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Puppet State Theatre Company presents

THE MAN WHO PLANTED TREES

Tuesday, October 2, 2012 – 10am & 7pm

Note from Puppet State Theatre Company

We are delighted still to be touring The Man Who Planted Trees. We have performed this production well over a thousand times since 2006 in venues from tents on windswept hillsides, tiny village halls on remote Scottish islands to the Lincoln Center Institute and the Sydney Opera House.

In adapting this wonderful story, we wanted to be faithful to the original text while bringing humour through an expanded role for the tree-planting shepherd’s dog. Rick Conte’s gift for puppetry and comedy made him the right man for the job of bringing the dog to life.

Ailie Cohen’s simple set design makes use of burlap, with its rough earthy texture that doesn’t immediately suggest ‘fabric’, but evokes the dry, sun-scorched earth before the trees are planted. She wanted both the shepherd and his dog to seem to belong to the land, so they too are largely made of burlap.

Inspiration for the multi-sensory elements – the smells of the French countryside before and after the trees are planted, as well as mist and rain and wind – came from the original story too.

There is something about this story that seems to strike a chord wherever we go and for that reason – as well as the fact that we get to make up new bits all the time – we never tire of performing it.

In 1957 the author Jean Giono said: “I wrote this story to make people love trees, or more precisely to make people love planting trees. Of all my stories it is one of the ones of which I am most proud. It has never earned me a penny and for that reason it has accomplished the very purpose for which it was written.”

But this is much more than a story about planting trees: it is a wonderful parable of life, the tale of a human being who saw a need and decided not to ignore it but to “put things right” . The story is also known as “The Man Who Planted Hope and Reaped Happiness” and it holds a vital message for this generation. Maybe we all have a supply of acorns hidden away somewhere …

We hope that you bug a bookseller or librarian and get hold of a copy of The Man Who Planted Trees and discover why we fell in love with the story.

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
Anne Frank

Visit: http://www.puppetstate.com/shows/the-man-who-planted-trees/

STUDY GUIDE

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