May 7th: Cosmic Spelunker Theater Reunites

Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery at 106 Prospect Street with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On May 7th, we celebrate the 41st anniversary of Stone Soup as three long-time fixtures of Stone Soup reunite as Cosmic Spelunker Theater.

Cosmic Spelunker Theater is a Boston based collaborative performance art troupe that has been presenting its fusion of spoken word and movement since 2002, appearing at Mobius (Boston, MA), Puppet Showplace Theatre (Brookline, MA), Artists at Large, Inc. (Hyde Park, MA), Casa Nia, Zeitgeist Gallery, Out of the Blue Art Gallery (Cambridge, MA), The Revolving Museum (Lowell, MA), AS220 (Providence, RI) Warwick Museum of Art (Warwick, RI), and Bowery Poetry Club (New York, NY)

William J. Barnum is a stage actor whose long career began at the age of 17 playing Valentine in a production of Twelfth Night. His roles often had him sharing the stage with George C. Scott, Dustin Hoffman, Paul Bennedict, and Spaulding Gray. As a mime, he received training from Étienne Decroux, the father of modern mime, Tony Montanaro, and Samuel Avital, he was also one of the leads for Paul Curtis’ American Mime Theatre. He danced with the Boston Ballet and with José Limon. Barnum began to synthesize his stage skills as a performer with his own poetic compositions to form his own body of work. His poetry was collected in the volume Of Rare Design (VB Press.)

James Van Looy has been a fixture in Boston’s poetry venues since the 1970s and performed with the Mirage Mime Theater from 1980 to 1987 during which time he was also taught classes offered by Mirage. From 1987 to 1988 he was a member of the Collective Mime. His poetry has been anthologized in Out of the Blue Writers Unite. He has run poetry workshops for Boston area homeless people at Pine Street Inn and St. Francis House since 1992 and regularly reads at Bay State Prison as part of their poetry program. Currently, Van Looy leads the Labyrinth Creative Movement Workshop. Van Looy also has second degree black belt in Karate and is a Vietnam War era veteran.

Ian Thal‘s poetry grew out of his participation in Boston’s post-punk “spoken word” scene of the late 1990s before studying mime with Van Looy. His blog about his work with Bread & Puppet Theater was recently placed on the reading list for a course at the University of London. He is a member of the commedia dell’arte troupe, i Sebastiani, where he serves as both an actor and choreographer. He studies kathak, a classical dance form of Northern India, at the Chhandika Institute of Kathak Dance, and also serves as the mime and commedia dell’arte instructor at Open Air Circus, a Somerville based youth circus.