©2022 Bernie Kramer.
by Bernie Kramer
The story is from the collection of Japanese folk tales called ‘Ugetsu Monagatari’, and rendered by Lafcadio Hearn, a journalist who lived in Japan, married and became a Japanese citizen immersing himself in the culture, and translating many stories into English. In Tony’s workshops, several of us were drawn to the work of Lafcadio Hearn. Lee Faulkner did a splendid job of storytelling/mime and even included magical effects with the story Urashimataro; and David Caggiano worked on the story Ushidori, which was quite poignant. This story is unusual in that usually spirits in the folk tales can be at least mischievous, and here is a story in which love transcends the barriers of life and death and unites the lovers temporarily at least. It is considered a horror story, and perhaps my reading of the compassion is not the only way to look at it, as there is also a sardonic aspect to the reunion in that things are indeed too late. It is open to interpretation for sure, and the degree of horror dependent on how one sees the story. I leave it to the viewer.
The story was re-developed in workshop and helped by people watching like Kuniko Yamamoto, who provided some important cultural insights, and Lee Faulkner’s insightful direction; and most skillfully brought to life with the artistic editing of Michael Menes and Lee Faulkner.
A dogged, persistent student who enjoyed playing and working for thirty years with Tony on mime, improv, clowning, storytelling and sketch-writing, also worked with Moni Yakim, Samuel Avital, Burt Houle, Marcel Marceau and Michael Henry. Bernie studied acting with Anne Jackson and others at HB Studio for 25 years, working on Shakespeare with many fine teachers, particularly Geoffrey Owens, always expanding, consolidating and extending his base.
ABOUT THE COLLABORATION
Captured in Buckfield, Maine at Eureka Arts Studio under the direction of Leland Faulkner. Camerawork and editing were done by Leland Faulkner and Michael Menes. Music and SFX are licensed through ArtList.io. Lee Faulkner, previous owner and instructor at the Celebration Barn, has a degree in film from the Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, California. Michael Menes is also a former student and instructor at Celebration Barn and manages the Eureka Arts Studio in Buckield where he works as a media arts professional. The storybook approach, complemented by illustrations and video effects using a green screen, serves to amplify and clarify the storyline in translating it from the stage to the video-film medium.
CALLS TO ACTION
No tip jar, but if you haven’t already, please sign up for the MIME SPOKEN HERE mailing list! If you enjoyed this work and would like to chip in to support the platform, donations can be made through PayPal! Click here.