The In the Heart of the Beast MayDay Parade workshops are in full swing, with the sections forming up and magic starting to emerge out of scraps of cardboard, cloth, and paint. The first sessions were this past Saturday, and continue on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings and afternoons until the parade on Sunday, May 1. If you’d like to participate, it’s not too late!
The parade story this year is complicated. It has something to do with eggs, crows, and rats, and also includes coyotes, dodo birds, and baboons. When we arrived a little after 1:00 PM, the lobby where the parade storyboard was being explained was over full, so we just headed into the workshop area (they pull out the seats and transform the theater and stage into a big work space, overflowing onto the sidewalks) to find a section. We’re going to be in the “Forward!” (or, if you will, “!drawroF”) section: the boys are working on coyote masks, and Kelly and I are making dodo bird costumes. I hope to take inspiration from either the Porky in Wackyland dodo bird, with a feather duster on the top of the mask, or Polly Moran’s dodo from the 1933 “Alice in Wonderland” (a movie that gave me nightmares the first time I saw it: it’s like the “Andalusian Dog” version of Lewis Carroll, not for the faint of heart!).
The great thing about the Heart of the Beast parade, and the artists who run it, is that it’s a loose enough structure that there’s plenty of room for creativity, but there’s also lots of guidance available for making something that will fit into the overall theme. It’s also as much fun to make the costumes and props as it is to put on the parade: the process of fitting your small piece into the overall show is just as important as the show itself.
Even if you’re not able to participate in the parade, you should still make a point of attending: it’s a great outing for kids and adults of all ages, with plenty to see and do.