Two Maples Arthur Dirks
Portfolio Index

The Two Maples

A Fairy Tale from Russia

By Evgeny Schwartz

Produced: March, 1988
Bridgewater State College
Director: Lee Dunne
Scenery: Arthur Dirks
Facility: Campus Center Auditorium


The play is a traditional Russian fairy tale involving well known creatures and characters. One is Baba Yaga, the witch, and her hut on chicken legs. Initially we had worked with the idea that Baba Yaga would be a large puppet with the actress/operator behind it. It didn't have enough integrity to the rest of the show, so the actor acted the character, which she really preferred.

The stage is basic cut wing and drop. I've done this set since Rama And the Tigers. The creatures on the bags of money were on a wagon and had puppet heads that interacted with the cat. The windmill was a flown piece on which the blades rotated. Baba Yaga's hut, animated by four actors, had supports so that she could actually climb into it.

The two maple trees were two boys transformed by Baba Yaga, but they could still speak and respond by waving their branches. We rigged speaking mouths (shown) and I used an elaborate mechanism to rotate the branches a few degrees on a bolted pivot in the tree (just above shot). Two actors spent much of the show behind the trees. The return to human form was visible, so the whole rig flew with a flashpot in the base of each tree and a lighting effect, leaving the actor-operators standing there.

Two Maples
Two Maples
The Two Maples Two Maples
Two Maples Two Maples
Mouth mechanism

All original content © 2007 copyright Arthur L. Dirks