2003 Puzzle Jigs

A North Cambridge Family Opera Production


The Puzzle Jigs

 

by David Haines
Adapted by A. J. Liuba, David Bass and Cheryl Moreau
Directed by David Bass
Choreography by Deborah Mason

 

The North American premier of this original opera was performed April 4th, 5th, 6th, 11th, 12th and 13th, 2003 at the M. E. Fitzgerald School in North Cambridge, Massachusetts.

See the cast lists

Synopsis and Audio Recordings

 

Act I

One evening, a girl named Elvira is playing with her two best friends and her little sister Samphyre. They all begin to put together Elvira's new jigsaw puzzle, but it soon becomes clear that Samphyre is too young to contribute, and her mother gently suggests that she leave the older girls alone for a while. Samphyre, frustrated and left out, speculates that this kind of injustice would never occur in a jigsaw puzzle world. She falls asleep.
     - Listen to Prelude Act 1:
            Devorah Vester as Mother, Bronwyn Murray-Bozeman as Elvira, Ines Ivanovic as Samphyre
            Kathy Lindsay as Mother, Lonnie Bass as Elvira, Evie Dill as Samphyre


© 2003 Jon Chomitz www.chomitz.com

 

The puzzle jigs (the puzzle pieces who inhabit the magical Puzzle World) appear, also asleep. Then one jig, the "Missing Piece," arises and prepares to leave the Puzzle World. She is the only jig of her kind and feels like she doesn't fit in. She leaves for the Real World in hopes of finding other jigs like herself.
     - Listen to The Puzzle Jigs Enter
     - Listen to Strange Cold World:
            Vidia Israel as The Sun
            Kate Van Eck as The Sun


© 2003 Jon Chomitz www.chomitz.com

 

The other puzzle jigs then awaken and begin to assemble into a puzzle.
     - Listen to Dawn / Dance of the Puzzle Jigs


© 2003 Jon Chomitz www.chomitz.com

 

Samphyre awakens and find herself in the midst of all this activity in the Puzzle World. She watches in awe, and the jigs encourage her to take her place in the puzzle.
     - Listen to What Is This?
            Ines Ivanovic as Samphyre, with additional solos by Hill Hughes and Amanda Jack
            Evie Dill as Samphyre, with additional solos by Lorraine Bishop and Chris Reif


© 2003 Jon Chomitz www.chomitz.com

 

When Samphyre tells them she's not a puzzle piece, the jigs are confused and anxious. A bellicose people jig named the Secretary of Jigland Security and his two lackeys give a xenophobic voice to the other jigs' uncertainty by branding Samphyre a threat to the puzzle jigs' way of life. The jigs are worked into a frenzy, and a terrified Samphyre runs off and hides.
     - Listen to She Does Not Fit:
            Sam Bozeman as Secretary of Jigland Security, with Mark Gottlieb and Laura van Melle as Undersecretaries
            Jeffrey Moore as Secretary of Jigland Security, with Zachary Brandon and Phil Budne as Undersecretaries
     - Listen to You Do Not Belong:
            Ines Ivanovic as Samphyre, with Mark Gottlieb and Laura van Melle as Undersecretaries of Jigland Security
            Evie Dill as Samphyre, with Zachary Brandon and Phil Budne as Undersecretaries of Jigland Security


© 2003 Paul Raila

 

Piece Activist, a kindly sky jig, and her two attendants have second thoughts about how they have treated Samphyre.
     - Listen to Shameful:
            Holly Sargent as Piece Activist, with Tamara Ivanovic and Taylor Palmer as her Aides
            Jamie Redgrave as Piece Activist, with Nina Krane and Taylor Palmer as her Aides


© 2003 Paul Raila

 

The jigs again begin to assemble, but as the puzzle nears completion, they discover that one piece is missing. The Secretary of Jigland Security accuses Samphyre of causing this calamity by kidnapping the missing piece. The jigs descend into despair.
     - Listen to Dance of the Puzzle Jigs 2:
            Sam Bozeman as Secretary of Jigland Security, with Alexandra Barry as Bobbie Barker
            Sam Bozeman as Secretary of Jigland Security, with Nathan Pursley as Bob Barker
            Jeffrey Moore as Secretary of Jigland Security, with Emma Czerwinski as Bobbie Barker
     - Listen to We Cannot Complete:
            Sam Bozeman as Secretary of Jigland Security
            Jeffrey Moore as Secretary of Jigland Security
     - Listen to It's All Her Fault:
            Solos by Byron Cohen and Simon Cohen
            Solo by Rachel Cooper


© 2003 Paul Raila

 

Piece Activist suggests that Samphyre not only may be innocent, but might be able to help if she has seen the Missing Piece leave. Piece Activist recommends the jigs all search for Samphyre, but the Secretary of Jigland Security suspects Samphyre may be armed and dangerous, so only the best jigs should comprise the search party. He tells each group of jigs to present their qualifications, so he can select the best team.
     - Listen to Excuse Me:
            Holly Sargent as Piece Activist
            Jamie Redgrave as Piece Activist
     - Listen to Search Party Mission:
            Sam Bozeman as Secretary of Jigland Security, with Mark Gottlieb and Laura van Melle as Undersecretaries
            Jeffrey Moore as Secretary of Jigland Security, with Zachary Brandon and Phil Budne as Undersecretaries


© 2003 Paul Raila

 

Each group of jigs - Doggie Jigs, Tree Jigs, People Jigs, Earth Jigs, Sky Jigs, and Water Jigs - present their qualifications, but each is shouted down as unsuitable by the other groups.
     - Listen to Doggie Power / Unsuitable 1:
            Alexandra Barry as Bobbie Barker
            Nathan Pursley as Bob Barker
            Emma Czerwinski as Bobbie Barker


© 2003 Paul Raila

     - Listen to The Trees / Unsuitable 2:
            Solo by Ludmilla Ivanovic
            Solo by Tommy Moriarty 


© 2003 Jon Chomitz www.chomitz.com

 

     - Listen to A Theory / Unsuitable 3


© 2003 Jon Chomitz www.chomitz.com

 

     - Listen to We're the Ground / Unsuitable 4


© 2003 Paul Raila

 

     - Listen to Sky / Unsuitable 5:
            Solo by Anna Lee Hirschi
            Solo by Isabel Carey 


© 2003 Jon Chomitz www.chomitz.com

 

     - Listen to Water


© 2003 Paul Raila

 

The jigs then argue fiercely with each other. A few of the jigs begin to realize that a change has overcome them, that they are now bickering and fighting instead of cooperating. Soon all the jigs are aware that the fabric of their compulsively cooperative society has been ripped asunder. They collapse in despair.
     - Listen to Act 1 Finale:
            Solos by Sophia Gottlieb, Mia Rybeck, Brittany Banks, Ben Chomitz, Brandon Prentiss and Leeza Yourman
            Solos by Sarah Palmer, Cindy Woolworth, Nina Krane, Martha Wechsler, Adina Hemley-Bronstein and Molly Katz-Christy


© 2003 Jon Chomitz www.chomitz.com


 

Act II

In the Real World, Elvira and her friends near completion of the puzzle, while Samphyre continues to nap. Elvira's friends dance joyfully as Elvira fits in the last few pieces. Suddenly, Elvira discovers that there is a piece missing from her puzzle and throws a temper tantrum. Her mother tries to calm Elvira down, but to no avail.
     - Listen to Prelude Act 2:
            Bronwyn Murray-Bozeman as Elvira
            Lonnie Bass as Elvira
     - Listen to Tantrum:
            Bronwyn Murray-Bozeman as Elvira, Devora Vester as Mother
            Lonnie Bass as Elvira, Kathy Lindsay as Mother


© 2003 Paul Raila

 

Back in the Puzzle World, Piece Activist, echoed by her assistants, presents the bright side of the puzzle jigs' present predicament. If they can't find the Missing Piece, she reasons, they no longer have a purpose in the Puzzle World, so they should all go to the Real World to search for Samphyre and the Missing Piece. If they fail in their search, they can stay and find their place in the Real World. With renewed optimism, the puzzle jigs all leave for the Real World.
     - Listen to Interlude
     - Listen to The Real World:
            Holly Sargent as Piece Activist, with Tamara Ivanovic and Taylor Palmer as her Aides
            Jamie Redgrave as Piece Activist, with Nina Krane and Taylor Palmer as her Aides


© 2003 Paul Raila

 

Samphyre, who has observed all of this from her hiding place, is sad that she feels as left out in the Puzzle World as she did in the Real World, and she predicts the puzzle jigs won't fit in any better in the Real World. The Missing Piece, who has just returned and overheard, tells Samphyre that she has learned from her journey to the Real World that there really is a place for everyone. Samphyre and the Missing Piece hear the puzzle jigs returning and hide.
     - Listen to Strange Cold World 2:
            Ines Ivanovic as Samphyre
            Evie Dill as Samphyre
     - Listen to The Missing Piece Returns:
            Vidia Israel as The Sun
            Kate Van Eck as The Sun


© 2003 Paul Raila

 

Alas, none of the puzzle jigs has found acceptance in the Real World. Samphyre and the Missing Piece are both hesitant to come out of hiding, fearing that the puzzle jigs will be angry with them. Finally, Samphyre works up the courage and emerges. The puzzle jigs, sadder but wiser from their Real World experience, apologize for having treated Samphyre poorly.
     - Listen to No Room for Cardboard Cutouts:
            Ines Ivanovic as Samphyre, Vidia Israel as The Sun, with additional solos by Amelia Brady-Cole, Sonya Ivanovic, Adrianna Hughes, Esther Brown, Kati Farkas and Caleb Murray-Bozeman
            Evie Dill as Samphyre, Kate Van Eck as The Sun, with additional solos by Cythia Cepeda, Charlotte Ames, Adina Hemley-Bronstein, Miriam Beit-Aharon, Kelsey Jack and Cassie McIsaac 
     - Listen to We're Sorry


© 2003 Paul Raila

 

Samphyre calls out the Missing Piece, who tells the jigs that the world is a giant jigsaw puzzle. There is a place for everyone, but it's not always clear where everyone goes, and some must wait on the outside until they find their place. The Missing Piece reveals herself to be the sun, a one-of-a-kind piece, and the jigs joyfully begin to assemble their puzzle. Meanwhile, in the Real World, Samphyre is awakened by her mother, and discovers that she has fallen asleep clutching a puzzle piece. They go to Elvira's puzzle, and Samphyre fits the final piece in place. At the same time, the puzzle is also completed in the Puzzle World, as the sun, the final piece, finds its place.
     - Listen to The Sun / Dance of the Puzzle Jigs 3 / Finale:
            Vidia Israel as The Sun
            Kate Van Eck as The Sun


© 2003 Jon Chomitz www.chomitz.com


© 2003 Jon Chomitz www.chomitz.com


About the Composer

Composer David Haines lives in Devon, England, and has composed 13 stage works for a variety of professional, amateur and youth companies. His songs and song cycles have been broadcast on BBC Radio, and he has composed incidental music for Shakespeare and Dickens productions. His music has been performed in the Wigmore Hall, and the Purcell Room in London, and the Carnegie Recital Hall, in New York.

David received his degree in Music from Bristol University followed by two years studying composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Buxton Orr. David completed his training with two years on the Music Theater program at the Banff School of Fine Arts in Canada.

See photos from the past (UK) productions of The Puzzle Jigs