File puptcrit/puptcrit.0707, message 220


To: Angusson-AT-aol.com
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2007 17:18:09 GMT
Cc: puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org
Subject: [Puptcrit] Names help on Puptcrit postings


Hi Fred- and puptcritters

I finally got home from St Paul about 7 hrs ago. I think I was the last one to leave the Concordia University campus. Monday I packed up the small puppet exhibit at St Paul Central Public Library, and Paul Eide saved my neck by helping me get 4 boxes to United Parcel Monday evening. Without that help, I don't know what I could have done. In June, Tracy Yue and Heart of the Beast helped make the St Paul Library Exhibit happen., and Nancy Smith got the ball running in the first place.

The Library staff was thrilled to have the exhibit which was installed in June for advance local publicity for the Puppet Rampage Festival.

I was thrilled to include a puppet and a mask lent by IN THE HEART OF THE BEAST PUPPET AND MASK THEATER, a major puppetry force in Minneapolis, and I was glad to bring my 1929 Donald Cordry clown marionette (created in Minneapolis) for the Library exhibit. yesterday, I visited the Science Museum, just a short walk from the Library, and what did I discover? An exhibit about the history of the Science Museum included a small flyer for the 1982 "Puppets: Art & Entertainment" exhibit sponsored by Puppeteers of America (1980-83 which visited 11 cities) and showed the Cordry Clown. Another "full circle" was completed.

With the super-busy Festival schedule, I didn't see how Fest-goers would have time to visit the library, but I was surprised to hear from many, that they went before, during or after the Festival. The Library staff specifically mentioned how pleased so many out-of-towners came to the Library to see the exhibit. Local Cable TV repeated showings of a short interview I did in June, and some puppeteers staying at the Kelly Hotel reported seeing it.

 Also Harry Potter Night last Friday brought additional enthusiastic viewers to the Library.

In June, while I was installing two puppets , representing a young black girl  (lent by Heart of the Beast) and a black lady marionette by George Merton (Canada) a Black library patron commented loudly, "Good! At last something Black is in this library". That was immediate positive feedback for me.

Puppets DO represent a wide range of people and cultures, and to reflect that has always been part of my exhibit philosophy. Puppets can break down barriers. In today's world we need a lot more of that!

THANKS Fred Thompson,  for  your posting about anonymous postings.. You have attacked the downside of technology---the anonymity of it which really really really is not necessary. From the beginning, I have used my name Part of my interest in puppetry is the human connection. Some museums don't like the "personal element"---it is not "academic". Well, that is the downside of academism.

 I try to include the human aspects on exhibit I.D. captions from time to time, but after more than 50 yrs of doing puppet exhibits, I KNOW the PUBLIC DIGS IT.

Puppet Research does not have to be boring, when dealing with puppetry and puppeteers, AND IT SHOULD NOT BE BORING.

I thought the 2007 Festival was wonderful. I heard a complaint about some less than perfect shows, but I was tremendously impressed by the wide variey of productions offered at Puppet Rampage. Through the years I have sought out shows at home or on travels, and many of them were not "perfect" either, but it is how you find the "perfect" ones.

I want to know "what is out there" in puppetry, and Puppet Rampage 2007 showed me a lot. I know more than I did before the Fest, saw many performers new to me, and did it all in less than a full week!
And I got to reconnect with many old friends.

 I loved the miniature/toy theater offerings--wish I could have seen everything that night, but made it to four.

There was variety in those offering---some with projected images and engineered stages. Dan Hurlin's Blue Wedgewood stage was exquisite---the play written by a kid for a class project honored the memory of that child who died in young adulthood. What a beautiful tribute to "the child in all of us", and in one person (the play's author)in particular. 

I personally benefitted more than once from help from the University staff during and after the Festival, tracking down misplaced items, storing boxes, and staying over the extra night--even guaranteeing that I caught the airport shuttle! The food staff, Securiy personnel---well, They really outdid themselves in hospitality and helpfulness.

I loved that Ronnie Burktt's keynote speech touched on PofA as a dysfunctional family, but a FAMILY never-the-less. PofA is one of the strangest UMBRELLA organizations I know of, so where else can you bring together such a wide-ranging group of people. Perhaps puppetry IS one of the most effective ways to bring people together. A month earlier in St Paul, I met with some of the Twin Cities Guild members and expressed the same thought that PofA is a dysfunctional family. So are flesh-and-blood families dysfunctonal. Our job is to deal with it. 

When did you ever read a book, see a film or stage play about a functional family?

I was pleased to meet up with several puptcritters IN PERSON. To hell with anonimity!

The Festival Store was brimming with merchandise, and as usual was a major part of the event. Running that operation is one of the more consuming activties of PofA, So are Membership and Editing Puppetry Journal and Playboard and those who put on Festivals like this one. Thanks to all the volunteers too!

For a dysfunctional FAMILY REUNION, it was a miraculous event.

And yes, puptcritters SHOULD belong to PofA--The Puppetry Journal, AV Library, Puppetry Store and Festivals (or any one of the above) are enough reason.

ALAN COOK

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