On October 1st, 2009, I was the recipient of a Third Quarter 2009 ARC (Artist Resource for Completion) Grant from the Durfee Foundation for performances Bride of Wildenstein – The Musical at the Velaslavaysay Panorama January 28th-31st, 2010. The grant went to hire puppet builder, Greg Ballora to finesse puppet mechanics and to upgrade sound equipment.
In Bride of Wildenstein – The Musical, an aging socialite grows fur and claws to recapture the attention of her philandering game hunter husband. Described as “demented, touching, and inherently strange” by Flavorpill (Los Angeles), Bride of Wildenstein is a weird and tragic love story that examines the making of a monstrosity through one woman’s personal struggle, and the loss of her sense of self. As her marriage dissolves, she begins to reinvent herself through drastic measures – surgical procedures to become more feline, which only further heighten her sense of estrangement. The heroine’s story is loosely inspired by tabloid accounts of the real-life “cat woman”, Jocelyn Wildenstein.
Durfee ARC funds enabled me to hire master puppet builder Greg Ballora, to improve upon the mechanics of several existing puppets and purchase materials necessary for this upgrade. Ballora who specializes in taking puppets that have strong visual design, and improving their internal mechanical structures, by creating elegant, practically effortless, mechanisms, has built puppets for film and television, including Team America and Spiderman II as well as for local theatre artists, Janie Geiser and Leslie Carrara-Rudolph. Durfee funds also helped me to improve the sound quality with wireless microphones.
The Durfee Foundation is a family foundation that seeks to adhere to the values of their founders, Dorothy Durfee Avery and R. Stanton Avery, by rewarding individual initiative and leadership. The majority of their grantmaking focuses on the Los Angeles region, where the foundation’s history lies, and where funding needs are great.