ICYMI: Saudade Trailer!

Our March tour of Saudade is halfway done and it’s World Puppet Day! If you haven’t had a chance,  check out this new trailer and a few other blog posts about amazing puppetry and puppeteers from around the world.

An Interview with Gabriela Cespedes from Argentina

A Brief History of Puppets and Social Justice

Recycled Puppets by Ashley Bryan

A Few Puppeteers You May Not Know

 

 

Revisiting Saudade

As part of our preparation for this tour of Saudade (which starts on Friday!) we were able to bring in photographer Liza Harbison to take some shots of the shadow puppets. Here are a few:

 

Winnipeg Photos

Some photos of our trip to Winnipeg this month for the Winnipeg International Storytelling Festival:

IMG_2623

The entire show of Saudade. Everyone was very impressed by our packing abilities!

IMG_2626

The poster for the festival.

IMG_2616

Genna sorts control rods before a show.

IMG_2618

The puppets (60 in total) laid out ready for a show.

IMG_2562

We performed in the gym at the NEEDS center, a community space for newcomers. Our fantastic sound guy, Hassaan is at the computer.

IMG_2606

Talking with the kids at the NEEDS Center after the show.

IMG_2640

The rivers of Winnipeg are beautiful in the sun.

IMG_2556

Cecilia and Genna at the opening dinner of the festival.

 

So Many Changes

Like many artists, I am rarely satisfied with the first iteration of a project. After the performances of Saudade at the Intersections Festival, we had lots of conversations with audience members and each other about what could be clearer, stronger and more powerful in the piece. From puppet movement to sound, to crankie images, we examined each element of the project to see what could be improved.

Because we are going to the Winnipeg International Storytelling Festival in May, we have a deadline for completing all these fixes and it is getting close! Here are some photos of the work we’ve been doing:

IMG_2470

A new frame! We hope this will make everything a little more visible to the audience.

IMG_2479

Here, the fabric panels are coming together and the crankie is in place.

IMG_2480

We’ve added scenes to the end of the show. Here, Cecilia tries to manipulate three puppets with two hands.

We’re Going to Canada!

Wit’s End Puppets is taking to the road! Or the plane, as a matter of fact. We have been invited by the good folks at the University of Manitoba’s Mauro Center for Peace and Justice to perform Saudade at the Winnipeg International Storytelling Festival in May.

This is the first time we have been able to take a larger show to an out-of-town event, so we are extremely excited! Since we wrapped up our INTERSECTIONS run, we have been making some changes to the show, adding puppets, polishing scenes and revising sounds to better achieve the effects and images in our minds. We received lots of excellent feedback from our audiences at the Atlas, and have been considering how best to incorporate audience suggestions. The show has a new ending, several interludes that break up the stories of our three main characters and we are working towards creating recorded monologues to begin and end the show that will feature the voices of many of the people whose stories were captured and shared in the script. Here are a few pictures of the progress we’ve made so far:

Amy is carefully placing the tiny paper birds between these two silhouettes.

Amy is carefully placing the tiny paper birds between these two silhouettes.

A new scene added at the end of show.

A new scene added at the end of show.

The ending images were all cut in one long big piece this time.

The ending images were all cut in one long big piece this time.

We have to carefully cut off the bottom edge to make sure everything matches.

We have to carefully cut off the bottom edge to make sure everything matches.

SAUDADE Process Video

Saudade7This video contains some of the various pieces of the process it took to create Saudade: building shadow puppets, experimenting with movement on the various screens and finally the moving crankie and puppets in the finished piece. We hope you enjoy it!

 

The Long Saudade Crankie Saga

By far the most time-consuming part of building Saudade was the crankie which forms the bulk of the show. Additional images appear on the side screens, but most of the action happens on this very long roll of Tyvek in front of an LED light. It took nearly two months to design and cut out all the scenes on the crankie, and a week to put it all together. Here are photos from the process.

IMG_2300

Spacing the images is important and takes time.

IMG_2302

Amy and Genna work together to glue down an image.

IMG_2309

Each image gets sprayed with glue carefully. Sometimes it’s hard to keep different parts from sticking to each other before it’s glued down.

IMG_2307

The roll of Tyvek is longer than our box so we had to carefully measure and cut about six inches off the bottom of the entire roll.

IMG_2311

One of the many intricate images on the crankie.

IMG_2313

Delicate images wait on newspaper so they don’t get crushed before being added to the crankie. We took over most of the living room eventually.

IMG_2318

Most of the crankie images are cut from black Tyvek, but these included some silver tissue paper as well.

IMG_2319

Amy makes an adjustment before gluing down the final image.

IMG_2330

This is the final roll–nearly 3 inches thick!

IMG_2326

Our first rehearsal with the finished roll, testing the light and the box.

IMG_2322

Here’s what an image looks like from the reverse side…

IMG_2329And here it is in light! Hope you enjoyed this tour of the building process!