"The King of Ireland's Son" is a mythical fantasy conglomeration of a story borrowing from most every fairy tale ever told. Quite a clumsy story in many respects but a fantasy nonetheless and very appropriate for masks and puppets.
So we did! My concept: when three characters were needed, I made seven. When four, I made eleven. Way too much work, but was also fun.
The 'Fairies' became quiet controversial. Naugatuck College in Waterbury, Connecticut under the directions of Ed Wierzbicki, connected the total process to a fifth grade class in neighboring Naugatuck city. The class was involved in every aspect of the process from design to construction and had several tours of the theatre. When the design crew visited the school to demonstrate the works in progress, I showed the mask to the left as my vision of the fairies who had less than noble intents concerning the hero of the story. I envisioned more of a Gargoyle look and proceeded to name the masks the "Goyles". I received a protest petition within the week screaming dismay at my design choice. The complaint-- "Noone would kiss such an ugly creature!!" which the hero was supposed to do. By the way, the teacher also signed the petition for change. No changes however! When the students saw the production they reluctantly gave their approval.