Saturday, January 31, 2009

Butterfly in the sky...

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: This post contains specifics about the show itself, and how we're achieving certain elements or designing certain aspects. If you want this kind of thing to be a surprise to you when you see it, skip this post!

So I felt like giving you all another peek at a puppet I'm hoping to create for the show...the Butterfly. As those of you who read the book (or saw the movie version) know, the Butterfly is insane, parroting whatever songs, dialogue and scraps of poetry it's heard as it flutters out its short lifespan. In the story of "The Last Unicorn" it's similar in many ways to the Cheshire Cat- willfully and cheerfully nonsensical, but offering occasional scraps of wisdom to its Alice (in this case, the Unicorn). So how best to represent that on stage? Here's what I'm thinking right now:

I look at the Butterfly as a sort of riddling, jester character, and as such I want the puppet to be similar in size to a jester's baton. That will also make it easier to pass it from hand to hand, which is important because I want the Butterfly to be played simultaneously by three actors- that's right, three. That helps reflect the diverse and scattered nature of the butterfly's mental state. It also gives three actors a great chance to play off each other and horse around. (or should that be 'horsefly around?' pardon the pun...)

Also, since the butterfly is made up of the scraps of other stories he's heard, I want the pattern on the wings to be text. Right now I'm just filling it in with that old reliable 'Lorem ipsum...' I'm still undecided what text I want to use- right now I'm contemplating maybe using an excerpt from the scene between the Caterpillar and Alice in Alice in Wonderland. Any other suggestions?

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