Everything I share as I direct comes from a person or project, so: Gratitude for Collaborative Teachers, con’t:
November 6th, flew from Warsaw to Shanghai. The start of the international portion of my tour with Feathers of Fire. October 7th, 2017, I flew to LA to join the cast, stepping in for someone who had to leave the tour. The show was developed by this team and had been touring for 2 years.
I had never done a full length shadow play. I had never performed with a shadow mask. I had a blast. What a treat to hone my craft as a puppeteer and a physical theater performer.
What a treat to be in an ensemble of such vastly talented artists (seriously-check them out). What a treat to tour and play in the shadows with such caring, good humans. What a treat to adventure with these playful, talented humans all over the US, China, and Paris. (It’s hard to believe we really did all that).
This show was fueled by some of my favorite aspects of ensemble theater. The show would have been impossible to do without every person. I still don’t know how much everyone did. I just knew I was in good hands, that everyone had my back (and my puppets, props, etc). Once the show started, we were non-stop scurrying around, with seamless clock-work choreography, moving a prop for someone else to use later, sticking our hands out into the darkness for someone to put a puppet in it, helping others with quick changes, walking backwards while performing, keeping our eyes on the screen rather than our feet, trusting. Lots of trusting. And this was all in the dark. Everyone had inside jokes throughout the show, a quick word or dance here or there, which kept every performance playful and energized and different. I even got to teach workshops. Have you ever watched someone discover how much you can do with shadows? Once again, a treat.
I learned so much, and that is such a gift. Thank you Feathers Family—I miss you.
Created by Hamid Rahmanian In Collaboration with Larry Reed and ShadowLight Productions Produced by Fictionville Studio and Banu Productions Co-writer: Vikas Menon Storyboards & Concept Development by Syd Fini Puppets handcrafted by Neda Kazemifar and Spica Wobbe Digital Media Directed and Orchestrated by Mohammad Talani Assistant Director: Fred C. Riley III Costumes designed and constructed by Dina Zarif Performed by Ya Wen Chien, Gabriela Garcia, Ariel Lauryn, Rose Nisker, Fred C. Riley III, Leah Ogawa, and Dina Zarif