VERY excited to announce that I’ll be filming and creating the rear projections being used in the upcoming stage play “In the Time of the Butterflies” at the Teatro Paraguas, in Santa Fe, NM. Directed by Nicole Phelps, written by Caridad Svich, based on the novel by Julia Alvarez. March 8th opening night!! This plays tells the true story of the Mirabal sisters – four Dominican political dissidents who opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo.
I’ve been experimenting quite a bit in the last year (Beauty and Her Beast, WITCH) – and the concept of rear projections were always something I’ve wanted to try. The technique has been growing in popularity from off-Broadway houses to Broadway itself, most recently in the Tony Award winning “War Horse”.
Theater audiences are definitely open to the idea, perhaps because video is such an ingrained part of our every day existence, but theater is also a performance medium that has experimentation at its core. The trick of projections is to use them well: to compliment the actors on stage and not override them; to help tell the story, not take it over. I’m very excited for the opportunity. The playwright’s descriptions are incredible. For instance, “Lines and shapes turn into dresses buried upside down in the earth in between veins of blood.” What a breathtaking image to help retell this story of bravery and sacrifice.
Does all of this diminish the purity of film storytelling? I don’t think so. Not when used well and done right. If anything it gives us filmmakers a chance to create a story in our chosen medium within a new context. I know that when I experiment it strengthens me as a director and writer and gives me ideas for my more traditional narratives. Or gives me the courage to do something completely unhinged in my more traditional narratives.
I’ll post more here as the project progresses.