Favorite Tool: Watercolor Pencils

IMG_1285I haven’t done one of these posts in awhile! For both our children’s shows this year, we were very specific about colors and having the right shades for each story and environment. Much of the time, our initial sketches and planning for puppets is done quickly with a basic pencil and paper, but lately Genna and Amy have been adding color with these watercolor pencils.

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What makes these different from regular colored pencils is the way you can brush over your picture with water to blend colors and create a smooth shade. We don’t always do that, but the colors add a lot to our puppet sketches, as you can see here.

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Building Under the Canopy

We’re in the midst of refurbishing old objects and building new ones for Under the Canopy, which Arts on the Horizon will produce in February. After a workshop production last summer, we learned a LOT about how babies respond to objects and what kinds of things capture their attention best. Here are a few photos of us at work as we build umbrella birds and caterpillars, ladder trees and butterflies.

Supplies waiting on the worktable.

Supplies waiting on the worktable.

Pieces for the umbrella bird, waiting to be glued on.

Pieces for the umbrella bird, all cut out and waiting to be glued on.

All glued or sewn on, now waiting for bird tails.

All glued or sewn on, now waiting for bird tails.

Amy and Genna at the worktable.

Amy and Genna at the worktable.

Genna trying out placements for the bird tails.

Genna trying out placements for the bird tails.

Announcing INTERSECTIONS 2014!

IntersectionslogoWe are thrilled to announce that BOTH our collaborative projects this year will be presented as part of the Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival 2014!

Under the Canopy by Arts on the Horizon and Fabulas Mayas, co-produced with GALA Hispanic Theatre will each have multiple performances as part of the fifth year of INTERSECTIONS. This festival seeks to connect the broadest possible audience with the most exciting new ways of making community-inspiring art. With performances for all ages and audiences, from music to dance to circus to storytelling and new plays, there is truly something for everyone. Tickets go on sale January 9, so we hope you will join us at Atlas Performing Arts Center on H St. NE from February 21-March 8 to see our shows and some of the other amazing work at the festival. As we get closer, we will have more information here or you can also check out the festival website.

Looking Ahead to the Fall

A new work in progress. Looking ahead to the fall and next year, we are thrilled to be able to announce two collaborative projects we will be working on next season with two different DC area companies.

First, we will be creating puppets and objects for Under the Canopy, a theater piece created for children age 0-2 by Tia Shearer and Matt Bassett for Arts on the Horizon. This project will have a workshop in early August and a full production next February. Tia and Matt have done some lovely work for little ones in the past and we are excited to get to work with them on this rainforest inspired, multi-sensory experience for families. We are looking forward to learning lots about how to best reach our youngest audiences!

We will also be designing and building shadow puppets for Fabulas Mayas, the first show of the GALita season for children at GALA Hispanic Theatre. Written by Cecilia Cackley, this bilingual show is adapted from Guatemalan fables of the Maya tradition, and features the Creator and Shaper of the world along with various animals who play tricks on each other and in general cause trouble. We are also looking at possibly touring this production to area schools in November. We are excited about sharing lots of new puppets and stories with DC this year! See you at the theater!