Hello. This is my first ever blog entry. I’m excited to begin communicating with anyone who has an interest in activities here at Mermaid Theatre.
Ever since 1972, we have been creating plays for children and touring them all over the world. This year is no different. We are currently adapting two stories by Eric Carle that will tour with our very famous adaptation of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, starting in September. The stories include, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear – What Do You See” and “Papa, Please Get The Moon For Me”.
We have been working on the adaptations since January and are now very deep into production of all the puppets, props and sets. We have completed two workshops, so far, and will be rehearsing for another five weeks starting in September before premiering the new play at the Skirball Center in New York City, in October. This will be the first of many shows included in our nine-month tour of North America.
Everything that appears on stage, in our play, is made here in Windsor, at Mermaid Theatre, by our very skilled production team. One of the fun jobs I have is carving all the soft- sculpture, foam puppets, including all the animals in “Brown Bear, Brown Bear”. These include the horse, dog, cat, sheep, frog, bird and goldfish and, of course, the brown bear. If a puppet needs handles and mechanisms to help the performer move it around the stage, then we ask Struan to invent and create these pieces. He also builds all the set pieces and many of the props. When the construction of the puppets is finished, Deb, our production manager, covers them with stretchy material to protect the foam. This material acts as the puppets skin. The last stage involves painting all the pieces to look like the characters in the book. Sarah is our painter and is very skilled at painting with fluorescent paint using ultraviolet, or black-lights. When the puppets are finally finished, the performers then get the opportunity to rehearse with them and learn how to bring them to life.
We’re very much looking forward to introducing these new stories to audiences all over the world. Enjoy!