Steffan Soule co-created, co-produced and performed in the original production of “Still Life with Iris”. The play features the magic of Steffan Soule and author/illustrator Cooper Edens. Steffan worked on the creation of this play with Linda Hartzell and Seattle Children’s Theatre from 1993 through 1998. There were many phases of development from conception to fundraising to building the grand illusions to directing and performing the magic at every performance.Currently, Steffan performs for private parties and corporate events across the nation while lecturing for magicians and instructing theatres on the magic in “Still Life”. He and Cooper Edens continue to collaborate on new magical images that push the artistic envelope. Some of the original magic from the first production of “Still Life” was performed by Steffan in the longest running magic show on the West Coast, Mysterian® which featured the Hour Glass along with other Cooper Edens/Steffan Soule magic vignettes*.Here is some information about involving magic with the play, Still Life with Iris.

The “Still Life” project began in a meeting with Steffan Soule and Linda Hartzell. They looked at the magic of Steffan Soule and Cooper Edens from their book “Dreams, Magic and Miracles”, and decided that they needed a playwright for this incredible material. Eventually, they hired Steven Dietz specifically to integrate the large stage illusions from Steffan’s book. The play features three large “grand stage illusions”. Additional small magic effects were created by Steffan Soule to enhance the story and integrate the large magic.
The published version of the play places portions of the original play into an appendix because these effects are very expensive to produce. The play was rewritten to allow smaller productions to exist. The magic budget for the first production was over $70,000.

The first act of “Still Life with Iris” appears in a magical world created by Cooper Edens. Reading Cooper Edens’ book “Caretakers of Wonder” will shed light on how Edens, Soule, Hartzell and Dietz developed this play.

The Magic:
The smaller magic routines for the Flower Painter and Bolt Bender scenes were written in the original script. With a few minor changes to the published version, the scenes easily include the magic as originally scripted. Since any production using magic must first include the Flower Painter and Bolt Bender scenes, we begin with those:

Flower Painter:
He paints a flower onto a stem (causing it to magically appear as he pretends to paint), places the flower into his paint can (which has casually been shown empty), and changes it into a 25 flower bouquet. The sudden appearance of the large bouquet always gets a big response even from adults. The actions of the magic perfectly fit the timing of the script.

At the end of the show, the Flower Painter can produce a rose or make a rose light up and float around his arms as he gives it to Rose/Mom/Miss Overlook.

Bolt Bender:
With the aid of an amazing electronic devise and some pure magic, he causes various neon lightning bolts and sticks to light, produce fire and dance in the air. The actions are timed with the script.

The Script:
Download, read & print the actual script with the magic written into the action and the lines here. (That is for the Flower Painter and Bolt Bender scenes only. To read all of the scenes–involving quite a bit more magic–please contact us directly.)

The rental fee for the Flower Painter equipment is $900.00 which includes an instructional video and performance rights.

The rental fee for the Bolt Bender equipment is $1500.00 which includes an instructional video and performance rights.

Additional Costs:
Shipping: 40 to 60 pounds to/from Seattle. Estimate $250.

Flower Painter: You will need a cart for the flower effect. The Flower Painter’s cart must be open on the front, and it helps him enter and exit with the magic flower props. Estimate $250.

Bolt Bender: You will need neon sticks and “lightning bolts” from a local neon sign store. (Sometimes they will loan an odd item for the “cactus bit”.) These range from $35 to $150 per stick/bolt. You will need at least four: two sticks and two bolts if you attempt the entire routine including the floating/dancing bolt. You may also want some fire effects which cost from 1 to 5 dollars per show. And, then there is the cart and the quiver for the Bolt Bender. The cart holds the electrical devise and the quiver holds the neon. Estimate $850 for cart, quiver and neon.

The Bolt Bender routine should be supervised and if possible performed by an “expert” since it involves high voltage and glass and fire! We never had any problem, even when working with 12 year olds, but you must be warned. These effects are dangerous, and when used by inexperienced performers, the danger is serious.

Technically, fire effects must be approved by the Fire Marshal. This is usually not difficult. Once you know the effects you want to use, you can call the local Fire Marshal for information.

An additional $750.00 deposit is required and will be refunded once the effects are returned in good condition.

Summary of Costs:
The Flower Painter and Bolt Bender scenes cost $2400.00 plus shipping and your own production costs associated with the carts, neon and fire (if desired). The additional $750.00 deposit is fully refundable if the effects are returned in good condition.

Please visit to see pictures of these effects in the original production.

Still Life with Magic:
The appendix of the current/published version describes the original magic upon which the play was formed. It also refers to the magic that Steffan created for the second version of the play with Childsplay. After many refinements, the magic for the current/published version is fully scripted and available for any production. It has the Flower Painter and Bolt Bender scenes described above along with many additional scenes and the opening montage of magic. We call this “The Magic for Still Life”, and although it can not possibly include the large scale illusions that Steffan created with SCT for the original production, it does include excellent and achievable magic that is united with the story and the script.

In order to produce all of the magic that your team can accommodate, we offer two three day workshops. The first is with Steffan, the director and the actors at the start of rehearsals, and, the second involves refinements for three days during tech week before opening night.

Please call Steffan Soule to discuss rates and learn about theatre companies that have received NEA Grants that they used for this purpose.

Steffan Soule – A Touch of Magic
(206) 232-9129

*For more information about Mysterian:

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