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See “Tightrope” this Saturday at Speakeasy!

RED EGG will be performing the short puppet piece “Tightrope” at:

SIDES SPEAKEASY ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY MACABRE SWING SPECTACLE this Saturday, October 30th at 11 pm!

The event takes place at the 515 Club (515 Cedar St., Santa Cruz, CA) and will also include:

* Camera Girl & Her Novelty Photobooth!
* Vintage Halloween Decorations!
* Costume Contest!
* Spooky Vintage Jazz & Blues!
* Swing Dancing
* Classic Double Feature Films: The Wolfman (1941), Wolfman Meets Frankenstein (1943)

Come on out and support us at this awesome event!

Photos- Red Egg with the Vespertine Circus

Several months ago Red Egg performed a new puppet piece called “Tightrope” with the Vespertine Circus in Oakland. Here are some photos of the event (and yes, those are audience volunteers holding the rope!):

For more photos of the event, please visit our Facebook Page.

Reviews now on our Media Page

Reviews of past Red Egg shows are now available to view on our Media page! Take a look and see what the papers had to say…

The Story of a Lamp

Artistic Director Gina Marie Hayes

Anyone with experience in shadow puppets will tell you that whatever light source you use is crucial. Some theaters that specialize in shadow work go so far as to develop and build their own light systems to eliminate as much of the inevitable fuzzy edges and distorted images as they possibly can. I’m not exaggerating when I say shows can live or die depending on that light.

Red Egg has a halogen spotlight we have used in the past for rehearsals, but this has never quite worked the way we wanted it to. For this show we wanted something new, that would give us lovely crisp edges but still have that nostalgic old-world feel. I would love to use nothing but candles, but with a shadow screen made of fabric, things can get hairy. There’s a reason so many theaters burned down before and in the early years after the invention of electric light. Then, of course, there is the problem of rehearsal. What if the light source you want to use isn’t available for the full rehearsal period? There’s no way to properly rehearse with a substitute light, but depending on the budget of the show that can get tricky.

As it happens, the light source we were to ultimately use was a lighting fixture that could not be powered in our rehearsal space, so we were in just the above dilemma.

Our first day of shadow puppet rehearsal I brought the halogen spotlight we had used in past shows, thinking that at least we could make do until we moved into the theater and could use the final fixture. Unbeknown to me, our Stage Manager, Jessi, had brought her own substitute light source, a small round halogen desk lamp from her office upstairs. Yes friends, it was the Little Lamp That Could.

Ian Fullmer as The Pied Piper.

I was amazed. The above photo was taken on that first day of shadow puppet rehearsal, using just a bedsheet and the Little Lamp.

When we moved into the theater, we switched to the professional lighting fixture… and you know what? The images were suddenly fuzzy and blurred and a strange washed-out blue color instead of that nice strong black shadow we were used to. What was the solution? “Bring out the Little Lamp That Could!” We just assigned a brave crew member to use the dimmer switch of the Lamp, and began using it to tech through the show. All worked beautifully.

On our last day of tech rehearsal we ran the show twice in the theater using the Little Lamp That Could. After a marathon notes session we began the third run, and it was fantastic – just the right pace, a haunting intensity from the actors, everything going smoothly on the tech side. Then… the light went out.

Everyone froze, even before our Stage Manager said the words that often follow a major theatrical problem, and seem to gain more intensity the worse that problem is – “hold please.” After a few moments of trying to determine what went wrong, we realized that the bulb had blown. With no replacement bulbs, we were done for the night.

The next day our SM, Jessi, bought a 6-pack of bulbs, and the Little Lamp That Could has been lighting our shadow puppet sequences dutifully since then. Lesson learned.

Hamelin, We Are Open

Congratulations to the Cast and Crew of What Happened in Hamelin on a successful opening! A magical, spooky, thought-provoking evening was had by all.

The blog is taking a well-deserved break over the weekend. Tune in on Monday for: “The Story of A Lamp; or, How We Make Shadows.”

Tech Dispatch #2 – What Happened In Hamelin

Artistic Director Gina Marie Hayes

Two days of tech have come and gone and suddenly it seems as if the play is truly an alive thing, not just a mass daydream that we’ve all been having for the past month or so. Things are starting to glow and move, and in some cases, even the actors are getting taken in by the spooky atmosphere we’re creating.

Yesterday was our last full day of tech and you could feel that everyone was getting tired as the evening wore on into the wee hours. At one point, as inevitably happens, we were holding while a light or sound cue was changed, and the actors onstage were amusing themselves. Ian Fullmer, our Pied Piper, and Erin Johnson, who plays the young girl Gertie, started communing, which is the only word I can think of to describe it – basically, they were swaying back and forth and maintaining eye contact as creepy cave sound cues played in the background. To make things even more unnerving, Erin was holding the puppet she uses to play Gertie, a modified plastic baby doll. She/the puppet and Ian got closer and closer to each other and the swaying got smaller and smaller, until they were nearly nose to nose. Then, suddenly, Ian shook his hands at Erin and yelled “Boo!” She shrieked like nothing I’d ever heard before, in turn spooking everyone in the theater. There was a moment of silence. Then, everyone, techies and actors alike, burst into uncontrollable laughter. It’s the little things.

(From left) Ian Fullmer as the Pied Piper, and Boris Volkov as the Piper's Doll.

I’m incredibly proud of my amazing cast – some of them have never worked with puppets (shadow or otherwise) before, and have had to learn throughout the rehearsal process. Some of the lighting effects in the play are done with battery-powered fixtures that have to be switched on and off by the cast on-stage during a scene. Sometimes they have to light themselves with a tiny electric tea-light that must be held just so up to their face. Throughout it all, they have been ready and willing to step up, to learn, and to take on the new challenges of this play.

Stay tuned tonight and tomorrow for some voices from the cast and crew, and on through next week for more dispatches from backstage!

Promo Video for “What Happened In Hamelin”

Filmed and Edited by Davis Banta.


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