Thursday, April 9, 2009
Rehearsals for Panther and the Crane went on all day long. It was rather windy at first which caused some problems with the screen that was tied up between some trees. A hard gust caused the screen to collapse and it had to be re-tied up. You can still see the ladder leaning up against the tree. Besides the inflatable gator there were also several bronze gators and a statue of a gator wrestler which are permanent fixtures in the park. By the time I sketched this the puppeteers had already run through the performance at least twice and they were getting ready to get some supper. This sketch gives a good overall view of the staging area they had to work with.
Heather Henson introduced herself to me while I was sketching. Actually she didn't mention her name at first and was just talking about my blog. She was wearing shorts and a blue tee shirt, she had bright green tape hanging off her shorts for some reason and I assumed at first that she must be a stage hand running around taping together anything that needed taping. She was unassuming in every way. When she did mention her name I did double take but was very pleased to finally meet her. She once again stressed that I could sketch at will and I couldn't have been happier. I knew this was a very busy day for her so I got to work and let her run.
For the performance that night, I put my sketchbook down and just watched the show for the first time. It was a beautiful performance. At one point I spotted the mother crane sitting on the nest I had seen Tamara fixing that morning. Two puppeteers were needed to perform her graceful motions. I then saw the egg she was sitting on and I was shocked to tears when it cracked open and she lovingly preened the chick. There is magic in puppetry.