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 The Frog Singer

Posted: May 14, 2010 at 5:51 am; By: Editor  

The Drilling Company will be presenting "The Frog Singer" starting on May 15th. Shows will be on Saturdays and Sundays at 11am. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for children.


The Drilling Company Theatre
236 West 78th Street
New York, NY Box office: 212-873-9050

Website

http://www.drillingcompany.org/

From the press release:

"The Frog Singer," conceived and written by Laura Strausfeld, is probably the first theatrical puppetry work with self-illuminating puppets made from electroluminescent wire. It is the story of a frog who is a champion jumper but aspires to be a singer instead. The production has a cast of three actor/puppeteers and live drawing projections. It is intended for children of all ages.

The puppets are constructed from electroluminescent (EL) wire and attached to battery packs. To Strausfeld's knowledge, these are the first puppets of this kind. Designers have previously used EL wire in theatrical shows, but not to make wholly constructed self-illuminating puppet characters. The Frog Singer's sets are projected drawings that are created real-time throughout the show. The aesthetic is deceptively do-it-yourself, raw and child-like, using simple drawing shapes but executed by a lot of ultra cool and new technology. Throughout the production, there is an underscore of Tango/Latin music.

The script is adapted from a story that Strausfeld wrote for her son Otto when he was five. She relates that she loved the magic of that moment in the theater when the lights go down. She also loved glow-sticks. So she imagined, what if the lights never come up and the entire show is created from glow-sticks? The concept started there. She recruited Eric Nightengale to direct. Carin Berger (www.carinberger.com), an extraordinary illustrator and children's book author (who teaches theater at Hunter and is also a performer) drew the characters. She became the narrator.

In the play, there's nothing more important to a young frog's parents than how high their frog child jumps. After all, the higher frogs can jump, the more successful they are in life. Lester is a phenomenal jumper and a great success, but he's had a dream since he was a child of doing something radically different. What should Lester do? Keep jumping...or that other thing he truly loves? The play is a lighthearted but profound allegory of how one must deal with parental and societal pressures while remaining true to one's own soul.

The show is intended for "children of all ages," but Strausfeld advises that the perfect age is probably five to eleven because the play's themes are intended for older children. But it is visually mesmerizing and will entertain a three-year-old.

The actor/puppeteers are John Heath, Joann Sacco and Claudia Orenstein. Puppet Design and live-drawing projections are by Laura Strausfeld. Character illustration is by Carin Berger. Projection Design is by Laura Strausfeld. Sound Design is by Eric Nightengale. Puppet Advisor is Claudia Orenstein.


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