Monday, October 26, 2009

May Peace Prevail on Earth

Two weeks ago I was very fortunate to be asked to build a giant peace dove for my old elementary school, Montessori Center, for their annual United Nations Day observance. The idea started with the Roots and Shoots Project--and initiative lead by Jane Goodall to try and promote the discussion of peace from an early age. The teachers banded together to find local donations for the supplies, and my contribution was the eventual fabrication of the dove and conducting a puppeteering workshop for the graduating sixth graders who would lead the dove through the procession. I was very impressed by their seriousness and dedication--and it is my hope that this little project got a least a few students, teachers, and local business owners thinking that perhaps peace may not be too much farther away than some old sheets and inner-tube ties--so long as we keep thinking about it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Czech It Out! : Lit Moon Festival 2009

This past week saw the open and close of the 11th Lit Moon International Theater Festival. After many years as an enthusiastic supporter, I had the great honor and pleasure to join the company and festival as assistant to the director and a supporting designer/fabricator for the company's new production: and offbeat and terrifically zany staging of Fielding's "Tragedies of Tragedies". This festival was a particularly valuable experience; reconnecting with long time mentors John Blondell and James Donlon was a truly meaningful gift, as well as forging new friendships with phenomenally talented Czech and American artists, such as international clown Stevo Capko, trailblazing artist and performer Howard Lotker, and collaborating with Jaco Connelly--a superb designer-of-all-trades and perhaps my long lost puppet brother. May we all meet again (sooner than later!), and in the meantime enjoy a look at some of my contributions to our all-muslin constructed show.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Twist on the Nile: Fierce Backbone's "Cleo's Girls"

Here are a few photos to commemorate the very successful Fierce Backbone workshop production of Jan O’Connor’s new play “Cleo’s Girls”, a reworking of Anthony and Cleopatra though the famed female pharaoh’s handmaidens. Equal parts comedic and probing, the cast gave excellent performances, and I was really happy with how my set designs integrated seamlessly with Brandon Baruch’s lighting and Lauren Tyler’s costumes. Filling up the Lex Theater for two weekends, this production had little to apologize for in terms of quality or attendance. Pretty good for a “workshop”!