Under the Grasses
"Come with me, where Insect passes,
Down the green lanes, Under the Grasses."
This original puppet ballet had two incarnations. The first with rod puppets and Black Theatre staging. (Black Theatre used a curtain of light. The puppeteers were dressed completely in black - including gloves and hoods - and standing behind the light curtain. Behind them was a black background. When the puppets were held in the brilliant light, the audience was unable to see the puppeteers.) The second version used marionettes (string puppets) and traditional staging.
To the Rossini-Respighi music La Boutique Fantasque, this lavish narrative dance production featured some fifteen characters, each a work of art created by Arlyn Coad. The non-verbal story, written by Arlyn, concerned an awkward Ladybug who was enamoured of the beautiful and etherial Lunamoth. When she was snared by a Spider and pinned to his web, the brave Ladybug rushed to the rescue. Interwoven in this simple plot were other characters including a prima donna Daisy, a mischievous Mushroom pursued by a detective Caterpillar, a boisterous Frog, a wise Weevil, and a chorus line of Violets.
"Under the Grasses" received a Citation of Excellence in the Art of Puppetry from the American Center of l'Union Internationale de la Marionnette.