Preparing for Carnival in the Secret Garden / Report from the Fairy Tale Group

By Marion Donehower

My apricot tree is full of blossoms — white blossoms and delicate pink. The bees are buzzing. And the quince is blooming — glorious salmon pink, as we call that color in Germany . . .

And Fairytales are floating in the sunny breeze.

The puppet makers have begun their work on a cast of characters that Bruce will use to make movies. Inspired by Paul Klee and our Section meetings, three women artists meet on the porch at a Round Table. We pass about cloth, strings, glue, yarn, fur, buttons, string, and a bit of this and a bit of that gathered from scraps and cast offs: plastic paper rolls, newspaper, glue, tatters of fabric, cardboard cones, twine, wire, Japanese papers, and endless knickknacks. What a treat! What a mess!

One by one and slowly the puppet cast is appearing. Can you guess the story?


The Cast Assembles


Only one of us has experience with this. We just jumped in! Bruce said he needed a cast of characters for the movies he wants to make. Several years ago he made a 45-minute movie of Faust Parts 1 and 2 using puppet figures. Inspired by this, we brought the impulse into the Section work and meetings with the intention of making puppet movies of fairy tales or original scripts.

Right now, because everything is new and in process and chaotic, we’re keeping our artist group small. It’s easier to work. Creative sessions last four to six hours. Time flies by. We forget to eat.

We’re trying to figure out how we can do this in a larger Fairy Tale group with many people working. Right now it seems very difficult to coordinate all the moving parts and details. It’s a messy process, with many supplies! Step by step. As the weather gets warmer, the larger Fairy Tale discussion group will meet again. I’ll be in touch.

Here are some photos of the work in progress. I am very inspired by the Paul Klee puppets that we looked at earlier. From that time in our meetings, I have struggled to bring Klee’s inspiration into our work, because making puppets is more difficult than we thought! You need a lot of stuff! Can you guess what kind of movie we will make? Or maybe a Puppet Theater Salon . . . or an opera or Singspiel!


Bird or Hedgehog?


Two years ago, we got started in the Section with the idea of Fairy Tale movies. Margit Ilgen and I narrated several, such as Jorinda and Joringel and Hyacinth and Rosebud and Piktor’s Metamorphoses.

And soon the Season of Carnival will arrive! Or as we say in Germany, Fasnacht. Who knows what inspirations will strike!

Follow the buzz of flutes and drummers!

Preparing for Morning Strike!

. . . when knowledge has, as it were, passed through an infinity, grace returns; and in such a manner, that it, simultaneously, appears most purely in that form of the human body that has either absolutely none, or infinite consciousness; that is to say, either in the form of a manikin, or a god. Consequently, I said a little absent-mindedly, we should have to partake once again of the Tree of Knowledge in order to fall back into a state of innocence? Precisely so, he replied; that is the last chapter of the history of the world.
— Heinrich von Kleist, from The Puppet Theater