Growing Up Linda – workshop, Valencia, CA (performance)

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From May 7th-10th 2008, The Cotsen Center for Puppetry and the Arts and CalArts School of Theater presented a workshop production of Growing Up Linda in Ensemble Theater 2 in Valencia, California, where I was in my 2nd year as an MFA student in puppetry and scenic design. Growing Up Linda was an ensemble actor-puppetry performance  about the daughter of a famous ice cream mogul who must come to terms with her troubled past.

This was the first time Growing Up Linda was performed in it’s entirety.  There were 5 performances over the course of 4 days with two casts (Brett Waldon took over Joel Egger’s role of Daddy Carvel / Fudgie The Whale in preparation for the Edinburgh run). The run time was about 80 minutes. For this iteration, I stepped out of my role as Cookie Puss / the Narrator to focus on the directing, edits, self-producing, and leading the overall design team in preparation for the Edinburgh run.

Growing Up Linda was written with long-time collaborator, P.J. McWhiskers. Cast member, Joel Egger who played Daddy Carvel and Fudgie the Whale was an additional writer for Fudgie’s Death.

The performances were dedicated to the memory of actor, Jackie Kay Knox, who was slated to reprise the title role at both CalArts and then Edinburgh. Sadly, Jackie left the world all too soon.

From the Program:

Growing Up Linda


Marsian De Lellis and P.J. McWhiskers
with additional material by Joel Egger

Directed by Marsian De Lellis

Wednesday May 7th, 2008 at 8:00PM
Thursday, May 8th, 2008 at 8:00PM
Friday, May 9th, 2008 at 8:00PM
Saturday May 10th, 2008 at 2:00PM and 8:00PM

California Institute of the Arts
24700 McBean Parkway
Valencia, CA 91355

Alanna Blair
Joel Egger
Brett Waldon
Steven Wendt
DanRae Wilson

Scenic Design: Juliana de Abreau
Costume Design: Rachel Weir
Lighting Design: Brandon Stirling Baker
Sound Design: E M Giminez
Video Design: Roz Fulton
Technical Director: Jeff Arbuckle
Properties: Merrianne Nedreberg
Pop-Ups: EuGean Seo
Inflatables: Marissa Parr
Scenic Artists: Lydia Carson, JessieAnna Wilton

Stage Manager: Melissa Jean Cooper
Production Manager: Emily Orcutt-Clenard
Producer: Ian Garrett

Graphic Design: Anne Coté

Assistant Scenic Design: Jamus Grodidier
Assistant Costume Design: Ariel Boroff

Enter the off-kilter world of Linda Carvel, fictitious daughter of the famed New York ice cream mogul. Add a heavy dollop of puppet tragicomedy, a sprinkle of kitsch-surrealism and the result is more than the recommended daily allowance of weird. Mature audiences.

Act I. Recipe for Disaster
Scene 1: The Enchanted Forest
Scene 2: The Hall of Pictures
Scene 3: Birthday Trauma

Act II. Chocolate
Scene 4: Thirteen Years Later
Scene 5: LSD Kills
Scene 6: Fudgie The Whale and the Brown Sea

ACT III: Food For Thought, Tripping Down Memory Lane
Scene 7: …Meanwhile At The Detox
Scene 8: She Shares – A Food-O-Louge
Scene 9: She Overshares – Little Linda Snack Treats
Scene 10: Fudgie’s Death
Scene 11: The Parade

ACT IV: Fame
Scene 11: The Sanitarium
Scene 12: How Linda Lost Her Sweet Tooth
Scene 13: Back To The Hall of Pictures

Thank you for your contributions:
CalArts Office of the President, CalArts Provost and the Interdisciplinary Grant Committee, Cotsen Center for Puppetry and the Arts, Heather Henson / The Puppet Slam Network, UNIMA (Union Internationale de la Marionette), Atlantic Center for the Arts, Calarts School of Theater, CalArts Ahmason Grant Committee, Lynn Jeffries, JR Lighting

Thank you for your help:
Rosalie Alvarez, Lianne Arnold, Matty Baratto, Dan Barsky, Erin Brewster, Nikita Bleeker, Stephen James, Toussaint Jeanlouis, Kacey Kvanne, Sarah Ibrahim, Carla Linton, Kate-Eloise Mallor, Curtis Mueller, Sarah Sowel, Hunter Wells

Thank you for your Mentorship:
Chris Barreca, Carol Bixler, Michael Darling, Barb Edwards, Janie Geiser, Kevin Goold, Jon Gottlieb, Don Holder, Lynn Jeffries, Mirjana Jokovic, Steve Lavine, Nancy Lupo, Jacqueline Reid, Susan Simpson, Michael Smith, Leslie Tamaribuchi, Jermiah Theis, Jason Thompson, ben White, Christy Willits, Stephanie Young, Paul Zaloom, The Scene Shop

An extra special thanks to previous casts who have helped with the development of this project, through countless improvisations, contributing lines, editing, dramaturgy, etc.:
Alan Calpe, Peter Deffet, Vanessa Gilbert, David Hanbury, Heather Henson, Jackie Kay Knoxx, Jeff Nosach, Anton Ray, Katie Shook, Jen Swain, Anne Yatco and the 2007-2008 Performing Objects Lab