File puptcrit/puptcrit.0603, message 294


To: <puptcrit-AT-lists.driftline.org>
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2006 07:02:27 -0500
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Wroclaw Puppet Theater


Robert,

What I am most interested in (as a solo performer) is learning how to 
present a story.
I know that might sound kind of strange, but since you have seen my work you 
know that I more or less like puppets and objects ( in relationship). 
Situational kinds of things. Humor and laughter ( you know I am kind of big 
on that). I have experimented with a bunch of different things, but taking 
say a folk tale that has some sort of meaning to me and then translating 
that effectively as a piece that an audience can relate to well I keep 
looking for that. I have in mind a kind of puppet that I want to build and 
perform with. I have in mind an object that I want to build a stage with. I 
get snippets of ideas of scenes ( mostly for beginnings). But I do get lost 
when it comes to middles - ends and a strong desire not to rest so heavily 
on language.
I even have a style in mind that I would like to kind of work with. It took 
me a long time to realize that my audience doesn't want to see me, they want 
to see "the puppets" It took me some failures to understand that there are 
some ideas that the audience can't relate to. They don't have the same 
experience. I'll give you an example of something that failed. I had one of 
those folding baskets with wheels (the kind that you might see people today 
using for groceries or laundry). I was trying to make it into a traveling 
pushcart concept. "Selling stuff" that was all over the cart. The cart could 
be and was transformed into a stage. When nothing was sold I said something 
like well then I will give you something that we all can have - a story. ( A 
line in one form or another that I got from Mark Levenson).
Well my audience couldn't relate to the pushcart concept. They saw me as 
more like a homeless person. Now of course as a persona I was working with 
the concept of the "Ragpicker" who really I always thought was the sublime 
magic man - fool. But the audience couldn't relate to that and so instead of 
getting caught up with the "magic" they were more or less alienated from the 
character. This was years ago but it is still something I want to 
accomplish.

So that is my interest how to take a folk tale (or more then one) and 
present it (them) in an effective way - "table top" is what I have been 
thinking (sort of) specifically for a solo performer (with no other support) 
for a wide range of venues but specifically for children and adults 
(family/school).

This brings in a lot of issues beside performance. Ease of transport / set 
up tear down. Communication. And of course the kind of puppet that I want to 
build and perform with.


Mark 


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