Summer of 1999 I was artistic director for the Openair Circus.
A nonprofit outdoor circus day camp for children in Somerville
and Cambridge, MA. Started by Be Allen Sargent and Pat Jehlen
in 1981. Our production was based on the Dr. Seuss environmental
allegory The Lorax. One of the artists who volunteered to teach
papier mache mask making took on the task of becoming The Lorax.
I took artistic license to change the character from a furry
rodent man to a Queen of the Forest character…different
gender same Environmental Activist Action Figure. As synchronicity
would have it, the artist mask makers name was Forest. No kidding.
How cool was that? When she came out onto the stage at the first
performance, the sold-out packed house let out a collective
gasp! She was breathtaking. I got the idea for the Queen of
the Forest from a book called “Of Water and the Spirit”
by West African Shaman Malidoma Soma, where he speaks of a tree
spirit he encountered while on his tribe’s initiation
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