Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Oral Story-telling: A Piece of My Puppet Show

The following is the first ten minutes, read aloud, of the puppet show re-telling of the Norwegian folktale, "East of the Sun, West of the Moon," that I'm working on with Steve Coleman. It's set in the foothills of the Sierras, and on the Farallon Islands, after the Gold Rush, and functions as a series of monologues from different characters telling their versions of the story. I had to make it into a video in order to upload it with the most ease here. The photos are my own, of Tuolomne Meadows, a landscape similar to the one where much of the story takes place, and the Farallon Islands (taken by my boyfriend while on a whale-watching boat that rocked and lunged like a scrap of paper on the Pacific—I was quite unsteady and could not have wielded a camera). Apologies for the poor recording quality. This is just to give a sense of the story, of its strangeness and magic. Imagine human sized puppets with animal heads. Imagine something wholly whimsical, but also dark, and spare, and haunted. Imagine a world on stage where everything—the rocks and rivers, the winds and bears and golddust— is alive. And, of course, imagine music, the twang of stringed instruments, the ghostly trills of whistle and harmonica.

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