Hal and I conceived this production of "Butterfly" as an un-slavish salute to the Japaneese custom of Kabuki Theater, using the Kabuki conventions as a springboard to an otherwise very western production. Our collaboration was so close that we each often thought the other had come up with the concepts that made the production tick. We especially wanted to see the leading characters through Oriental eyes. Therfore, almost all of the designs, Scenery and Costume, are based on Japaneese "Ukio-Oi" woodcuts depicting the Western Worlds' "opening" of Japan. Many of those Japaneese woodcuts also became the basis for the full stage projected backdrops I designed and likewise for Ken Billington's elaborate lighting patterns.
The production takes place on a huge football-shaped turntable (actually sectional castered platforms that can strike and set in minutes). In this manner, we can see all of Butterfly's world rather than being trapped in the confines of that tiny Japaneese house. Black gowned Kabuki "prop men" appear to revolve the turntable from position to position, though it is actually propelled by a hidden rubber-tire drive inside the house.
This production of "Madama Butterfly" has also been seen on PBS television, and has been presented at the Houston Grand Opera and the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires as well.