Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Skwalking Heads puppet camp participants will have more than just memories to look back on after this summer’s production of the musical “Pirates of the Cafeteria” at MACC. Camp director Colleen Laliberte decided to document the production behind-the-scenes this year, hiring Hollywood-based filmmaker Lysandra Petersson to capture every moment of the puppet musical’s development.
With the puppet camp production of “Pirates” being the show’s world premiere, participants had the freedom and the challenge of developing many aspects of the production which are typically already set, such as nuances of the characters’ personalities and the set design.
“[Petersson] was there from day one to document the whole process of setting up the stage and working with the kids through the process of the creation of their characters,” said Laliberte.
She was introduced to the filmmaker by her son, Zach Laliberte, a Signal Mountain native and musician now living in Los Angeles.
Petersson interviewed each child involved with the production, asking questions relating to what that individual found most enjoyable about the process, as well as which parts were most difficult.
“I really wanted a way to document that process, and I thought the use of film media would be a great way to do that,” said Colleen Laliberte. “Not only were they creating the characters, but they also had the chance to go back and reflect and really put that experience into words.”
She said she always takes still photos of the work that goes into preparing for a production, but this is the only time it has been captured on film. Friends and family members of the children in the musical will have the opportunity to see not only the polished final product, but also how that child’s contribution over the course of two weeks helped bring the story to life.
“It’s really exciting to watch them with this creative process, collaborating and getting excited about the story,” Laliberte said. “Children especially are so honest — they just have great observational skills, and you can look at the story they’re telling.”
Petersson, who edits both independent and feature films while in California, most recently finished a documentary in Haiti. She will continue to work with Skwalking Heads this summer on a project in Dalton.