Simple, Stunning and Oh So Imaginative!
For many Upper Valley Christmas Revels fans, all they know of the show is what they see live on stage in mid-December. For those waiting in anticipation for opening night to come, lucky for you Kim Wenger-Hall, local muralist and scene painter, shared some insider secrets about this year’s show!
Q: How did you first get involved in Revels?
The then executive director (in 2015), Heather Alger and I had multiple Facebook friends in common and I saw she had posted about needing help with scene painting for Revels. I said I would be happy to help. I ended up falling in love with Revels and the people! I then volunteered for makeup and more set stuff and went on to be hired as a producer for other programming. For the last two years I have taught for Revels Kids. During the 2017 Revels Kids cycle, I worked with children to create a massive art piece inspired by Zimbabwe with kids from different locations around the Upper Valley and in Montpelier.
Q: How much time have you spent working with Revels this past year and what has been the most exciting thing about the work you’ve done?
What I have enjoyed the most is the scene painting, which I have done for three years now. This year I also helped create special items of hand-painted costuming.
Q: Painted costuming?! Go on….
This is the first time for painted costumes on the Revels stage. I painted a faux-feathered cape for this sea bird character that a little girl gets to dance in. I also re-created this GIANT puppet; I deconstructed the piece from a prior year, repainting it and getting it ready for a new style. It has also been an ultimate joy working with set designer, Megan Kinneen. I love her vision for Revels and she has quite the talent for creating something that is simple, yet stunning on a stage.
Painted Faux-feathered cape - by Kim Wenger Hall
Q: Can you give me an example of her simple, yet stunning work? Paint us a picture… so to say.
Megan has this amazing 2-3 step process for creating woodgrain for an entire floor and it really looks like wood! She knows how to make things look great from a distance. (Which is key on stage!) This is faux finishing on a massive level. Megan combines woodworking and carpentry with painting… she unites so many different disciplines. It’s awesome.
Q: What’s one element of the show this year that everyone is going to be talking about afterwards?
The costumes! There are two costume designers this year and they have done an amazing job of putting together authentic looking Scandinavian costumes for several different walks of life. They also were able to source costuming from North Country Community Theatre (NCCT). It’s wonderful that they can share resources.
Well that’s what seems to be so special about this little Upper Valley community of ours; a willingness to share! So remember, when you’re at the Christmas Revels this year you’ll be able to say “Did you know those costumes are painted? And that floor too?” Having the insiders tip is always more fun. Enjoy the show folks!