Thursday, August 24, 2006

Manatees and Mermaids

Discussion on the feather at the opening of the play and paralleled to the manatee which is linked to mermaids according to Wikipedia. A discussion of mermaids, how the play's characters never utter the word mermaid. So the audience will never truly know. I shared an image of a bronze statue in Copenhagen of The Little Mermaid. Brian wants to use it as the model for the sculpture in the play.

Avoid the expected interpretation. What is expected?

New addition to the end with Marie being the name on the neighbor's mail. The old woman neighbor nobody ever noticed. The mail that Thomas got and never gave to her.

The idea of a dramaturgical insert for the program. Ask the cast for a list of the ordinary and compile this list but intersperse it with the unexpected, the miraculous. Like the manatee. As for the manatee...

I heard about in the Hudson River. Why would a salt water mammoth creature venture so far north out of his normal habitat (Florida, Virginia usually the northernmost) to explore the Hudson? Here's the article from CNN and another from the New York Times...

CNN: Accidental tourist: Manatee cruises Hudson River
Monday, August 7, 2006; Posted: 9:45 a.m. EDT (13:45 GMT)

NEW YORK, New York (AP) -- In the heat of summer, all sorts of tourists head north to cooler climes. This year, a manatee has joined the crowd, cruising past the nightclubs of Manhattan and continuing north.

The massive animal has been spotted in the Hudson River at least three times in the last week -- first off the Chelsea and Harlem sections of Manhattan, then to the north in Sleepy Hollow in Westchester County.

"It was gigantic," said Randy Shull, who said he spotted the unusual visitor Sunday afternoon while boating at Kingsland Point Park in Sleepy Hollow. "When we saw it surface, its back was just mammoth."

Last month, trackers saw the manatee as it swam north, first near Delaware, then Maryland, then New Jersey. By Saturday, it was seen in Manhattan.

Kim Durham, rescue program director for the Riverhead Foundation, a nonprofit group devoted to marine mammals, called it a "bona fide" sighting, but there isn't photographic proof.
It is unusual for one of the creatures -- often associated with the warm waters of Florida -- to travel so far north, although they have been reported along the shores of Long Island and even Rhode Island.

Manatees are an endangered marine mammal. Florida wildlife experts counted 3,116 in their annual survey in February.

John Vargo, the publisher of Boating on the Hudson magazine, said his alert about the sightings was met with disbelief by some boaters.

"Some were laughing about it, because it couldn't possibly be true," he said.

"I'm 70 years old, and I've been on the river my entire life," Vargo said. "I've seen dolphins and everything else, but never a manatee."

Other articles online:
New York Times: Massive Manatee Is Spotted in Hudson River By JENNIFER 8. LEE Published: August 7, 2006

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