This week, Behind the Scenes goes backstage with the Puppet Co.’s new production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Let’s take a sneak peek and see what’s going on.
Showing now through Sept. 2, 2012, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves is a new take on an old story. There are some fresh ideas that children and parents will enjoy and teachable moments to bring up after the show. If you have a young child who might be fearful of the Wicked Stepmother/Evil Queen, click on this short video. It should take some of the sting out of your child’s fear as they watch actress Molly MacKenzie and costumer MayField Piper, play “dress up” with the Rose Queen (also known as the Wicked Stepmother/Evil Queen).
I did a little backstage reconnaissance before the show opened and spoke with founders Chris Piper and Allan Stevens about Snow White’s unique qualities, which include combining live actors, puppets and multi-media. “We’re using computerized animation in this performance in a way we’ve never done before,” said Chris Piper. “It’s a way for us to bring static characters to life and to advance the plot.”
Like most Puppet Co. productions this one is a mix of live actors and puppets. Molly and Mason O’Malley (the Prince) are the only two actors and the rest of the cast are puppets. (Click here to watch Chris make a puppet.) All of the dwarves are puppets and each has a special talent that kids will easily be able to identify. For instance, one dwarf is exceptional strong—he’s the one holding the big stone—and another has exceptional finding skills. He’s the dwarf with the antennae on his hat. The dwarves use these special talents to protect Snow White. Being small themselves, children may identify with the dwarves and that’s just fine, because in this production small is mighty. The lesson in Snow White, says Chris Piper, is that “even if you don’t seem special, you can make a difference.”
In this story, the dwarf with the least obvious specialness saves the day for Snow White and her prince. See if you can identify him when you go to Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, now through Sept. 2 at the Puppet Co. in Glen Echo Park. Click here for dates, times and tickets.