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MD: Early in season three, writer Tim Hedrick pitched the idea of our heroes encountering a caravan of traveling actors who put on a play about the Avatar and his adventures. At the time, we thought the idea sounded too goofy. Later, as we neared the end of the series, we wanted to do a lighter, more comedic episode before the epic, serious finale. So we revisited Tim’s idea as a way to do our own take on ’80s-sitcom “recap” episodes. Having Aang and the kids watch a play about their successes and shortcomings was a great device to reflect on where the journey began and how far they’d come. Plus, it gave us a chance to poke fun at ourselves before anyone else had the opportunity! We had an actress play Aang as a nod to the fact that adult women often voice the boy characters in animated shows. We made Toph a big, buff dude as a joke on our original intention to make Toph a male character. And the Aang actress in the “Koizilla” costume was our homage to the kaiju tradition of Japanese monster movies. 

The cast of the Ember Island Players’ The Boy in the Iceberg. Designs by Angela Mueller and Byan Konietzko. Color by Hye Jung Kim.

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