Howl alongside Buck and Steamboat Ski Patrol’s safety dog, Powder, at the Strings performance “Call of the Wild” Saturday
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A quintessential tale of adventure, Jack London’s “Call of the Wild” explores the depths of the human spirit in dire circumstances.
Some, like actor Noel Gaulin, have fond memories reading the story, howling alongside its brave protagonist Buck, the noble crossbred offspring of a St. Bernard and Scottish Collie.
On Saturday, Gaulin will bring Buck’s timeless story to life.
Gaulin will combine classic storytelling with projected illustrations into what is known as the multimedia adventure tale of “Call of the Wild: Illustrated Edition” performance at 7 p.m. in the Strings Music Pavilion.
“The journey of Buck really lands in the hearts of our audiences,” said Gaulin, actor and artistic director of the Austin-based Theatre Heroes performance. “Young people experience the story with their whole spirit. They are so invested in Buck’s epic adventure and the magic created by the narrative. It always gives me goosebumps.”
Kidnapped from his lavish life on a California estate and sent to work as a sled dog during in Yukon, during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush, Buck fights to survive and becomes the most famous dog in the whole history of the northland.
“Buck faces huge amounts of adversity in this story, he’s pushed to his limits,” said Kristine Kilbourne, Strings advertising and marketing director. “At some point in our lives, everyone encounters difficulty, which can feel isolating. Seeing a strong character react to challenges can build community and provide encouragement.”
Performed as a one-man, multimedia show, this will be the first time the Strings stage will incorporate a 180-degree projection screen to surround the performer, which will also include a mixture of classical illustrations from the book, along with new drawings and animations by artist Michael Rae and the live score from award winning singer/songwriter Graham Weber.
“To perform every part of the story, every character, describe every scene all myself is very demanding,” said Gaulin. “I have to use everything at my disposal: my body, my voice, my energy, even my breath to keep this story alive and heartfelt. I like to imagine that the audience is on stage with me and it’s so much fun.”
By providing footage from the turn of the century, cutting-edge graphics and illustrations, Gaulin said the performance adds a layer of storytelling that allows the immersed audience imagination to run wild.
“The real fulfillments in life come through perseverance and determination,” said Gaulin. “I hope young people become inspired to be their own hero.”
Before the show at 6:15 p.m., Powder, Steamboat Ski Patrol’s safety dog, will be on site for a meet and greet. There will also be a “Call of the Wild” book talk and improv class with Gaulin from 4 to 5 p.m. at Bud Werner Memorial Library.
The performance is suggested for age 9 and older. Tickets prices are $10 for juniors (age 6 to 18) and $20 for adults. They can be purchased at stringsmusicfestival.com or by calling 970-879-5056 x105.
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Steamboat Free Summer Concerts announced Friday that it will return live music to the Yampa Valley this summer in the form of two concerts scheduled for August and September.