Listed among theatrical essentials in Aristotle's Poetics is spectacle.
Of all the elements that make drama special, I think spectacle is the most important because it can make us feel like children again. That's something we forget as we grow up. We're told to put away childish things. To look with disdain and impatience at not just our old toys, but at the sense of wonder we once felt about the world.
Years ago, I got to be part of a Bread and Puppet theatrical performance. It was a wonderful experience. I was a blackbird and a soldier and bunch of other things. We had giant puppets and people on stilts and a live band. The audience -- children and adults -- was captivated. And so was I, making that magic happen.
I want to share with you pictures and video footage I found from the Royal de luxe puppet show last spring in London.
This was part of a celebration of author Jules Verne. The scenario: a wooden spaceship crash lands, and out pops a giant girl. Down the boulevard strolls a giant elephant, with people dancing and dining atop its back. They meet and go exploring.
Here's a photo of the elephant washing the girl's feet:
Look closely at the people. See how small they are! Ain't this wonderful?