PUPPET AND SET DESIGN
 
Journey To The West   |   Matchless and the Happy Prince (by Gregory Maguire and Oscar Wilde) 2015 and 2016   |   Sila   |   Brundibar   |   Car Talk the Musical (2011 and 2012)   |   Arabian Nights (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015)   |   Amahl and the Night Visitors (opera, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016)   |   Life of Galileo   |   States of Grace (2006)   |   Alice\'s Adventures Underground (1998 and 2008)   |   How Do You Spell Hope   |   Creation   |   The Tempest   |   Christopher Columbus Follies   |   Accidental Death of an Anarchist   |   Museum of Science Gold Exhibition Play   |   Are You Ready My Sister   |   Intoxicating- An EcoCabaret   |   Noah's Bath   |   Revels   |   Sanctuary The Spirit - The Play
Journey To The West
      Central Square Theater    [Painted floors, sets, climbing walls and silks]
"Journey To The West" was adapted by Mary Zimmerman from an ancient Chinese story about a monk who travels China to India in search of Buddhist spiritual scriptures and enlightenment. Much like in Wizard of Oz, he is accompanied by three eccentric characters who assist him in the quest. The Central Square production was directed by Lee Mikeska Gardner. The set was a long alley arrangement with audience on either side of a long painted floor that unrolls like an ancient scroll from a Buddhist wall mandala at one end to an abstracted temple at the other. The mandala mural is also a climbing wall. The temple is covered with painted silk murals. Liane Noddin was my painting assistant along with many volunteers.
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Matchless and the Happy Prince (by Gregory Maguire and Oscar Wilde) 2015 and 2016
      Underground Railway Theater at the Central Square Theater    [Set and puppet design from found objects]
The Happy Prince and Matchless are two beautiful stories from different times, with the shared mission of revealing the value of the thing thrown away, overlooked – the proverbial “stone that the builder refused”. Frederick, the boy at the center of “Matchless” is a passionate collector of junk, which he salvages and artfully assembles into a magical town in the attic, out of sight of his family. As Gregory Maguire describes it, “the houses were made of empty boxes that he’d lifted from merchants rubbish bins”. Or “ a gold-plated chocolate gift box sporting a porcelain dome”. This idea became the guiding principal for me and my artistic collaborators Will Cabell and Penny Benson, in our rendition of the set and puppet characters in both Matchless and the Happy Prince.
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Sila
      Underground Railway Theater, Cambridge, MA    [puppets and shadow puppets]
Puppet Design for Sila, includes two life size polar bear (mother and daughter). Mother bear is operated by 3 puppeteers and the baby bear is operated by a single operator. There are a number of scenes created with shadow puppets (reflective and shadow) mostly involving Inuit stories, such as an encounter with Nuliajuk the goddess of the oceans. Will Cabel constructed the bears and Yetti Frenkel sculpted the heads from the designs.
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Brundibar
      Central Square Theater, Cambridge, MA    [Puppets made of silk and paper mache.]
Brundibar is a children's opera originally performed at Terezin concentration camp. The puppet designs for this project include a dog, a cat and a sparrow which inhabit the fairy tale world of the opera and assist the children in driving out the bully organ grinder Brundibar. The puppets are visible means body puppets worn by the singers. They are made with hand painted silk and paper mache. The opera was directed by Scott Edministon. Puppets were built by Brad Shur and painted by the designer, David Fichter.
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Car Talk the Musical (2011 and 2012)
   8 ft. X 6ft.   The Modern Theater and the Central Square Theater    [Car parts and foam rubber]
Car Talk: the Musical was presented by the Suffolk University Theater Department, who commissioned The Wizard of Cahs, which is a large scale talking puppet with the voices of Tom and Ray Magliozzi. It was designed and painted by David Fichter and constructed by Will Cabell. The first professional production was in 2012 at the Central Square Theater, Cambridge, MA.
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Arabian Nights (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015)
   Painted floor- 22 ft. X 40 ft.   Central Square Theater    [Set, puppets, painted canvas and silk]
The set design for this co-production of the Nora Theater and the Underground Railway Theater is a large painted floor with patterns and silk drops hung over an upstage cyc. Puppets (hand, rod, and reflective) were primarily for the Sinbad story and inlcuded a large mythic bird called a Rukh, which transformed from a Persian tent. Winner of IRNE Award (2012) for Best Puppetry (with Will Cabell)
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Amahl and the Night Visitors (opera, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016)
      Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio    [set, puppets, costumes, projections]
Amahl (set, puppets, costumes, shadow puppets, projections and cutouts) was designed by David Fichter for a co-production of Madcap Puppets and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and performed in December 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016 at Xavier University (Gallagher Student Center Theater) in Cincinnati, Ohio. This was an innovative production of Amahl which was directed and conceived by Irina Niculescu. The story is set in a contemporary homeless shelter.
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Life of Galileo
   20 ft. X 40 ft.   Central Square Theater    [Thrust stage, murals, puppets, masks]
Set was a raised thrust platform painted with patterns representing the Copernican solar system, as well as a simple scaffolding with catwalk walkover. The surrounding walls of the theater are painted with enormous murals representing the solar system, with views of Jupiter and the moon. Space debris from different civilizations and time periods floats by the planets and references specific locations and themes in the play.
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States of Grace (2006)
      Boston Playwrights Theater and Tufts College Arena Theater    [Set, rod puppets, shadow puppets]
States of Grace was based on short stories by Gace Paley. It was conceived and written by Deborah Wise of the Underground Railway Theater. This world premiere production incorporated shadow and rod puppets in a surrealistic kitchen set with a painted mural screen behind it. Puppets emerge from kitchen drawers, cabinets, waist baskets and refrigerators to populate the night visions of a struggling writer.
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Alice's Adventures Underground (1998 and 2008)
      Underground Railway Theater    [silk and paper mache masks.]
The set was created from painted silk drops hung on arched poles. The silks were moved by the actors in view of the audience. As one silk piece was pulled off, the next piece was pulled from the other side. Puppets included a three headed blue caterpillar with many hands provided by child actors and huge humpty dumpty with moveable face parts. The cheshire cat was a mirrored lexan reflective puppet who smile broadened as the mirror was bent. Winner of 1999 IRNE for Best Set Design (with Will Cabell).
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Humpty dumpty was a flexible foam puppet over a wicker cane frame and operated by two puppeteers.
 
How Do You Spell Hope
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Creation
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The Tempest
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Christopher Columbus Follies
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Accidental Death of an Anarchist
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Museum of Science Gold Exhibition Play
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Are You Ready My Sister
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Intoxicating- An EcoCabaret
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Noah's Bath
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Sanctuary The Spirit - The Play
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Journey To The West   |   Matchless and the Happy Prince (by Gregory Maguire and Oscar Wilde) 2015 and 2016   |   Sila   |   Brundibar   |   Car Talk the Musical (2011 and 2012)   |   Arabian Nights (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015)   |   Amahl and the Night Visitors (opera, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016)   |   Life of Galileo   |   States of Grace (2006)   |   Alice's Adventures Underground (1998 and 2008)   |   How Do You Spell Hope   |   Creation   |   The Tempest   |   Christopher Columbus Follies   |   Accidental Death of an Anarchist   |   Museum of Science Gold Exhibition Play   |   Are You Ready My Sister   |   Intoxicating- An EcoCabaret   |   Noah's Bath   |   Revels   |   Sanctuary The Spirit - The Play
   PUPPET AND SET DESIGN
 
 
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