The ‘ZooZoo’ story

Critically acclaimed “alchemists, magicians, theatrical animators and physical comedians” Carol Triffle and Jerry Mouawad and their theater company, Imago Theatre, will be appearing at 3 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St.

They will be performing their show, “ZooZoo,” a show that, according to their website, combines mime, dance, music and special effects. Creatures that audience members will see on stage include polar bears, bug eyes, anteaters, frogs, rabbits, hippos and penguins.

The show is recommended for people of all ages.

“The show plays on different levels,” Triffle and Mouawad both said. “Adults see some things that the kids do not see and the kids enjoy the physical aspects and the comedy. Because we are trained visual arts there is also that element of visual design.”

Additionally, they said that each piece takes one to ten years to design.

“Our goals are simple, we are trying to appeal to 99 percent of the world and trying to find universal elements that resonate to everyone,” they said.

Some influences for this show are silent film, circus, dance and animals. The animals in the show are very unique looking, in that they look like they were designed by the mind of Tim Burton; they’re fetchingly dark and haunting looking, but at the same time, somehow cute.

Imago Theatre was founded by the both Triffle and Mouawad in 1979 and is based in Portland, Ore. Prior to founding the theater, both actors studied theater intensely, with Triffle studying at L’ecole Internationale du Theatre de Jacques Lecoq, under the famous late Jacques Lecoq, a French actor, mime and instructor based in Paris. She grew up in Goshen, N.Y., then Southern California, and now lives in Portland.

Mouawad grew up in Roanoke, Va., and also studied Lecoq’s teachings at the Hayes Marshall School of Theatre Arts.

The group has performed all over, including all 50 states, Asia and Europe. The group cites their most enthralling theatrical experience as when they performed at the National Theatre of Taipei, in Taiwan.

“It was like playing in a king’s palace,” they said.

The group’s work has been critically acclaimed by the New York Times, NY and many other outlets. Additionally, they’ve won numerous awards for their work.

Imago was awarded the New York Dance Film Award and “Best Touring Production” by Independent Reviewers of New England.

Their many shows start out as a simple idea that evolves into something much bigger and magical. They call themselves alchemists for their ability to do this so well.

“We like to take simple elements that exist around us like wood, a paper clip, and use those elements on the stage to create something awe-inspiring,” they said.

The company performs many other productions. They’re working on numerous projects currently, including a comedy called “Beaux Arts Club” and an adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast.”

“ZooZoo,” they said, “comes from many different places’ dreams: a paper bag falling off the shelf, a line of poetry, movies, books and general life.” Tickets for “ZooZoo” are on sale now and can be purchased at, and more information about “ZooZoo” and the Imago Theatre company can be found at