UPDATE: In the summer of 2013 Three Blessed Brothers was accepted to the Boston University New Play Initiative. Phil was able to spend time re-developing the scrip to reduce the number of performers from 5 to 3. We received support from the University in the form of a director, stage manager, rehearsal space, sound design, and actors. I was able to re-imagine and re-develop the puppetry, and brought along my friend Apollo Mark Weaver as the scenic designer and painter. The new piece is beautiful and very different. Some pictures are included here, with more to follow when the show opens on October 11. The original post about Three Blessed Brothers and the performance at the Cambridge Riverfest in 2012 is below in its entirety, for archival and comparative purposes.
“The First Blessed Brother was bless’d with the greenest thumb west of Salty Swamp Sea… The Second Blessed Brother was bless’d with the gift of critter whisperin’. He knew the names of every last bobcat, shrew and pea hen in the prairies… and the Third Blessed brother was bless’d with the strongest emotions north of the Extremely Arid Desert… his feelings were so strong they affected everything around him, even the weather.”
When the Brothers come of age they set off on a journey across the American plains, where the Buffalo wandered free and west was still a wild place of adventure. On their journey they meet many characters of Native American mythology – the White Buffalo Woman, the Thunderbird, and the feared Pukawudgie from the coastal Wampanoag people. But after traveling far and wide, and experiencing many things and people, they find the best moment of all is to come full circle and go back home.
Developing a large scale puppet show from the ground up had many unique challenges. Each puppet had to meet a wide variety of conditions. Take a look at the evolution of three of them – the Thunderbird, the Puckwudgie, and the Star-nosed mole. Then check out our dress rehearsal shots at Puppet Showplace. We were supposed to have our final performance at the Cambridge Riverfest, but got rained out!