Last Tuesday I met Beth Nixon, puppeteer extraordinaire, to talk shop and casting. In September I saw Beth in the Pig Iron Theater production of Cankerblossom at the Philly Fringe Festival. The show was HUGE! It had bigger than life sets, video, animation, incredible costumes, live music, everything you could ever ask for. I told myself I would one day meet Beth and make her my friend.
Lucky for me, we have a mutual friend who was able to set that up. Beth is incredibly talented and busy as the creator of Ramshackle Enterprises. She is currently working on a number of projects ranging from more Pig Iron Theater productions to after school puppet theater at the Rotunda to Puppet Uprising shows. Oh and she’s the mom of a real live baby! I am so happy she was able to have me over for a couple hours. (Her house rules).
Our discussion made me think about a few things I first thought of last year while writing my puppet comprehensive exam pretentiously titled, Evoking Empathy:The Penchant for Imitation in Puppet Theater. Julie Taymor said this-
“The puppeteer is hidden. But let’s just get rid of the masking. Because when you get rid of the masking, even though the mechanics are apparent, the whole effect is more magical. And this is where theater has power of film and television this is absolutely where its magic works. It’s not because it’s an illusion and we don’t know how it’s done. It’s because we know exactly how it’s done.”
I have a lot of ideas about this. A lot. I wrote 24 terrible pages about it.
Beth gave me some things to consider and some great ideas and even a few names of some potential puppeteers who I will meet up with in the upcoming weeks. I love it and I can’t wait to talk with her again and collaborate on future projects.
Come to this next Tuesday!
WHEN: Tuesday December 21st at 7pm
WHERE: The Rotunda (4014 Walnut St.)
HOW MUCH: FREE!
WHAT: The Rotunda Youth Theater Arts Program (Y.T.A.P.) presents the
world premier of:
“Alien, Flower, Face and Beyond” AKA “An After School Theater Experiment”
In other news: I think I found Basil and Margaret almost finished with the first puppet while I watched Sweet Home Alabama on instant watch.