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USM Lecturer Brings “Really Inventive Stuff” to Gorham

By Krista Nadeau
Gorham Times
June 28, 2018

If you’re lucky, you have people and things in your life that inspire you. This is what Gorham theatre artists Sara Valentine and Michael Boudewyns do in their own lives. Both of them studied Theatre in college (Sara at Ithaca College, Michael at the University of Northern Iowa), and they both earned their MFA at the University of Delaware. They are co-founders of Really Inventive Stuff.

Really Inventive Stuff began in Delaware in 2004, the same year that Sara and Michael each made their first solo orchestra debut appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra. According to its website, reallyinventivestuff.com, “they are storytellers with a core commitment to imaginative, playful, and entertaining storytelling. With a sprinkling of child-like enthusiasm, they create skillful, delightful performances that combine their love of vaudeville and passion for classic theatre, while keeping the music in the spotlight.”

Video clips can be found on their website and are definitely worth watching. Their storytelling, including the theatrical component, props, and movements, are all imagined and created by them. While they offer many performances, some of the most familiar stories include “Green Eggs and Ham,” “The Story of Babar,” “The Night Before Christmas,” and “Peter and the Wolf.”

Following their debut appearance with the Philadelphia Orchestra, which was very well received, a dream was born. Together they devised a plan of action and began their journey. They began contacting other orchestras, hoping to continue to entertain audiences with their creative storytelling. One yes from Richmond Symphony Orchestra in Virginia followed by a second one from Annapolis Symphony Orchestra in Maryland and it continued from there.

The duo has received countless rave reviews over the years, like the following excerpt from The Philadelphia Inquirer: “using simplicity as a form of genius…immensely likable and wonderfully adept… (bringing) a tone of enchantment, using household items as stand-ins for the animals….you can imagine the possibilities.”

They have traveled all over the US, to Asia, and Canada, playing with numerous orchestras and conductors. In May, free performances of “Green Eggs and Ham” and “The Story of Babar” were offered to the Gorham community. This month, they will travel to England debuting with the Airedale Symphony Orchestra in Ilkley, England performing “Tubby the Tuba.”

Really Inventive Stuff relocated to Gorham in 2016 after Sara accepted a Lecturer position at USM. For more information, visit reallyinventivestuff.com or call 302-545-1114.