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McNeese Banners Presents Masked Marvels and Wondertales

McNeese Banners Presents Masked Marvels and Wondertales

Michael Cooper. Masked MarvelsMichael Cooper's personality is just a tad split. In one hour he becomes a fish, the north wind, the sun, a wild horse, a wide-eyed child and a very clumsy giant.

He becomes all of those things through original handcrafted masks and stories, and he will perform his one-man show, Masked Marvels and Wondertales, for the McNeese Banners Cultural Series.

The performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 12, in F.G. Bulber Auditorium on the McNeese campus. (Location has been changed to Bulber from the Shearman Fine Arts Theatre.)

Tickets are included in a Banners Cultural Series membership. Individual tickets can be purchased online at, at the Lake Charles Civic Center box office and at the door. Ticket prices are $20 for adults, $5 for ages 18 and under and McNeese and Sowela students are admitted free with ID.

Cooper is an eye-popping visual artist and a virtuoso mime. His performances are noted for humor, poignancy, nimble speech and wildly physical humor. He calls his performance "time theatre for the restless world."

All the masks take about 300 hours to make and all are vehicles for Cooper's "wondertales" -- stories he has written from his experiences living in the northern woods of Maine, where Cooper says, "Home is an adventure and the stories write themselves." Some are autobiographical, some are mythical, but all of them are stories of courage and wonder.
The Wondertales also incorporate madcap physical comedy, including stilt dancing, which Cooper calls creating "moving sculpture."
For more information and a clip of the performance, see the Banners Series website, or call the Banners office at 475-5123.

The Banners Series is supported by memberships and corporate sponsors, which provide 60 percent of the cost of the series. All hotel rooms for the artists are provided by the Isle of Capri Casino Hotel. Special support for the educational outreach program, which provides live performances in 60 K-12 schools, is provided by CITGO, the city of Lake Charles and the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury.

Other sponsors include Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Louisiana, Chase, Stockwell Sievert Law Firm, Jeff Davis Bank and Trust, West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Foundation, Entergy, PPG, Union Pacific Railroad, AT&T and AT&T Yellow Pages, IBERIABANK, Knight Media Inc., the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitor's Bureau, Empire of the Seed, KPLC TV, the American Press, Luxury Limos, Ranier Law Firm, Bolton Ford, ConocoPhillips, Southwest Beverage Co., the Stream Family, Fuerst Law Firm, Lake Charles Pre-Sort, Louisiana Swashbucklers, Luxury Limousines, Frame House & Gallery, Domino's Pizza, Paradise Florist, Louisiana Lottery, Townsley Law Firm, Sasol North America, The Hearing Center, Newman, Hoffoss & Devall LLP, First Federal Bank of Louisiana, Partners in Physical Therapy, Sweets and Treats, Southern Sound Systems, and Ms. Ada Vincent.

Persons needing accommodations as provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact the ADA Coordinator at 337-475-5428, voice; 337-475-5960, fax; 337-562-4227, TDD/TTY, hearing impaired; or by email at