Kelley Brownlow, coronation co-chairman, said Indochine is loosely based on Venetian explorer Marco Polo's journey through Asia. A vivid story will feature distinct costumes, characters and set design, tapping into the many cultures of Asia.
“It takes us all through Asia Minor then the Indian subcontinent, to Southeast Asia over to Japan and then to China,” Mrs. Brownlow said. “We feel like we have hit either themes or iconography or histories and people from each of those regions to give a full picture of Asia and the Orient. We thought that Indochine was going to be dynamic and fun interesting concept to take on.”
Over the last 18 months, coronation committee members have spent countless hours planning the event for the annual festival.
It takes about 175 volunteers to pull off the coronation which was held on Friday..
The festival, specifically, the coronation, is comprised of many interlocking parts, coronation committee members explained. Duties have been delegated to volunteers, matching their talents with each task. They say it's been a large collaborative effort.
Mrs. Brownlow and Ginger Young, coronation co-chairman, both praised coronation coordinator Molly Johnson and her husband, Mark, who contributed to the production in numerous ways this year.
All three women say as transplants to Tyler, they quickly caught on to the happenings around the Rose Festival. They've each participated in the festival in some capacity since becoming a Tylerite.
“I moved to Tyler during the week of Rose Festival in the year 2000 and I've participated every year since then in various roles, mostly with the coronation,” Mrs. Young said. “It's about people that come in and our arms are open to include people that want to give back to the city,” Mrs. Young said. “It's not just strictly people that were born and raised here.
Mrs. Johnson, an associate professor of voice and director of opera and musical theatre at the University of Texas at Tyler, witnessed the coronation from afar at first.
“When I moved here in 2001, that's one of the first things that I heard about,” she said. “Since I'm at UT Tyler, I've actually seen it more coming into Cowan (Center performance hall) and walking past it for years. I saw it from a back stage side and now it's great to be in the midst of it and to be an active participant.”
Mrs. Brownlow moved to Tyler in 2000 and has participated in all but one festival, with various responsibilities. She is currently the executive assistant to Randy Grooms, executive vice president of the coronation.