The Grove: "Birdbrain"

"The Trees are ALIVE!"

"Birdbrain" was one of three trees I designed and constructed for the Logos Theatre's stage production of Prince Caspian, from The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis.

The requirement from my Artistic Director was for them to be bipod/humanoid and epic! A lot of the inspiration for the design came from a myriad of Tree Ent photos on Pinterest, and a little bit of Groot cosplay. "Birdbrain" is more of a bodysuit than a puppet. He is operated by one person inside on drywall stilts wearing a spandex suit with a "backpack" of branches, 2 arm extensions, and a mask. 95% of the exterior is EVA foam while the rest is pipe insulation foam (which I learned is a FANTASTIC material to construct with, especially when using a heat gun). 

"Birdbrain" is the shortest of the three trees ("The Grove" we've nicknamed them) created, standing at approximately 9 feet (varying slightly based on the height of the actor inside). "Birdbrain" has some fun details, including fungi mushrooms (one specifically placed to hide the foot of the suit performer). The inspiration for his name came when I placed a bird's nest, complete with three bird eggs (crafted from mattress foam for weight purposes), into the cavity where his brain would be. I think that idea was inspired by Johnny Depp's "Jack Sparrow 'Where's me brain' " bit. 

"Birdbrain" is featured in this video (he is the tree on the far right): https://youtu.be/D93oV_GcowU

Post edited by Justin Swain on
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