We discussed an idea for the set. Our idea: a set of animal skins, hanging from the lighting grid, in a semi-circle around the back of the stage. On the animal skins (probably not real, no, don’t worry, we’d make them out of fun-fur and leather (which doesn’t harm an animal when you take it off of it, not like fur for a fur coat), or something that looks like hide, with a kind of translucence if we could get it) we would use the absurd power of modern computers to project various images – for example, wind-swept Ice Age vistas, flickering fire-light, animations of cave-paintings and shadows, our pet turtle shot in close-up so it looks like a monstrous dinosaur-turtle threatening tiny puppets on stage, and other things we haven’t thought of yet.
And then, on the floor, there would be what looks like a huge pile of bones. Like the refuse that would collect after living in a cave for several years, eating things. We talked about how much we would like to carve each one of the bones out of wood, because it would be beautiful to do that and also we like animals but hate trees. Maybe that’s crazy though. If any of you, in particular, would like to donate any extra antlers you’ve got kicking around your cave, they’d be real handy for making our pile look really vivid. Because antlers are really hard to make out of wood – we’ve tried. We’d strew the bones around the stage in an artful way.
The point is: all the puppets would be in that pile. Sometimes they’d be prehistoric puppets made out of crude sticks and skulls and such, and sometimes they’d be puppet-puppets of modern things (for instance, for the sci-fi scene we’ve been batting around on the site) that you wouldn’t even realize were there in the heap until they got pulled out for a scene. Or maybe you would, at a certain point, realize that there weren’t just bones in the heap, there’s old tv-sets and stuff, and you would realize this is a cave of some people that survived the apocalypse or something.
In the heap we’d have some of those amazingly realistic-looking fire effects made out of lights, silk, fans and smoke-machines, so that the bone-heap would also serve as our fire-pit. We had some good fun out at the cabin doing shadows on the snow with our hands, you know, butterflies and rabbits and that kind of thing, until we realized what great stuff you can do with three people working together to make a great big dinosaur shadow and things like that. There’d be a good light for doing that kind of thing on the animal skins hanging behind, which we could deviously enhance with projected animations so that we really blew everybody away.
And that would be it. Stark! Simple! Beautiful! Easily packed into a truck, in comparison to our other shows! Comments, welcome.
We also thought it would be great to make the whole stage into a great big sandbox, although we didn’t have any real thematic reason for it, we just thought it was a great idea for a stage design. Except then we thought about lugging around all those sandbags and what a pain it would be to clean up. Still, you hear about theatre companies who have, like, a pool on stage, and how everybody wants to see the goddamned show in the pool because that’s really cool and we wanted to have everybody say they wanted to see the show in the sandbox. Anyway, we’re not so convinced about the sandbox idea now that we’ve sobered up.