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Around the PQ – Tribes and Plague Rats

In the early 1900s, Australia suffered wave after wave of bubonic plague, delivered  by trading ships infested with rats.

A group of performers commented on the way that the rats of England traveled outward, colonizing the world, and spreading disease.   As a part of the PQ Tribes series,  The National Institute of Dramatic Art, Australia costumed a team of street performers, and headed out into the city to spread humor and wonder and plague.

The troupe assembled in the courtyard of the Náprstek Museum near Old Town Square.
The troupe assembled in the courtyard of the Náprstek Museum near Old Town Square.
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Neither narrow sidewalks, nor heavy pedestrian traffic deterred them in their mission.

 

Reactions from passersby were varied.   Everyone stared in their own way.
Reactions from passersby were varied. Everyone stared in their own way.

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The number of people taking pictures grew with each block.
The number of people taking pictures grew with each block.
The rats developed an entourage of paparazzi.
The rats developed an entourage of paparazzi.
They scurried past the Charles Bridge, down many winding streets, and made their way to the subway.
They scurried past the Charles Bridge, down many winding streets, and made their way to the subway.
It was very natural watching them descend down into the dark beneath the streets.
It was very natural watching them descend down into the dark beneath the streets.
They made their way onto one of the subway cars.
They made their way onto one of the subway cars.

 

I didn't have a pass, so I bid them farewell, and watched them ride away.
I didn’t have a pass, so I bid them farewell, and watched them ride away.

All photos, credit: Matt Kizer.

 

Matt Kizer

Matt Kizer lives with his wife and son in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. He is the resident scenic and lighting designer for Plymouth State University, where he has been the head of the design and technology program since 1996. He is a regular designer for Papermill Theatre, a regional company in Lincoln, NH. He has designed often for the Educational Theatre Collaborative, which produces both traditional and original musicals, as well as for Kearsarge Arts Theatre (KAT) Company in New London, a childrens’ theatre company, specializing in new works. Productions include, A You and Me World, winner of the Moss Hart Award for Children’s Theatre, and Mail to the Chief, which was invited for performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He serves as a guest designer for Auburn University in Alabama. He served as faculty lighting designer for Operafestival Di Roma in Italy, where he designed lighting for L’elisir di amore and The Magic Flute, both produced with the Orchestra Sinfonica dell’ International Chamber Ensemble at Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza in central Rome. He has designed for dance and movement in Potsdam, Germany at T-Werk in Schiffbauergasse with A-Fortiorni. He has designed for Barnstormers Theatre, White River Theatre Festival in Vermont, and for dance companies, theatres, and colleges in New England, Virginia, Ohio and Indiana. He specializes in projections and HTML tools for theatre and theatre education. He serves as webmaster and as a contributor for BroadwayScene.com, AllTicketsInc.com, BroadwayIQ.com, and BroadwayEducators.com. He holds a BA in Theatre from Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Design from The Ohio State University.