Treehouse Shakers

Treehouse Shakers
Hatched, BAM Fisher, Hillman Studio

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Exploring the Farm

We have made it to the next phase of Hatched. On Thursday, May 20, we traveled to the Long Island Children's Museum (LICM) to have our first workshop. We have twenty minutes so far. Every day we inch closer to the product I have envisioned since last February. This is also the first time that Treehouse Shakers has had the opportunity to workshop in the theater where we will premiere.

When we arrived at LICM, Jim Packard, the theater manager, had created some lighting for us, and let us run through the piece on his stage (it really is the perfect stage for this piece). Every moment in the space, I couldn't help but become more and more excited. When the audience arrived, the energy was simply electric. The kids, ages 0-6,  sat onstage with parents (as requested) to be closer to the experience. Yet, there were enough audience members who also sat in the seats.

What came next, was everything I had dreamt about. We couldn't have asked for better audience members. The actors nailed it, and it was fun to watch how each of them handled all of the extra attention the kids gave to the puppets. Afterwards, I had parents approach me with how much they appreciated being so close and how much their children not only enjoyed the show, but how attentive even their 14 month, 3 year old, 6 year old, etcetera (simply fill in the age.) I had parents, grandparents and caregivers all tell me the same things. I can't wait until we show them Hatched in April when we will have reached our greater potential.

My husband, Brent Hankins, filmed the piece and made us a short video of the performance. Amber Ford is Hatch the chick, Sarah Young and Josh Tag play the farmers, chick and calf.

After the show we interviewed Jim (what a great sport!) Below is the interview. At the last minute I decided to do the interview as Callie Cait, the Calf. Callie as a puppet is still unfinished; soon she will adorn blinking eyes, more weight underneath her fur, and a perfected walk. But as you can see, she has already become a Rockstar both on and off stage.

The show has many more levels to be added. We will be adding live music by Anthony Rizzo, Patti Gilstrap is busily creating the many cast of puppet characters, and soon our set designer, Lauren Rockman will be busy building our farm. We still have lights, more development work, and twenty more minutes to create. I wish every day I could be working on this show. One rehearsal a week seems barely enough, but that is the reality of a non-profit. Our other rehearsal time is focusing on our other shows, and keeping them up to snuff.

Last Friday during rehearsal, we worked on a few elements form the workshop that I wanted to distinguish. We then took a break, and dressed up our characters for Halloween. Luckily Patti's studio is filled with the most gloriuos and interesting set pieces....she really did have a small hat laying around, miniature houses, a black feather boa...what doesn't Patti have at Home Ec?

Hatch with his Trick or Treat Bag, compliments of Sarah Young, Worm and Puppet created by Patti Gilstrap
Callie Cait (Puppet by Patti Gilstrap)as mid-Town Cabaret Star
 Hatched Trick or Treating

Happy Halloween, from the cast and creators of Hatched.