"The Story of Ferdinand" illustrations for the Salzburg Marionette Theatre

I had the wonderful opportunity to contribute illustrations for the prestigious Salzburg Marionette Theatre and their production of “The Story of Ferdinand.” This play was based on Munro Leaf’s renowned children’s book and was crafted as a character study of the main protagonist. My illustrations served to provide visual cues on the otherwise empty stage, allowing the intricately designed bull to interact with its environment. It was truly an honor to collaborate with such a talented group of individuals on this remarkable project.

A Grand Ensemble

On June 15, 2023, “The Story of Ferdinand” made its premiere as part of “The Carnival of the Animals” program at the Marionette Theatre. The play was performed between “The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant” and a reinterpretation of “The Carnival of the Animals.” In the grand scheme of the entire production, my role was relatively small. The puppets were built and operated, there were live voiceovers and music, and numerous other tasks such as stage design, lighting, sound, rehearsals, and organizational responsibilities. I contributed a small yet significant part to the overall production.

Stylized in Black and White

The Artistic Director of the Salzburg Marionette Theatre, Philippe Brunner, requested highly stylized, emotional black and white images. These were intended to create a compassionate atmosphere for Ferdinand without distracting from the main character. The focus of the play always remained on the bull himself. Whether conveying aggression, concern, indifference, or pride, the images were meant to evoke these emotions while never distracting from the core narrative.

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