My journey creating and producing puppetry... trials, tribulations, inspiration and contemplation.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

A Monster New Year

About a year ago, finishing the Up In Arms show Welcome Park as we were about to record, writer Alex and I were discussing the plans for the next show. I had an idea about a young monster finding his way in life and Alex, with his knack for storytelling, went to work crafting an amazing, new musical, Monster Intelligence. As my creative life has played out in the past, the right partners to enable this new venture seemed to manifest from this force of serendipity. The first couple of music arrangers that we approached were tied up in other projects and could not give us the time the project required. My friends Joyce and Ed, who have provided vocal talent in both of our previous shows, had worked with Scott Test who is both a music educator and an amazing music arranger. Scott's music arrangements have raised the bar on this show that I'm so excited to share with the world. Monster Intelligence has an energy surrounding it that feels full of positivity and promise. I applied for and was granted an Orange County (NY) Arts Grant that will help with the initial production costs and will allow the show to be presented for free at three venues in Orange County in May/June of 2014. Puppet concepts were provided by my good friend Pasha Romanowski at Project Puppet and I'm thrilled to be working with Derek Lux of DLUX Puppets who will be building four of the puppets while I build the other five. What I love most about the puppet community is working with people that you admire who have the same passion and love for the art that you do.
Math Monster waiting for his costume

Each day is a new beginning, a new chance for collaboration, much like the energy that this new year brings. Up In Arms has our first show in Staten Island on the horizon which adds the final borough of NYC to our list of places we've played. On January 25th, we have a public performance of Helping Drew at the Calhoun School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Within the first couple of months of 2014, we'll be recording Monster Intelligence and finalizing all of our production details in preparation for the May/June launch. March 18-20, Helping Drew will play the Circle Theatre in Grand Rapids, Michigan and March 26 at the Publick Playhouse in Cheverly, Maryland. Other school performances continue to book through this school year. 

While I continue to work on the Up In Arms programming with all of my amazing, creative partners, I received a phone call from a friend toward the end of 2013 requesting my assistance for a project they're working on to create a puppet series to bring joy to young cancer patients in children's hospitals all over. Everyone involved has such passion and heart so, I'm hoping to lend some production and performance help while acting as a liaison to the puppet world to help get their cast of characters created. I can't wait until there's more to report. It's shaping up to be a year filled with love and passion.