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Life of Pi Cast Shares the ‘Magic’ of the Production’s Puppetry

Life of Pi has arrived on Broadway. Lolita Chakrabarti’s theatrical retelling of Yann Martel’s novel opened on March 30 at the Schoenfeld Theatre.

The play unfolds when a cargo ship sinks in the Pacific Ocean and its lone human survivor, Pi, finds himself stranded on a lifeboat with a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan and a Royal Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. The tiger is brought to life each night by a team of onstage puppeteers, under the puppet and movement direction of Finn Caldwell. The production features puppet design by Caldwell and Nick Barnes.

In the latest episode of “The Broadway Show with Tamsen Fadal,” viewers hear from cast members on opening night as they reflect on the role puppetry plays in elevating the emotions of the story.

Hiran Abeysekera, who is reprising his Olivier-winning performance as Pi, shared his excitement over bringing the production to the Main Stem. 

“The visuals are amazing. The music is extraordinary,” he said. “People are gonna come to see a show and then they’re suddenly gonna be like, ‘Woah, I feel like I’ve been to church almost.’”

That emotional impact, both from the overall production and the art of the puppetry, was echoed by several of Abeysekera’s castmates...READ MORE 

Author: Caitlin Hornik


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