Friday, December 14, 2012

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER revealed!

We’ve gotten so many great questions about RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER after each show we wanted to share some of them all in one place.  Here are some of the most popular questions we’ve received on our Facebook page or in the audience during the talkback.

MISFITS
How does the misfit elf really talk? It wasn't his real voice, was it?
Did it hurt to talk in that voice for such a long time?

You guessed right. That is not the actor's real voice. He is sort of talking through his nose a bit and at a higher pitch than his normal voice. It doesn't hurt. He worked on it in rehearsal to get the right sound and to make sure he wasn't straining anything.


Could you please tell us what made the little doll a "misfit" toy? We couldn't find a flaw!
That is a good question, and one we actually discussed in rehearsal. There are a few theories among Misfit Philosophers. Rick Goldschmidt in his book "The Enchanted World of Rankin Bass" writes: In the original broadcast the Dolly's screen time is mere seconds. I don't believe Romeo Muller really gave the character much thought. She was granted more screen time in the 1965 and 1997 broadcasts which ultimately led many a fan to wonder what was wrong with her. Arthur Rankin says that Dolly's problem is more psychological. As it is never mentioned in the script why in particular the doll is a misfit, some offer this: Charlie-in-the-Box tells Rudolph, Hermey and Yukon when they arrive on the Island of Misfit Toys that King Moonracer flies over the earth each night and brings unloved toys to the Island of Misfits. Dolly is perhaps there because she feels she is unloved (as King Moonracer explains about misfits) and perhaps the little girl who once played with her has grown up and Dolly now sits in a box, unwanted, waiting to be loved by another little girl again. "In certain circles," this explanation is offered and widely accepted by Misfit Philosophers. In 1998, CVS released beanies toys. The Misfit Doll tag reads: "I'm a little rag doll who just wants a friend. I think that will help my broken heart mend."

RUDOLPH
How does Rudolph's nose light up?
Rudolph’s nose is controlled by a wireless dimmer which is run by our lightboard operator Russ Kampa.  He sends a wireless signal to the dimmer to make Rudolph’s nose glow.  A foam microphone windscreen was used when Rudolph's nose is covered.


How does Rudolph fly?
If you’ve seen the show already you’ll know that Rudolph is able to “fly” with the help of some special actors who are dressed in white from head to toe, so as to disappear into the set more easily. They actually lift Rudolph so that he can “fly” as needed. This technique was also used in our production of PETER PAN AND WENDY.  These special actors or kōken (we’ve actually been calling them Snowkens – because they are dressed in white instead of the traditional black) and the tradition of utilizing costumed actors/stage hands to manipulate the set, actors, or puppets is actually an age old method from traditional Japanese theater.  Through the use kōken  we can bring the set to life, manipulating the elements of the environment, helping reindeer fly and bringing to life puppets ranging from birds, to the Misfit Toys, and even the Abominable!

THE BUMBLE

How does the big monster move his mouth and hands?

The Bumble is puppeteered by several people. One person is on each arm - making those move, and the person holding the head has a string that he uses to move the Mouth.
What did you use to make the snow monster?
The materials used to build the Bumble include foam, fake fur, aluminum tubing, felt, spandex, a little luck and a lot of hope and a great design to begin with.


SNOW


Where did all the snow come from?
There are 3 snowmaker machines above the set that shake the snow out.  Snow is catapulted through snow cannons backstage.  We also have a snow cannon that is attached to a leaf blower to blow even MORE snow onstage!





Keep the conversation going!  Post your questions or comments about RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER right on our Facebook page and we’ll get back to you as quick as we can. 

Remaining performances for RUDOLPH are filling fast – but don’t worry!  Rudolph doesn’t have to get back to the North Pole just yet.  We have several performances December 27-30 to keep you in the holiday spirit.  Visit
www.firststage.org for tickets and information.


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