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The Lorax
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 quest.

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