The creative process of 16 Pellissippi State Community College students comes to fruition in November with 12 showings of “Peter and the Wolf,” a theatre piece using shadow puppets, overhead projections and other technology to tell the classic children’s story in a new way.
“We have never created a play from the ground up,” said Theatre Professor
Pellissippi State will present the students’ adaptation of “Peter and the Wolf” by Sergei Prokofiev on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays Nov. 3-12 at the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.
Showtimes for the 50-minute production are 7 and 8:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 and 3:30 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $8 for Pellissippi State students, faculty and staff. Seats are limited to 60 per show because the audience will be seated on stage with the performers and the tech crew.
Wingerter and fellow Theatre Professor
“Instantly, I don’t know why, ‘Peter and the Wolf’ popped into my head,” she said. “I have an album of it that I’ve had since childhood. I still have it, and we’re using it in the show as a prop.”
“Peter and the Wolf” is a musical composition written in 1936. A narrator tells the children’s story while the characters are represented by different musical instruments such as the bassoon (Grandfather), the clarinet (cat) and the flute (bird). Pellissippi State takes the deconstruction a step farther, replacing narration with written snippets that guide the audience from scene to scene, “kind of like a silent film,” Wingerter said.
“There is no dialogue – none – though the story and the music are recognizable,” Wingerter said. “It’s all music and movement. We worked on physical movement to get the puppets to move with purpose.”
The world Pellissippi State has created for its puppets is inspired by painter and printmaker Marc Chagall. Wingerter looked to the works of Chagall not only because he is her favorite artist, but because he grew up in a small village in what was then the Russian Empire, she said. That’s the kind of place Wingerter imagined Peter living in the story.
Pellissippi State provided information and quotes for this story.