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Filming the Trial of Bookus

HMTC had a videographer come from Los Angeles to film The Trial of Bookus. The Trial of Bookus is a musical puppet play that was funded by The Center for Cultural Power by a Disrupter Grant Award and presented at the Lil’ Brick Theater, the downtown home of Hanford Multicultural Theater Company. 

The Trial of Bookus was staged live on May 18, 19 and May 25, 26. In early June arrangements were made to film it cinematically. This cinematic bent will give the puppet musical an entirely different appearance and a longer life.  

Last Saturday the theater was turned into a film studio. Cameras and lighting equipment were arranged the night before. Puppeteers showed up at 9 am the next day, and worked with the videographer and Adan Uribe, the sound engineer. Lighting effects guaranteed by Scott Yarbrough. 

This entire process began in November 2023 with the announcement of the grant. Writing the play began immediately. A composer was sought and by end of January music was inserted in the script. Rehearsals with puppeteers began.  

At show times, The Source from Visalia sent a representative to give away books under the banner of PFLAG and be part of the panel discussion.  The panel discussion allowed for audience members to ask questions of the performers and the volunteer librarian Dr. Katheryn Hall, also a rep with PFLAG.  

As it turns out the composer of the musical is also a videographer and felt strongly that the musical puppet show deserved more life, and that the message must continue.  

Great thanks to the puppeteers Safiya Ahmed, Garrett Sandoval, Sarah Lo, Harmony Mendez for their puppeteering on-camera this past weekend for the film. Their patience and enthusiasm were outstanding and appreciated by the crew.  

Also a thanks to Paul Rohrbough for filming behind the scenes to journal the event.  

There’s more to do. When the film is available, HMTC will let the public now.  


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