Recommended for Grades 3-12

“To describe Manual Cinema as just a shadow puppet show is to say Pixar makes cartoons” (Chicago Tribune). The collective imaginatively combines shadow puppetry, cinematic techniques, sound effects, and live organ music in a haunting performance like nothing you’ve ever seen. Bereaved of her twin sister Ava, septuagenarian Ada solitarily marks time until a carnival—and a visit to the mirror maze—plunges her into a gothic New England journey. The matinee will include a shadow puppetry Show & Tell and an opportunity to ask questions to the artists!

Know Before You Go

Event Information

Thu, Feb 29 10:30 am CT
In-person / Livestream
On-demand through Mar 8

  • Theater Doors Open: 9:45 am
  • Performance Begins: 10:30 am
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • This event will be captioned, with other accessibility services available upon request.
  • Advisory: This performance includes loud music and flashing lights.
  • Detailed Event Information and Streaming Access: Education contacts, check your email for detailed information the week prior to the event.

If you have questions, contact If you need assistance with your tickets, please call the box office at 612-624-2345.

sensory friendly icon - lotus flowerSensory Friendly Lounge

A Sensory Friendly Lounge equipped with sensory supports and staffed by trained volunteers will be available to all guests who are seeking a safe and soothing atmosphere during this and other select performances. Learn more on the Accessibility Services page.


Teacher & Student Resources

Find educational resources below to use before and after the performance.

This slideshow is intentionally without sound.

Pre-event In-person Educational Video - Manual Cinema: Ada/Ava

What to expect in the theater and background information about the event and the performers.

This slideshow is intentionally without sound.

Pre-event Online Educational Video - Manual Cinema: Ada/Ava

Background information about the event and the performers.


Write a Review

Use this writing activity for students to evaluate the event in a review format.

Ask students to imagine that they are an arts critic for the school newspaper. They are going to write a review to inform others about what they experienced. They should describe with detail and accuracy:

  • What they saw 
  • What they heard 
  • What the event was about (in their opinion) or the story it conveyed 
  • How the event made them feel 
  • What the event reminded them of 
  • What their favorite part was and why 
  • Would they recommend it and why

Remind the students that they must paint a picture of the experience with their words so that others who did not see the performance can imagine it as vividly as possible.

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Minnesota State Arts Board - logos

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.