Saying yes… to a Troll!

Several years ago I adopted a new policy. I called it the Say Yes policy, because it involved the Saying of Yes to things that I usually reacted to with a No.

I am a Say No kinda girl, in most instances.

Actually, quite often I’m a Say No, Then Run-Away-Screaming kind of girl, especially if the Saying of Yes indicates an agreement to do anything with Other People. I’m an anti-social, introverted creature, with an aversion to social engagements, social gatherings, social events, social studies… I used to have to Say Yes to things because they involved my children. But then my children all went and grew up, damn them, and I started to hide under a boulder because no one was forcing me out into the light of day. Sadly, hermitage isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, even though it’s blissfully easy.

Hence, the Say Yes Policy, which I adopted so that I would not moulder under a boulder, as it were. As well as being anti-social, I am incredibly lucky. Lucky, because the Saying of Yes has allowed me to participate in some pretty cool things, with some incredibly talented people, and although it doesn’t come without bruises, this flailing about in the social world has allowed me the opportunity to Do Things.

I do enjoy the Doing of Things.

Last year I did a puppet play. Because of that puppet play, I am now having another Puppet-ish adventure.

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This is a Thing I am doing now… not because I know what I’m doing, not because I have any claim to knowledge or skill, not because I’m qualified, just simply because I am incredibly lucky, and I have a Say Yes Policy which opens doors to exciting adventures.

I highly recommend it. The next time an adventure crosses your path… say YES and see what happens? You too, may end up with a Troll in your living room.

Christina Murray messaged me, out of the blue, a stranger with a strange request.

She said, Puppets. She said, Troll, and Puppeteers, and Music, and Giant Hands.

I said… Yes! Absolutely! I am Troll!

This is a Troll.

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He’s not finished, but when he’s done he’s going to be a puppet operated by three puppeteers from the Xara Choral Theatre, as they create their Tales of the Old North production called The Three Princesses in the Blue Mountain on November 24-26 at the Alderney Landing Theatre in Dartmouth, NS.

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“Join us for our second annual Tales of the Old North holiday production featuring beautiful choral music, stunning visual design, and heartwarming story that is perfect for the whole family! This year’s story is called The Three Princesses in the Blue Mountain and tells the story of a brave Soldier who sets off on a journey into a fairy land to rescue three Princesses who were swept away by a snowdrift. Along the way she must contend with devious competitors, follow a flock of fantastical birds, and battle a giant troll! We will be joined once again by acclaimed actor Jennette White as our Narrator, and the stage will come alive with costumes designed by Berlin-based artist Matthew Peach and lighting design by Matthew Downey. Featuring music by Canadian composers Sarah Quartel, Stephen Hatfield, and Mark Sirret, new arrangements of songs by Coldplay and Metallica from Nova Scotian composer Zoe Leger, this wintery performance will be a treat for all the senses.”

Do I know how to make a giant puppet operated by three puppeteers?

YES… er… actually… no.

No, I don’t.

Am I doing it anyway?

Yes!

See how easy it is? Just Say Yes!

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Here he is, drying in my living room with Marilyn. Everyone should have a giant troll head lolling about in their living room, watched over by Marilyn Monroe. My Love doesn’t think so, but he lets it happen anyway.

The moral of the story? When a lovely stranger contacts you because she needs a Troll… say Yes!

I’ll post more as the adventure continues… the next step: Giant Hands on broom sticks!

You can find more information about Xara Choral Theater here: http://www.xara.ca

And through their facebook page, here:

 https://www.facebook.com/XaraEnsembles/?fref=ts

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Mermaid’s Tears is back!

We’re back!

After a brief hiatus, our merry troupe of thespians is on track to perform “Mermaid’s Tears” at the Astor Theatre in Liverpool on February 5, 6 and 7th, 2016.

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I’m hoping to blog about our progress over the next month, as we approach showtime, so we can share our process with you. Putting on a play is always an adventure… we are all volunteers working around family and jobs and distractions and children and emergencies and colds and weariness and a multitudes of demands… but this play seems to be particularly fraught with challenges because of the nature of the puppets and the set, and the struggle of creating a performance from an original script. Usually, when we do a play, the playwright knew what they were doing when they created the play…

This, is not that.

We’re fixing the bugs as we go. Because Libby don’t know how to write plays! 😉

When we postponed our performance in November (read about that here) we knew it would be difficult to maintain our momentum, especially through the Christmas season, and into winter. Schedules change, time constraints appear, real life intrudes. As a result, unfortunately, our lovely mermaid Lily is unable to continue playing with us. As we pondered what to do about the mermaid… she is kinda important to the plot… we decided to re-create her as a puppet. We love Kate Dexter, who has stepped in be a puppeteer for the new mermaid! This was not part of the original plan, and has precipitated a flurry of mache and fabric and scales and fins over the last few weeks. I’m trying to record this process, since I didn’t do much of that in the building of the original puppets and I’ve been asked several times, usually in the grocery store, how these creatures are put together. The amazingly magnificent Lynn Sponagle, (who I affectionately call Sponzie), is building the tail. (I also call her Sponzarella, the Queen of Tail) She is the seamstress, I am the mache-stress, and between the two of us we hope to create something sparkly! (Call Sponzie if you want good tail!)

Here is a time-lapse video of the final maché of the head. I’ll follow up with images of the tail and all the rest over the next few weeks. The music on the video is an original song written for the play by Jessica Jurgenliemk.

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And please have a safe and fabulous New Year!

(BTW, this is my 100th post on this blog! Getting it in just under the wire before 2016!)

It takes a village.

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                            Mermaid’s Tears will be presented at the Astor Theatre                      in Liverpool, NS on November 5, 6, 7 & 8, 2015 It takes a village to raise a child. Likewise, building a puppet play. Well, maybe not a whole village, … Continue reading

Puppets and mermaids and seagulls, oh my!

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This gallery contains 4 photos.

I’m embarking on a somewhat terrifying adventure as a Thespian. But it’s more complicated than that… as a Thespian-Playwrite. Actually, as a Thespian-Playwrite-Puppet-Maker. Well, to be perfectly clear… as a Thespian-Playwrite-Puppet-Maker-Puppeteer. Hence the terror. It’s a “Jack of all Trades, … Continue reading