The Norwich Bulletin asked us some good questions for an upcoming article on Luna. Here are our responses for you too.
Where did the story for Luna's Sea come from?
The concept for Luna was born out of a creative collaboration between theater director Karl Gasteyer, puppeteer and children's book illustrator Linda Wingerter, and modern dance choreographer Christine Poland, who have worked together before on theatrical productions for adults at Cornerstone Playhouse. When the possibility of creating a show for children for the Mystic Aquarium arose, Linda jumped at the chance to create an underwater fantasy based on the true life animals at the aquarium. Linda, who has illustrated 7 award winning children's books and performed with the reputable dance-based New Haven Puppetsweat Puppet Theater at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, had been looking for an opportunity to bring her picture book story-telling background together with her love for puppetry and dance. Luna, the story of a young girl who falls into a seaside puppet show to go in search of her toy penguin which has blown away into the sea, evolved out of a series of short performance pieces Linda had been developing for three years for an annual arts festival in New Haven. Using puppetry, circus arts and movement, the girl is guided through a fantastic landscape by the moon who teaches and encourages her to explore and dance. With the added directing expertise of Karl, and the exquisite fluidity of Christine's dance sensibilities, those short acts blossomed into the story of Luna, where the moon (played by Christine) has become the moon-costumed master puppeteer of the puppet show, guiding the young heroine (played by Irish step dancing champion Kaitlyn Kuvalanka) through the mystery of the ocean and introducing her to each underwater animal who she learns new skills and life lessons from, ultimately returning home reunited with her beloved toy penguin and new understanding of the beauty of life on earth.