|02/23/2010 "Wear A Hat"|
Interview with Ludi Hettick, the art director of Theater
Today with us Ludi Hettick, the art director of Theater WEAR a HAT, the director of performances and creator of various hats and costumes.
- I know that in order to celebrate International Women's Day you are preparing a show of your musical-flower hat's collection at the Russian Cultural Centre in Washington.
Yes, living in America we would like to keep our tradition of celebrating this holiday. Therefore in cooperation with The American Association of Russian Language, Culture and Education we are arranging a very interesting party that will take place on March 6th, 2010. On the agenda are prize drawings and many surprises. Model-actresses both young and old will participate in our performance. Besides, many well known women of the Russian community have kindly agreed to participate in the show. As a consequence, the collection has been replenished with new hats because of their specific features.
- Sounds very exciting.
Ludi Hettick wearing a costume "North Polar Lights"
- WEAR a HAT: Why does your theater have this name?
Because in our musical hats show the main operating character is the hat. And a hat is the most fashionable accessory of this season.
- Where was your show staged for the first time?
On October 23rd, 2009 at Rainbow Gardens Adult Day Care Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland where the head of the center is Natalia Golub. She and twenty of her lady wards dressed up in the beautiful dresses and, accompanied by gentlemen in tuxedos, participated in the show "Music, Flowers and Ladies' Hats". The show was a tremendous success.
The theater stand
- You are doing a very good thing involving older people. I think it is a big deal for them. How did it all begin?
I think that my creative collection really inspired all participants of the show to have their own artistry and creativity. Though, I will not conceal the fact that it was a little difficult in the beginning to convince them. Then believing in themselves and in the course of preparation they used all their power, working together with me, to create their own scenic images, supplementing costumes with every possible detail and finding the necessary beauty of each combination. The result was that each hat turned out very unique as did the show itself.
A group picture with participants of the show
- There are many different hats. Please tell me what makes your collection unique.
The images of hats are cast from songs and fairy-tales. Before each hat's introduction, verses specially written by one of participants of the show, Diana Leibo, are read. Each hat's presentation is accompanied by a suitable song or music that Victor Prudovsky helped me select. The host of the show was Nikolai Zapesochny who did a nice job as well.
- You are able to impress people with your hats. And what are your hat's names?
Rainbow, Dark Blue Fog, A Red Flower, Hidden Daisies, Yellow Tulips, The Sunflower, Orange Life, The Purple Fog, Madam Butterfly, The Indian Summer, Music and many others.
- Even the names tickle your imagination not to mention the visual effect they provide. Please tell me what makes your theater unique.
One of the unique features of our theater is the shows do not demand a certain place or even a certain actor. With my collection of hats people of any age can participate in the performance. For example, one of our shows took place on November 20th, 2009, at a party in the restaurant organized by Club АRBAT where members of this club acted as participants of the show. The audience loved our hats and was delighted by the performance. Please take a look on their website: http://clubarbat.com/index.php?lng=ru&cp=pm&rid=72&ppcn=72
- I can see your shows work in different venues and still bring pleasure to any audience.
Absolutely. We try to approach each show individually and play different scenarios each time. People wish to see something unusual and we are, in return, always ready to surprise and delight them. We perform not only for large crowds but also small groups with simplified scenarios. We have been invited often to private home parties. For example, we participated in wishing one lady happy birthday. Her kids and grand-kids gave her this unusual gift, the possibility to try our hats on and to be photographed wearing them.
The happy birthday woman in a hat "Rainbow"
- You are a prolific seamstress and extraordinary inventor. You knit, spin, embroider, sew, sing, and dance. Where did all this come from?
As I recall I participated in amateur performances and always tried to create something interesting. I learned needlework from my Mother. She was a very skilled seamstress. In Moscow prior to my arrival in the United States I participated in the New Year's performances preparations. And here I also began to arrange various parties for Halloween, Christmas and New Year, Maslenitsa creating original costumes for myself, my family members and friends.
We have a tradition of wishing children and adults Happy New Year by going to private parties. We have experience working for Russian-speaking and American audiences. I am lending costumes to and also participating in annual New Year's Performance "Present a Fairytale for Children" under the direction of Svetlana Sokolova. She is the head of the American Association of Russian Culture and Education. She is also the head of the Russian school, Scarlet Sails Creative Art Studio.
In Performance "Present a Fairytale for Children"
- You mentioned something about the American audiences. Could you please be more specific about your experience?
There are Americans at almost all of our shows but we have worked directly with American only audiences. The head of one organization, as a surprise invited us to their Holiday party to deliver bonuses to the employees. We acted in traditionally Russian costumes as the Grandfather Frost, the Snow Maiden and the Winter Fairy which I have created myself. The employees were delighted by our surprise appearance.
At the Christmas party
- I am happy to learn that you have already performed before many different audiences. In what other unusual projects have you displayed your talent?
At the KSPBoston meeting as part of the theater Capital Kapustnik's team, we participated in a competition called "Costume for Favorite Car". We used my idea about three clowns that was taken from Polunin's performance Licedei. We won a medal.
Cars - Licedei
I have also repeatedly participated in the performances of this theater for large audiences as well as in private parties for small groups. One of the most memorable parties was birthday celebration of the artist Alexey Zoob.
- How did you get the idea to create your own theater of hats?
The idea came to me while I was still in Russia but it only became possible to realize it here.
- Does Theater WEAR a HAT have plans to go on tour?
Though it is difficult to go on tour with the main troupe because of their age, we have already performed at Rainbow Baltimore Сounty where the Head is Sofia Shibanova. She invited us and personally participated in the show. We would like to go on a tour more often but as you know tours demand certain financial expenses.
- I know. And how are you doing in these difficult times?
At all times the people want to have not only bread but also shows, so crisis is not a hindrance to fun. More likely on the contrary, entertainment helps us to distract ourselves from our problems. I will tell you frankly our shows do not cover their operational expense but it does not prevent us acting sometimes as volunteers to bring pleasure to our audiences. We are always open to new invitations and offers and of course I have nothing to hide, we need sponsors.
- I think patrons of the art will find you soon because you create true beauty and kindness. What are your future plans?
As well as realizing all of the interesting ideas concerning musical-flower hat's collection show (one of which is musical hat's show on International Women's Day that will take place on March 6th, 2010 at RCC) I have prepared winter performances with unusual costumes and scenarios. Some of the costumes from this collection were seen on December 12th, 2009 at the Russian Winter Festival organized by Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens. They were also shown at a New Year's performance "Present a Fairytale for Children - Grandfather Frost and four balalaikas" that took place on January 9th, 2010 in Gaithersburg, Maryland and on January 23rd, 2010 at the Russian Cultural Center in Washington, DC: http://www.rccusa.org And also at the Russian Cultural Center we acted with our shows at the Old New Year party that took place on January 13th, 2010 and on February, 19th, 2010 concerning Maslenitsa (a Pancake week) organized by The Friendship Society of Washington, DC and The Eurasia Center.
Completely our winter collection of hats and costumes was shown in performance that took place on February 26th, 2010, again in Rainbow Gardens Adult Day Care Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland, with our main troupe of elderly ladies:
- Your creations truly are unimaginably exciting. I wish you great success in the future!
Interviewed by Luda Clark.
Translated to English by Evan Clark.
Constantly working with her various creative projects this surprising woman with inexhaustible many-sided talent does not share with us all of her secrets yet. Maybe because she does not know yet what she will come up with tomorrow. There is no doubt that future performances by this theater will find an audience. May be it will be you gentle reader.
Contact us with all your inquiries and orders by phones or e-mails:
+1 (202) 379-6327, Luda Clark. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
+1 (703) 677-5005, Ludi Hettick. Email: email@example.com