Dress rehearsals have started for the production of Above the Timberline!

Based on my novel, now stage play, the theater department at Northern Michigan University has created a live retelling of the story, complete with music, sound effects, paintings from the book, and animal puppetry.

I’m currently in the Upper Peninsula, working during rehearsals to help modify and add to the images projected in the background of the stage. They provide atmosphere, enhance story moments, and give a visual impression of the Timberline world. We’re capturing dramatic sets that could never be built onstage.

Below are some shots from tech rehearsals and finally the first full dress rehearsal which took place tonight. We’ve more runs to go through to finesse the more than 90 auditory and visual cues necessary for the early scene of the airship battle. The entire play has 400+ cues to carry off with precision.

It’s amazing to watch the cast and crew work together under the direction of Keli Crawford-Truckey. She’s been able to coach them in their delivery, blended with the paintings, and work alongside larger-than-life polar bear puppets, some of which have three-person teams. Her energy is relentless while the crew works nonstop until late each night. The cast plays multiple parts and their delivery is delightful.

The show opens this Friday, October 15th. I look forward to showing more images soon!