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I cannot recommend a show more highly than I do this one.  This recommendation comes even though I have not yet seen the final product- which I hope you won’t bring up again because it fills my soul with ennui and despair.

Manual Cinema is a group of shadow puppeteers, physical theater actors, and musicians in Chicago.  One of which is Order member Sarah Fornace.  See also: the talented Julia Miller and the slightly death phobic death puppet maker Drew Dir.

Their description of the show:

Mirror mazes!  Elderly twins!  Death!

When I was in Chicago this summer I stayed with Sarah and Drew in their apartment filled with shadow puppet cutouts and overhead projectors.  I was lucky enough to see some of their work in progress.  If you have a hard time imagining me squealing with delight, well, it happened here.

The plot of Ada/Ava fondly reminds me of Jean Stevens, the 91 year old Pennsylvania woman who kept the body of her twin sister June in her home for two years after she died.  Jean kept June’s embalmed body in the room adjacent to her own bedroom, gently tending to her corpse. “Death is very hard for me to take,” Jean said at the time it was discovered.  “I’d go in, and I’d talk, and I’d forget.  I put glasses on her. When I put the glasses on, it made all the difference in the world.” The coroner’s office took June away, but eventually she was returned to a crypt on Jean’s property.

There is also Julian and Adrian Riester, the 92 year old twin Franciscan monks in New York.  They died this June of within hours of each other of matching heart failure.  They hadn’t been apart since 1956.

This is all to say that twin death is fascinating.

Here are the details of Ada/Ava.

Thursday, November 10 @ 8:00 PM

Friday, November 11 @ 8:00 PM

Saturday, November 12 @ 8:00 PM

Sunday, November 13 @ 8:00 PM

View the Ada/Ava trailer at

Tickets are $15 (adults) / $10 (students/seniors).

See it and support art of the death and shadow puppet variety.




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