If My Feet Have Lost The Ground, in collaboration with director Torry Bend is a toy theater play about flight, perspective, reflection and loss. Using the emotionally charged environment of an airplane this play investigates the self-reflection one experiences when seeing the world from the tiny window of an airplane. The play draws connections between landscape and body using both aerial photography and medical imaging to challenge the ideas of scale, power, relevance and importance, while highlighting the emotions of reflection: anticipation, love, loss and acceptance.
A variety of techniques are used in the performance: video projection, tabletop, Bunraku, shadow and toy theater. The main performance area is a pivoting table that rotates to become a rear and front projection screen maximizing the shows ability to mix live puppetry with video projection.
From concept development to performance, I worked closely with puppeteer and director Torry Bend throughout multiple workshops to develop the story. For the video design, we filmed, edited, post produced, used stop motion, visual special effects and animation to blend the worlds of reality and puppetry into one.
Development started in 2013 when Process Series at UNC provided space for two weeks to develop and experiment on a new piece. An excerpt of the performance can be found here.
It took us a few more workshops and almost two years to fully develop the piece. The final production was first staged and well received at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham in October 2014.
A new iteration of this piece will be performed at the National Puppetry Festival 2017 at Concordia University, St Paul, Minnesota in July 19th. We spent the spring and summer completely reworking the show, previous iterations of which already played at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham, North Carolina in October 2014 and at Open Eye Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2016.
Photos of Behind the Scenes from our first workshop in 2013 and 2014 performance
Photos of our updates for the 2017 performance
Created and Directed by Torry Bend
Video Design: Raquel Salvatella, Megan Reilly (2016), John Haas (2014)
Lighting Design: Bill Healey (2016), Elizabeth Droessler (2014)
Sound Design and Composition: Colbert Davis (2016-17), Jil Christiansen (2014)
Puppet Design: Torry Bend, Anna Nickles, Sarah Krainin
National Puppetry Festival, Minneapolis, MN. July 2017.Open Eye Theater, Minneapolis, MN. February 2016
Manbites Dog Theater, Durham, NC. October 2014
UNC Process Series, History Playmakers theater, Chapel Hill, NC. 2013