Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Firebird Takes Flight

I was really honored this past fall to puppeteer for the Little Orchestra Society's bold new production of Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite". It was designed by Chris Green and co-directed by Chris and David Neumann, and conducted by maestro Dino Anagnost. The performances were held at the Avery Fischer Theater--Lincoln Center.

Aside from the amazing experience of performing at such an important American theatrical venue, perhaps the true joy of this project was to be working again with the more-than-excellent Chris Green. Having puppeteered his extraordinary puppets before at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, it was truly wonderful to see a new set of puppets crafted with his special blend of mechanical brilliance and re-purposing. I am always honored to work with his puppets and in his dramatic world.

The cast was an incredibly skilled and capable group, and I very much appreciated getting to know their world of New York puppetry. I must give special thanks to Lake Simons and Marc Petrosino, who served as my senior puppeteers for much of the show on the protagonist, Ivan (a 3-person Bunraku puppet). I also enjoyed getting to move the young tiger cub, Amba, and getting to interact with several of the kids after the show (of course as said tiger cub--needless to say, we all learned that day the tigers indeed DO like cupcakes).

This was an intense rehearsal process and and complex show, but I think the team really pulled it off--and nothing could confirm this more than the collective gasps, cheers, and applause of a thousand youngsters in the audience--and of course many youngsters in adult disguise.

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