Tears of Joy Theatre from Portland, Oregon, will bring their production of “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea” to the Key Peninsula Civic Center on Nov. 14.

The show is sponsored by Two Waters Arts Alliance through a grant from Pierce County’s 1 Percent for Art fund.

Based on the novel written by Jules Verne in 1870, the Tears of Joy rendition is “a fun, rollicking, family friendly adaptation that includes some of the most exciting scenes from the book,” according to Lakebay resident Kathleen Gray, Two Waters’ Artists in Schools director.

The production pulls its style from steampunk, an artistic genre popular in Verne’s time.

In the Tears of Joy show, two steam punk enthusiasts tell their version of Verne’s classic story in which Professor Pierre Aronnax is sent by the government to investigate a strange creature that has been troubling the oceans.

When his ship collides with a mysterious vessel, Aronnax meets the eccentric Captain Nemo and his invention, the Nautilus, and together they travel aboard the Nautilus 20,000 leagues through the oceans of the world.

Nemo and Aronnax are 3D tabletop puppet in TOJT’s version of the play. There are also many sea creature puppets including a giant squid –– a body puppet worn by one of the puppeteers.

The play is also being presented earlier that day at Vaughn Elementary, and students throughout the Key Peninsula have been making steam punk goggles and other art projects inspired by the story. Many of the students’ creations will be on display at the civic center performance.

“We’re really very fortunate to be able to have this free public performance,” Gray said. “Tears of Joy has given us a special deal so we can have two free shows.

“It’s especially exciting because it will be “a great opportunity for kids and family members and the community to all come together to share this experience.”


Two Waters Arts Alliance presents a free performance of Jules Verne’s classic story “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” by the Tears of Joy Theatre Nov. 14 at Key Peninsula Civic Center. Show time is 7:30 pm. Admission is free and all ages are welcome.