(Butterflies beat their wings against the bars)
I was recently asked to create images to be used on stage as rear projections for “In the Time of the Butterflies” adapted for the stage by Caridad Svich from the Julia Alvarez novel. “Butterflies” tells the the true story of the Mirabal sisters (four Dominican political dissidents who opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo, three of whom were assassinated). Only once had I done any work with rear projections, a few years ago for a TITANIA benefit, but I really love the concept and was thrilled to get the chance to do it again.
The play is being directed by Nicole Phelps at the Teatro Paraguas is Santa Fe, NM. When Nicole first sent me the script I immediately noted how detailed the playwright got with her descriptions of the projections. It was a great jumping off point, that would be filtered through Nicole’s ideas, and then dumped into my own creative brain. I loved it, and felt a true sense of collaboration even though I’d never met the playwright. I also had to take into consideration what the set would like, and where the projections would be placed. In this case above a backdrop painted like a garden (which is the central location for the play). I didn’t want the projections to detract from the actors, nor did I want them to clash with the set. So, practical matters first, then I got down to what the images should be and the mood they should invoke and support on stage. I used a mix of my own photos with royalty free images, and some photos of Nicole’s. All of these are comprised of several layers in Photoshop.
Throughout this blog are a few of my favorites with the playwright’s descriptions below. Though the subject matter is heavy, this is an inspiring play with a lot of beauty and spirit about fighting for freedom and what you believe in. The Mirabal sisters were remarkable, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to spend some time with them – and am very grateful to Nicole, and Ms. Svich, and Ms. Alvarez for bringing us their story. The play opens this Friday, March 8th and runs through March 24th. The March 9th performance benefits the Esperanza Shelter For Battered Families. Very excited to be a part of this production and working with Nicole again!
(dress buried upside down in the dirt, surrounded by veins of blood)