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Opera Action Figures Installation

February 15 @ 9:00 am - March 29 @ 5:00 pm

Amy and cast CU

Stop motion animations by Thetford based twins sisters Amy and Terry Lawrence on display alongside their sets and figurines.


We loved the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Akhnaten so much we decided to make an animated version. In the spirit of making it up as we went along, we sewed costumes, built a set, lit it and filmed it. Amy had made stop-action animation before but never with the small wooden dolls called artist’s mannequins. We had to learn how these faceless dolls could express emotion–through body language, the tilt of a head, how they walked, climbed stairs or juggled. There was lots of juggling.

The process was so engrossing we began looking for other music we loved so we could create a story to go with it (Gershwin Station), or a story we loved (The Magic Doll) that needed music to fit. (Sibelius, who knew?)  The Prisoner’s Song was a 1920s recording that told its own story. Thank You, Mr. Sondheim was a tribute featuring sets and characters from 18 shows in four minutes.

Animation allows Terry’s theatre background to blend with Amy’s film background. Terry can build models and sets while Amy experiments with pans, tilts and action-movie montages (Ninja Nannies—note the obscure but wonderful Bob Seger score). It’s always about music and story. The only question is whether we’re making music videos (Moon Buggy) or musicals?


Terry Lawrence has an MFA in Theatre/Set Design and experience in model-making, props and set painting. She has found that directing for the stage helps when it comes to moving little wooden people around.

Amy Lawrence is a former professor of Film and Television at Dartmouth College. She has made animated films in several old-school formats including fabric shot on film, needlepoint animated in Photoshop, and puppet films made with Dragon. She currently makes films with her sister in their mom’s basement.

twins MCU 1(1)


February 15 @ 9:00 am
March 29 @ 5:00 pm
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JAM – Junction Arts & Media
5 S Main St
White River Junction, VT 05001 United States
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