Saturday, March 5, 2011

Whistle While You Work!

When I was in 5th grade, all four 5th grade classes at my elementary school put on an operetta together--How the West Was Won. I had some speaking lines as a narrator and a solo in the final song. I was also in the square dancing scene, dancing with my neighbor Al.

Things have come full circle, and I am directing elementary dramas.

Co-directing, that is, as a part of Melmansiek Productions (the "Mel" part).

Truly, this was one of the most fun and rewarding experiences of my life. From reading the initial script to last night's performance, it has been a great ride. Planning meetings at Starbucks, branding the show, building excitement before auditions, casting, afterschool rehearsals, Saturday rehearsals, posters, banners, Thursday's matinee, and Friday's show. Phew! It's been a lot of work but filled with laughter and smiles. The 28 kids in the show were a blast and it was terrific to work with all the adult help, especially my partners in crime.

I initially created the silhouettes with the possibility of colorizing them with bright colors and bold patterns. Before we reached that stage, we decided to place Snow White within a China context. What was a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom-inspired cutting style (and possible color palette) morphed into the childlike red Chinese papercuts.


I was incredibly grateful to find the font Paper Cutout by Kimmy Kirkwood on dafont.com.
              The letters were perfect for our aesthetic.

I've translated the logo for many uses. This long format was the header for all letters to parents.


We sell tickets with options for transportation since campus is outside of town and most people don't have cars.


The cast shirts were red with the logo in black on the front and "Cast" on the back, along with the names of the students. The adult shirts were black with red ink and said "Crew" on the back.


Check out some group shots below. Be sure to notice the elements of the "papercut" set in the background. It was fun to think through how our papercut silhouettes would translate into the set.

The dwarfs' house is inspired by Kailan's grandpa's house and the palace is inspired by Forbidden City.

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