File puptcrit/puptcrit.0811, message 122

To: <>
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2008 23:33:51 -0500
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Wow.

Hello critters;
    First off I just wanted to thank everyone for letting me vent about the 
horrible day I had Last Friday. All your storys made me feel better and part 
of a community, so again thanks.
    As for the Bread & puppet controversy I say WOW!!!!! I can't believe 
what happened and I love all the debate going on, this is when Puppetcrit is 
at its best.
    As for may 2 cents, since I started this all off, I will have to agree 
with Christpher's last e-mail. Also I wonder how was this show advertised? 
When we do a public show the sponser usually asks for photos and if the 
title isn't well known a sinopsis of the story. Were people told they were 
seeing a political show or was it just advertised as "a puppet show"? I 
always considered B& P as theater or pagent than a puppet show and that's a 
distinction they should be proud of.
    I think we have to remember, though we think of our proffesion as an 
"Adult performances" most people see them as kid shows. I never have found 
this demeaning or patronizing it is just a fact.
    If you use puppets in a show thats is for adults you should advertise it 
that way.  Puppets in our culture equals Kids, it's just a fact.
    Again everyone thanks for the war stories, keep 'em flying and talk to 
you all soon.

The Puppet people
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Christopher Hudert" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, November 10, 2008 11:06 PM
Subject: [Puptcrit] Turn, turn, turn - to every reason...

> It is important to remember that there are several sides, and even a
> middle to every situation, and several perspectives from which to view
> each side. And times when we want to see other sides, and times when we
> want to escape from seeing all sides including more of our own. (to
> every thing...turn, turn, turn...)
> Remember too, what some will call a "force" others may call a "farse,"
> depending on their viewpoint.
> Rating one's work for appropriateness (whether the rating comes from
> the artist, sponsor, or audience) can vary greatly by what one may
> believe is appropriate. You may think something is appropriate for a 6
> year old that I do not, and vice versa, depending on the particular
> item and/or subject. A "warning" at least alerts the viewer that there
> is something there that may not be accepted as the norm of appropriate.
> Sort of a "buyer beware." However, when one has an agenda of one sort
> or another, it is often easy to lose sight of what the norm is - and/or
> not care.
> All of that being said, there is also an appropriateness of content and
> context. To suddenly place you political view within an otherwise
> non-partisan show is, IMO, objectionable. There are times when we
> expect entertainment to be escapist. Not to take sides, but it seems
> THAT fact is being overlooked, if not ignored, in the current chat.
> Certainly a military family does not need the reminder that their loved
> one is currently in a position of possibly killing or being killed when
> they are attending what they expect to be light entertainment. Perhaps
> wrongly so in this case, I can't say as I don't know all of the facets
> of the situation. To think that an audience is choosing to stay
> ignorant of the number of deaths in Iraq because they objected to
> having it thrown in their face at an unexpected and possibly
> inappropriate time I find a bit callous and small mindedly self
> righteous, not to mention closed minded in its own way. As Pogo said,
> "I have seen the enemy, and he is us." The pot doth call the kettle
> black.
> But to put the full burden on any one part of the equation (audience,
> performer, presenter) is also erroneous. Presenter and performer need
> to work together to select a show appropriate for the occasion and
> audience, and adequately inform the audience of what is to be
> presented. The audience member needs to select beyond the word "puppet"
> for what suits its current appetite, and see if the fare is fit for all
> of the members of its part of the audience. I would hope one would not
> take their young child to see Calligula because that child loved things
> to do with the Roman Empire. Yet, I would also expect the audience to
> be rightfully upset if they got tickets to a Cinderella show and were
> shown Calligula in its place, even if the "artist" somehow incorporated
> Cinderella running through an orgy in the show.
> I strongly disagree with the concept that I, as an artist, should size
> up my audience and radically alter or adjust my show accordingly on a
> case by case basis. I will tweak the show, emphasizing or
> de-emphasizing something, but to do major rewrites on the fly and be
> expected to also fill the alloted time is bizarre. If I have grave last
> minute concerns about the appropriateness of something in a show, I may
> check with the sponsor before I begin - if possible. But that's not
> always possible. And unless I am aware of the area, I may completely
> misjudge the audience. I would trust the sponsor to know their audience
> better than I, as they see them all of the time and I only for that
> booking. If I agree to deliver carrots, I deliver carrots. I may check
> with a sponsor if I think it looks like an audience that would prefer
> its carrots boiled until soft, rather than the raw ones I am prepared
> to deliver, but it's not really my call. That part should have been
> taken care of when I was booking the show, not when the curtain opens.
> Furthermore, my personal approach is more to raise the questions and
> set the audience on a quest for their own answer rather than to present
> an answer, or worse yet THE answer. I may offer an opinion in passing,
> but I try to avoid the "tape the answer to a baseball bat and beat the
> audience with it" approach, no matter how gently the beating may be.
> Oh, I need to stop. I usually avoid online political debates, and I've
> gone on way too long already, even if it does have to do with puppetry.
> Christopher
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