Collaboration Town’s new musical Riddle of the Trilobites began performances at the New Victory Theater February 7. The family-friendly production, directed by Lee Sunday Evans (Sunday), is scheduled to run through February 23 Off-Broadway.
The production stars Tiffany Iris (When We Went Electronic, Locked Up), Sifiso Mabena (Red Hills, The Art of Luv Part 6), Joel Oramas (Pegao), Julia Sirna-Frest (Lunch Bunch, [Porto]), Richard Saudek (Beep Boop), and Phillip Taratula (An Evening with Pam Goldberg, Empire Travel Agency, The Lily’s Revenge), with Flea Theater company member Sophia Aranda as Understudy.
Set 500 million years ago, Riddle of the Trilobites is an allegory about climate change that brings prehistoric sea creatures to life in an examination of the state of our planet. Featuring puppet design by Amanda Villalobos (Amélie), the characters were created from a combination of biodegradable materials and used and recycled found objects.
“The majority of the puppets were constructed from rattan, wrapped in foam and thermoplastic,” explained in a statement. “Some of the smaller puppets, like the guard and the fish puppets were made from found objects like a yellow lint duster, biodegradable paper plates, birchwood compostable utensils, and compostable trash bags.” For the Trilobite elder’s robes, Set and Elder Robes Designer Deb O. made a list of the trash that winds up in the ocean that she disliked most and culled used materials from that, like balloons, cotton gloves and fringe, bubble wrap, plastic bags, and straws.
Production Photos: Riddle of the Trilobites at the New Victory Theater
Rounding out the creative team are is Katherine Nelson (costume design), Eric Southern (lighting design), Emma Wilk (sound design), and puppet fabrication Villalobos with additional puppet fabrication by Puppet Kitchen. Puppet direction is by Pam Arciero. Rachel Kaufman serves as production stage manager.