy who sells wisdom, the dangers of a tiger choosing a bride for his adopted human son, and a demon who’s really handy around the farm until he’s bored and drama ensues.
Addressing his inspiration, story curator and performer Ethan Bowen says, “I was drawn to these stories from India because they have a vibrancy, a thrilling energy that you don’t find in their European counterparts. The language of these stories is so rich and steeped in its culture … and there are no tales about getting lost in the snow.” Bowen reads hundreds of stories every year, and, as in past years, he has carefully chosen a few that fascinate him and prepared them for the stage to share with audiences.
“These stories are magical, but also contain great humanity with which everyone can relate,” Bowen says.
Bowen will deliver a sumptuous performance as “The Reader,” accompanied by the evocative tones of steel-tongued drum and shruti box. With a running time of one hour, these family-friendly tales have the strong subject matter (death, love, revenge, humor) that makes for great stories.
There will be evening performances on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday. Tickets at the door are $15 for general admission and $10 for children under 10. Spice Studio is at 482 South Main St. in Rochester.

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