Department of Performing Arts
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By the Willow
Conceived by Faye Dupras* and Andi Rubinstein*
The original musical score is performed live, with no pre-recorded effects.
February 24-27, 2005
Faye Dupras.............................................. Dorka, Felicia
Director of Theatre................Ellen Faith Brodie
FAYE DUPRAS (Performer, Writer, Designer) hails from Canada, where she earned a BFA in theatre at the University of Concordia in Montreal, and apprenticed and worked under Noreen Young, one of Canada's top puppeteers, since 1997. She is co founder of the multi disciplinary theatre company Chaos Queens, and has worked as a freelance performer, designer, and teacher in both Canada and the US, including performing in the 2003 Festival Internationalle de la Marionette in Charleville - Mézières, France with the show Butterfly Dreams. She graduated with an MFA from the Puppet Arts Program at the University of Connecticut - one of the only programs of its kind in the world, and is currently working as Assistant Artistic Director of Jumblies Theatre in Toronto, Canada.
JULIE GOELL (Director, Writer) grew up in Rome where she studied Commedia; sang and recorded jazz; acted in, dubbed and translated films, toured with Roy Bosier's clown troupe "I Gesti," and taught mime at Teatro Studio, '76-84'. In the US she acted in "Ghetto" on Broadway, and has directed comedies from Florida to Maine. She music-directed "Manifest" at Portland Stage, and plays bass with the Casco Bay Tummlers klezmer band, recording three CDs and touring Eastern Europe. A singing physical comedienne, Ms. Goell tours her comic/tragedy mopera with bass, "Opening Night . Carmen". She teaches Commedia Dell'Arte at Dell'Arte International in California and Clown and Commedia at the Celebration Barn Theater in Maine with her husband, Avner Eisenberg. A graduate in Directing from Emerson College, Ms. Goell has recently finished her degree in Music at USM.
ANDI RUBINSTEIN (Performer, Writer, Designer) comes from Brazil, where she earned a BFA in Architecture. She has worked with Brazilian renowned stoyteller and puppeteer Regina Machado and Ana Maria Amaral. Additionally, she was on the staff of the International Puppetry Festival in Sao Paulo and founded her own puppet company, Grupo Andaluz. Andi recently graduated with an MFA from the Puppet Arts Program at the University of Connecticut. She worked for two summers with the German Puppet Players being the storyteller in their tour of the "White Steamer" in Brazil and Assistant Designer to "Sisyphos" (in Munich - 2003). Upon returning to Brazil, Andi rejoined Grupo de Palavra to work in their show "Sabenas" which had sold out performances in their run in Sao Paulo.
YANN-GAEL PONCET (Composer, Musician) violinist and vocalist, studied classical violin before dedicating himself to improvised music. His interest in improvised music led him to study jazz composition under the direction of the celebrated French jazz artist Laurent Cugny, with whom he is now writing a Jazz Opera. He also studied South Indian Carnatic violin with the performer Vittal Ramamurthy (a disciple of Jayaraman). Member of the experimental jazz "Compagnie du Facteur Soudain", he has also written and directed his own projects: the Trio Applefish (European Jazz) and most recently the Yann-Gael Poncet Trio.
How it Came to Be
On one cold winter night, at an inappropriately late hour, Andi called Faye with a juicy proposition: would she be interested in combining forces to create a show together? Without fully understanding the repercussions of her answer, Faye said YES. For the next year and a half we were fully absorbed (obsessed?) by the show. Every atom of creative energy, every extra penny (extra?), every thought, even our dreams, was absorbed by the Willow, culminating in four months of round the clock work, in which, we spent more time together than is psychologically advisable. And all that without knowing what the end result would be! We had faith in the potential of the story we had chosen. We were attracted by the gentle quality of this epic tale that held such visual capacity. It was a tasty treat to peel away the layers of the story to reveal the theme of the thinness of the veil that separates the spiritual and the material world in a play that was boisterous and vivacious. We hope you enjoy the journey. -Faye Dupras & Andi Rubinstein
Andi, Faye, and I set out to create, from scratch, a piece based on the Romanian folk tale "Vitorka's Tree." It was a fitting tale for itinerant storytellers, who have the power to words and images to make the impossible come true. Begin-ning with ordinary kitchen utensils, Faye and Andi enacted the story six ways to the middle, playing parts themselves, or designating a wooden spoon and dish towel for a character, a hat rack for a tree, a basket for a boat. They traveled to write and rehearse in Maine over several seasons, bringing new mock-ups of puppets each time. The wagon grew with each visit from a plastic island cart to what it is today. Gradually rich collaborations evolved, as production elements began to spring to life: tasty costuming, surprising set pieces, evocative lighting and the final coup de grace, live music providing leit motifs, rhythmic energy and drive. -Julie Goell