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Tricklock Delivers A Different Kind of Theater Experience

By Pamela Sosnowski

A Tricklock performance takes an audience way beyond traditional acting. Depending upon the production, an audience may be treated to a fusion of several performing art styles that may include shadow and object puppetry, clown, acrobats, poetic language, and more.

Says Juli Hendren, the group's Artistic Director, "Our work is raw and intimate. We feel that theatre is a vital tool for examining the human experience. We predominantly create devised theatre (group generated shows) that are physical and experimental."

The company was founded in 1993 originally under the name Riverside Repertory Theatre and was renamed Tricklock in 2001. "It was started by a small group of folks who met at University of New Mexico in the theatre department in 1993," explains Hendren. "There were some cool theatre happening in Albuquerque, but it wasn't quite the large scene it is today. We wanted to work together and quickly discovered we loved creating our own original performances as a group."

Several of Tricklock's members belong to the Screen Actors Guild with multiple acting credits in television and film. Some have been a Company member for several seasons, and written, directed, and produced the group's works in addition to acting in them.

Each year the theater troupe produces the Revolutions International Theatre Festival, which was first held in 2001 and introduces local communities to revolutionary world theater. The festival runs for three weeks every years and brings theater artists from all over the world to Albuquerque. This year's festival invited artists from Uganda, Cuba, Argentina, the UK, Zimbabwe, Colombia and Poland as well as the U.S.

Conversely, Tricklock also tours internationally. This summer it brought three original productions to Ukraine and Poland: Her Murder Ballad (pictured above), Finger Mouth (pictured below), and The Reptilian Lounge. They also conducted free theater workshops in each Eastern European stop.

Back home, the company works with local schools introducing aspiring young performers ages 3-18 to their craft. A special program called The Manoa Project is reserved annually for no more than 15 high school students that are interested in physical theater techniques. The training culminates in a fully produced performance conceived and written by the ensemble.

Whether sharing their talents with the local community or overseas, Hendren believes in the power of performing theater to break down barriers. "We believe that the exposure to world theatre and culture increases mutual understanding, inspires change, and empowers individuals to improve the overall quality of life for all people," she says. "It really allows people to connect and hear the stories of others. When we share that space together, it brings us all together."

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