In celebration of Under the Canopy, which opens tomorrow at the Athenaeum in Old Town Alexandria, VA here are some rehearsal photos:
A roundup of events and people we highlighted on Twitter this month:
1. The Kennedy Center is hosting a World Stages Festival this March and there will be PUPPETS! Handspring Puppet Company, that created War Horse, is working on a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes from Canada is doing a show called Penny Plain. There will be puppets on display at the Kennedy Center that you can see for free. So yes. You should go.
2. Puppetry and activism are two of our favorite things. So even though we haven’t actually met in person, we’re big fans of The People’s Puppets of Occupy Wall Street. Hopefully one day we’ll get to work on something with them and maybe it will even involve giant puppet drops of water, like the ones you can see on their Facebook page.
3. All DC puppet fans should check out The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer, playing at the Artisphere in Rosslyn from February 6-9. This is a heartwarming story about a deep-sea explorer in search of lost love, told through a combination of sound, puppetry and animation. Created by Weeping Spoon Productions from Perth, Australia, I saw this at the Edinburgh Fringe back in August and am looking forward to seeing it again.
4. Puppets in Prague is an amazing place to learn about marionettes (I did a workshop with them back in 2011) and they have a whole bunch of workshops going on this year. If you’re thinking about taking a trip to Prague (and really, why wouldn’t you be?) check them out.
5. Have we mentioned that we’re going to be at the Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival this year? With not one, but TWO shows? March will be here before you know it, so you should get moving and buy tickets for our pieces Under the Canopy and Fabulas Mayas. With folktales, shadow puppets, and rainforest creatures, you really can’t go wrong!
Rehearsals for Under the Canopy start today! In the midst of the snow last week, we got to set up some of the ladders and other objects in the Athenaeum to see how they look. It was a little odd creating a tropical rainforest in the midst of snowflakes! Here are some photos, and you can buy tickets for the show HERE. We hope to see you there!
Under the Canopy is going to be a very colorful show. Can you guess what each of these photos is a close-up of? There’s a slide show of the final objects (as they look right now, things could still change!) at the end.
I 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!