Originally premiered at Lincoln Center Education in NYC, Magic Pearl is a shadow puppet play with original music that tells a story about collaboration, friendship, and transformation, based on a Chinese folktale.
I joined the project as a director and designer, with the goal of taking the beautiful existing elements—musical score, script, characters, and story arc—and building out a fuller visual language that could support longer scenes and character arcs.
I expanded the design to include new textures and three-dimensional objects, including water, ink, paint, feathers, glass, and stone. The new materials create a more dimensional world and nod to the association of dragons with water in Chinese folklore.
We gave a showing and feedback session at Puppet Showplace on October 14, 2019 for fellow artists, young audience members, and the larger Boston community. The impromptu hands-on shadow puppet session that followed was a big hit:
The Magic Pearl, by Pinwheel
Created by Bo Lee and Maggie Gayford
Music by Christopher Vu
Directed by Veronica Barron
Puppeteers: Nick Wickstrom, Amy West, and Veronica Barron
Character design by Bo Lee and Maggie Gayford
For more on this project, visit Pinwheel: https://www.pinwheelworks.com/