#inspiringfellows: December/ January


Yes, it has been quite a while since we’ve done one of these, we know. But the good news is we have been busy in our own creative den huddled away making puppets and plays for some time.

Look how far this guy has come! ...More updates on Coyote 2.0 soon!
Look how far this guy has come!
...More updates on Coyote 2.0 soon!
…More updates on Coyote 2.0 soon!

Now that our Fall Workshop of Riley Ann Visits The Outcast Café has come to a temporary close, we’ve had some time to get out there and get inspired again… Check out our December/ January #inspiringfellows: Imaginary Beasts!


Gail worked with core Imaginary Beasts company member Kiki Samko in The Winter’s Tale in August. Kiki described incredible ensemble, view-point-eque workshops with like-minded theatre makers as well as shared gorgeous picture of these masks with Gail…

Imaginary Beasts presents me.nag.er.ie
Imaginary Beasts presents me.nag.er.ie


And since then, she has been waiting for an opportunity to see what Imaginary Beasts is all about!

Imaginary Beasts is a Boston-based self-proclaimed “incubator for adventurous theatre making.” A delightful ensemble of brilliant physical actors come together to bring the Boston theatre scene a mix of traditional and non-traditional theatrical experiences.

A month or so ago, Gail had the pleasure of attending their most recent workshop of me.nag.er.ie — a year-long development of a movement-theatre collection inspired primarily by Jorge Luis Borges’ The Book of Imaginary Beings

A wonderful and inspiring source text.
A wonderful and inspiring source text.


It was a stunning exploration of humanity, mythology, and the connections we strive to build through images, music, bodies, and movement to create story. men.ag.er.ie was shared in their resident space, The Charlestown Working Theatre, and will be performed for the public at the Boston Center for the Arts this April (1-23). We can’t wait to see where they take it!11866314_10153437878077488_4640336239080971665_n


In the meantime we’ll be at their annual Winter Panto (this year it’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) soaking up some traditional delight in a style akin to everything we adore. It doesn’t get much better than raucous song and some guaranteed audience participation!

Poster for this year's Panto
Poster for this year’s Panto


Humpty Dumpty – Panto style!
Using puppets in Kerplop!

You can get tickets to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz here: http://www.bostontheatrescene.com/season/iWinter-Panto-2016-The-Wonderful-Wizard-of-Ozi/

You can find out more about Imaginary Beasts here: http://www.imaginarybeasts.org/imaginary_beasts/About_Us_.html

Join us in following them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook  (all hyperlinked… click away)!






#inspiringfellow: August

Our August #inspiringfellow article is a guest post by Artistic Director Robert Biggs:
Hello, Biggs here. Gail Shalan has been chief cook and bottle-washer for outcastcafe.com since Mighty Acorn put us on the digital map last October. She has blogged, posted, linked and promoted  faithfully, trusting that you are out there and paying attention. Thanks for hanging out with us. Hope you are enjoying our story. Today I lift up Gail as Outcast Café’s Inspiring Fellow. Tenacious, smart,  clever and kind, she inspires me as an actor, puppeteer, puppet maker and friend. Thanks, Gail. And congratulations on your role in THE WINTER’S TALE.
Maiden Phoenix Presents THE WINTER'S TALE
This month Gail has been playing Paulina/ Mopsa in Maiden Phoenix Theatre Company’s all-female production of The Winter’s Tale. This opportunity for Gail is close to our hearts because of our shared passion of the plays of William Shakespeare. Gail grew up watching Biggs breathe life into many of Shakespeare’s best characters, most distinctly his wonderful Fools. Biggs first directed Gail in an 8th grade production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, then a year later in Twelfth Night. Throughout their time collaborating on Biggs’ own works, the delight and power of Shakespeare’s story telling arose again and again.Gail was able to work some of the skills  she’s honed with Outcast Café into The Winter’s Tale, helping to devise and tune-up a puppetry approach to the infamous stage direction: exit pursued by a bear. This dynamic puppetry moment moved a patron to say “the way that famous stage direction… was staged in this production was amazing,and sure to be a “theater moment” that will linger in my mind for a long time to come” (Daniel Boudreau, MPTC Event Page).
"Go together, you precious winners all; Your exultation partake to every one." Gail as Paulina (far right) with Perdita (Lelani Ricardo, center right), Hermione ( Cassandra Meyer, center left) and Leontes (Juliet Bowler, far left)
“Go together, you precious winners all; Your exultation partake to every one.” Gail as Paulina (far right) with Perdita (Lelani Ricardo, center right), Hermione ( Cassandra Meyer, center left) and Leontes (Juliet Bowler, far left)
We celebrate Gail’s hard work with the  Maiden Phoenix Theatre Company, whose mission is to employ 51% females in all areas of production, actively working to change the gender disparity in our theatre scene. Having spent the better part of her life training and studying Shakespeare’s work, playing one of the most powerful and tenacious roles in Shakespeare marks a well-deserved right of passage.


"What's gone and what's past help should be past grief..." Gail as Paulina (left) with Leontes (Juliet Bowler).
“What’s gone and what’s past help should be past grief…” Gail as Paulina (left) in rehearsal with Leontes (Juliet Bowler). (photo cred: Cassandra Meyer)
“Whose honorable thoughts, thoughts high for one so tender, cleft the heart that could conceive a gross and foolish sire blemished his gracious dam!” Gail as Paulina ( right) tells off Leontes( Julirt Bowler, center) as court watches on ( pictured: Sarah Mass, left). (Photo cred: Jeff Butcher)
“I beseech you, do not receive affliction at my petition; rather let me be punished, who have minded you of what you should forget.” In both images Juliet Bowler as Leontes ( left) begins a reconciliation with Gail as Paulina ( right) (photo cred: Jeff Butcher)


She also doubles as the hilarious lady-clown, Mopsa, bringing the house to much needed laughter and delight, playing with her talented scene partners Allison Paige Gilman (Dorcas), Cassandra Meyer (Clown), and Sarah Mass (Autolycus) .


Bohemia in it’s full glory with most of the MPTC Winter’s Tale cast! (Photo cred: Ona Johnston)
In rehearsal in Bohemia Gail (right) plays Mopsa with Clown (Cassandra Meyer, center) and Dorcas (Allison Paige Gilman, left).
In rehearsal in Bohemia Gail (right) plays Mopsa with Clown (Cassandra Meyer, center) and Dorcas (Allison Paige Gilman, left). (Photo Cred: Alyce Householter)
"I love a ballad in a print o' life, for then we are sure they are true!" Gail as Mopsa (center-right) with Clown (Cassandra Meyer, far right), Autolycus (Sarah Mass, center-left), and Dorcas (Allison Paige Gilman, far left)
“I love a ballad in a print o’ life, for then we are sure they are true!” Gail as Mopsa (center-right) with Clown (Cassandra Meyer, far right), Autolycus (Sarah Mass, center-left), and Dorcas (Allison Paige Gilman, far left) (Photo cred: Alyce Householter)
For one more weekend you can catch her performance for FREE at the Nathan Tufts Park right off of Powderhouse Circle in Somerville, MA.
 For more information about the show (and weather updates) check the Facebook invite, Maiden Phoenix’s page, twitter, and website.
For more about Gail browse our website, or check out hers. Also, follow her on twitter and instagram.

#FeaturedFriend : Kelsey Jayne Hogan

Howdy Fellow Outcasts,

As we move forward in our work this year and begin to stage the second play in our trilogy, Riley Ann Visits The Outcast Café, we wanted to give you readers a chance to check in with some of the amazing folks we had the privilege of working with on the several iterations of our first piece, The Dick and The Rose. 

To kick us off, here’s a few words from the radiant Kelsey Jayne Hogan:

Kelsey shares a laugh with Company members Dave Demke and Caley Milliken at the Gryphon Venues’ Opening Night party in Edinburgh 2011.


OC: Can you tell us a little about your initial collaboration with Outcast Café?
KJH: I remember getting an email from Biggs early into the new year.  I had loved working with Biggs in my freshman year improv class. He introduced me to so many new forms of theatre and I had never felt more expressive.  This opened my world. I had always been a bit reserved in auditions and life in general, Biggs was the opposite. Larger than life with an ability to express the deepest emotions. I admired him as an artist, professor, and person. When I learned he wanted to work with ME, I was shocked and looked forward to getting to work.
OC: Sounds exciting! What was it like, bringing to life the work of your mentor? How was the rehearsal process? And what was the Edinburgh Fringe like? 
It was hot, but magical in the Berkshires. That first summer with Gail, Emma, and Dylan as my fellow Ministering Angels was incredible. Being under a sticky sweaty parachute with puppets really does create a bond that can’t be broken easily (really the entire cast spent a lot of time under there and we loved each other in spite of our smells). There were days that felt like we were swimming through the air and I was excited to get to Edinburgh with its cooler forecast.
Layover in Heathrow with the gang (R to L: Kelsey Hogan, Dylan Wittrock, Emma Sims-Biggs and Ian Milliken)
Layover in Heathrow with the gang (R to L: Kelsey Hogan, Dylan Wittrock, Emma Sims-Biggs and Ian Milliken)

Traveling there was another adventure all together…I suppose this show was really entirely one huge adventure with millions of others taking place inside of it. A night spent in London’s Heathrow, an amazing flat, the pubic triangle, flirting with the coffee shop boy down the street, making friends with our venue managers, telling dead baby jokes to passersby, handing out hundreds of flyers, scotch lessons from my dad, ACDC karaoke, and performing a wildly fun, dark, and entertaining show…Edinburgh Fringe was a delight and ended way too soon.

Kelsey and her puppet baby “Bob” work the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

OC: Indeed, it was. But we were lucky enough to have you with us again in 2012.

KJH: Yes, the following year I received another email from Biggs, we were going to New York. I was thrilled. The play had evolved and so had the cast and crew. I was reunited with my puppet (Bob) and introduced to our new ministering angels. It was a great evolution. We clicked again (I am convinced that parachute makes you friends for life). Bob (my puppet) often had a lot to say. One of my distinct memories was Biggs pulling me aside to tell me “You don’t even realize you are talking when you have your puppet with you, but you need to tell him to pull back a bit”. It was a realization that masks and puppets have a life of their own, it was what truly made me appreciate the art form. Bob did need to pull back and he did.

  We had a great time experiencing the  NY Artist lifestyle. We had a small apartment and I chose the smallest room (I could touch both walls at the same time). That summer the show really hit a stride, and we got to see other fantastic shows.Performing in the Cherry Lane Theater was an experience I will never forget.

Kelsey rocks the spoons again in our new four-man band (Ian Milliken, Evan Gambardella, Robert Biggs) for NYFringe 2012!
OC: Neither will we! You were such an important part of the experience both times around. It was a pleasure to work with you and we miss your enthusiastic and collaborative presence in the rehearsal room. You’ve had a big journey since we parted ways 3 years ago (!!). Could you tell us a little about what you’ve been up to?
KJH: Of course. A lot of time has passed since then. I truly miss it everyday. It was a time in my life that I was incredibly passionate and excited to get up every morning  to create something and be around and connect to other artists. Though I still perform here and there and write when I take the time for myself, I have now moved back to the west coast.
 After graduating from Emerson I moved to Washington D.C. and took a year long internship in devlopment and administration with Woolly Mammoth. It was great experience and I found a way to soothe my creative mind in an office by taking on event planning. After a year there I moved back west and took a job with Berkeley Rep handling donor relations and assiting with events.
I just had a one year anniversary with this job, something I have never had! It is exciting and terrifying. I enjoy what I do, love the company and my co-workers, though it can feel a little monotonous not working under a hole-filled parachute with a 7ft penis puppet…I’m moving up in the company and starting in September will be the special events manager which I am very proud of and grateful for. I tend not to plan my life ahead of time; that must be the artist, nomadic soul in me.
A Fantastic Puppetry Discovery (Kelsey Hogan)
Kelsey’s first encounter with the Puppet Babies (South Lee, MA 2011)
OC: We, too, know that traveling spirit very well;) Congratulations on all your hard work and many accomplishments over the past few years! We are so proud of you. Anything else you’d like to treat our readers to? Big life lessons? One more laugh? 
I do hope I can see Bob again…when you connect with a puppet it never really leaves you (and my non-puppeteer friends don’t get it). Having Biggs in my life, being a part of “The Dick and the Rose”, connecting with Tori, Caley, Dave, Ian, Ron, Dylan, Emma, Gail, Jenny, Jake, Evan, Barbara, Deborah (I know the list goes on, but for the sake of this sentence I’ll end it here) also will never really leave me. They pushed me to be better every day and make me who I am now. I don’t stay in a shell and won’t be reserved; my self-confidence has soared and I will be forever grateful for them.
The main lesson I learned is to take life by the 7ft. dick, if you will, and live your adventure.
Kelsey in action in The Dick and The Rose (with Gail Shalan).



Have you heard? We’re living in the Puppet Renaissance:



While Biggs stumbled across puppetry as a device to solve a theatrical story-telling problem (drowning children onstage), object manipulation and animation has become a cornerstone of our work at Outcast Café. Our mission statement now includes: “Using tools that leave room for the imagination. Song, dance, puppets, masks, objects found and handmade, all serving the story. We are bare bones, traveling lightly, making more of less.” Therefore, upon receiving the May/June print edition of American Theatre Magazine we were delighted to come  across this article counting our puppets in good company.

Opening with commentary about our favorite cardboard man on a table (Moses from Blind Summit’s The Tablewhom we delightfully encountered at EdFringe 2011 and continuing to sight the relevance of puppetry as a dynamic storytelling tool, Scott T. Cummings articulates our shared sentiment; “If we will only listen, the reasoning goes, puppets have things to tell us about what it means to be a person and what it means to be an object”.

We learned a lot about our own local centers of puppetry as well as the international ones we may have been aware of before. But mostly, we were happy to know that we are by no means alone in our reanimation of ” what cultural anthropologist and folklorist Frank Proschan dubbed “performing objects”—puppets, masks, ritual and fetish objects, and other material things endowed with agency through display, manipulation, storytelling, or performance”.

Read the whole article here.

Coyote's big moment!
Filming “Coyote Girl” January 2015

Just in Case…

Hey everyone! We’ve been blowing up our blog, Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter accounts with a lot of wonderful and nostalgic images of the 2011 and 2012 The Dick and The Rose tours. Just in case you were curious about who’s in the pics, who made the puppets, set, choreography, etc…. We do have a page on dickandrose.com that features most of our previous collaborators. Check it out: 

Here’s to you Dicks and Roses! We love you!

#inspiringfellows: April

This month we are very excited to feature some local #inspiringfellows coming out of Boston University’s BFA Theatre Arts program this Spring. Scaramouche Jones—performed by Kelsie Hogue, directed by Amelia Cain and adapted as a team for their cumulative theses—played last weekend at Boston University’s “Jewels 1” Miller Studio Theatre 352 at the College of Fine Arts on 855 Commonwealth Ave. 

Scaramouche Jones originally came to be as a one-man show devised by British actor, writer, and dramaturg: Justin Butcher. He created this whimsical, biographical clown’s tale for the Old Vic Theatre and, with the aid of the late great Pete Postlethwaite, brought it to many astounded audiences, including our friends in Edinburgh about ten years ago (Source: Amelia Cain).

Evoking the beloved “Raucous. Bawdy. Lyrical. True.” tagline assigned to The Dick and The Rose, our #inspiringfellows took Butcher’s piece as inspiration and adapted it into a dynamic, heart-wrenching, evocative piece of one-hour entertainment true to everything that we at the Outcast Café love about theatre. Every element of the production offered a detailed and elegant articulation of a world that only served the story of the self-ordained “Pierrot” known to us as Scaramouche Jones.

Hogue— masked as a Big Tent Pierrot—plays one of her original compositions.
Hogue— masked as a Big Tent Pierrot—plays one of her original compositions.

The tale spans the entire 20th century from Scaramouche’s birth in 1899 to the day of his death upon which we meet. From the delightful pre-show of two Commedia-style lovers (decked out in ambiguous, artfully stained, early-20th century garb) chasing each other about the lobby (complete with big tent Admit One tickets and an active popcorn machine, inspiring a complete sensory experience) to the marvelously draped cloth and soft hanging circus bulbs, suggesting a tent above a hodge-podge of wooden chairs and antique trunks, we are doused immediately in a Sepia-toned atmosphere of the past.

Scaramouche Jones in his whimsical surroundings.
Scaramouche Jones in his whimsical surroundings.

The well-articulated aesthetic held true throughout the piece, but never in a distracting way, only in pure service of the play. All of the carefully placed, and incredible creative,  decisions—presumably lead by Ms. Cain—did nothing but tell the most honest of stories. Cain ‘s brilliant team must also be commended. Not a single talent goes to waste. Precise lighting (senior lighting student Andy Auyong), aforementioned gorgeous and illustrative costumes (senior costume student Emma Connelly), an inspiring set (sophomore design student Fiona Kearns) and the incredible ensemble support of two eager freshman (Kyra Tantao and Jake Cohen) breathe the utmost life into their required Stage Craft assignment: the dynamo driving Scaramouche Jones plays on the strongest of foundations.

A brief example of the stunning lighting designed by Mr. Auyong
A brief example of the stunning lighting designed by Mr. Auyong

This brilliant and most brave of Fools is the unparalleled Kelsie Hogue. Not only did Hogue compose and write over seven original songs for the piece, and performs them live on multiple instruments (you know how we feel about that kind of a thing), but she deftly, and fearlessly, takes on the role of Scaramouche himself. Delighting us, engaging us, amusing us, breaking our hearts sometimes, Hogue had no reservations about owning the most powerful element of live theatre: the relationship to the audience. She told the story with clarity, wisdom, and open ears to a very receptive opening-night house. Hogue plays with just the slightest air of self-awareness that doesn’t detract but rather wisely acknowledges the house she plays for (a raucous body of fellow students, for the most part), as well as her own age and gender twist on the piece almost in an act of full disclosure so that we may immerse ourselves in the story free from irrelevant distractions.

Hogue utilizing mime and a simplistic set to command her audience.
Hogue utilizing mime and a simplistic set to command her audience.
Hogue plays an original song on a toy piano.
Hogue plays an original song on a toy piano.

Each note of her performance leads us through a maze of honest emotion.  We uproariously laugh at her masquerade as a lascivious Italian prince serenading us with an operatic aria whilst pretending to rub his one-eyed snake into the first row of the audience. She recounts Scaramouche’s haunting days as a gravedigger in Nazi Germany, using her majestical guitar as a callused shovel, and then singing an overture of “I’ll make you laugh until you cry” with such purity (and lack of selfish sentimentality) as to induce a shocking catharsis. She encompasses all the “fear and delight” of the ” 50 years {it took} to make the clown, and {the} 50 years {there were} to be the clown”.

"I'll make you laugh until you cry."
“I’ll make you laugh until you cry.”

Join us in celebrating our April #inspiringfellows by keeping up with these up and coming stars on twitter and browse their websites here:

Amelia: Twitter or http://www.ameliacain.com

Kelsie:Twitter or http://www.bu.edu/cfa/incite/hogue.html

Hogue and Cain expressing all their "fear and delight". Bravo, ladies!
Hogue and Cain expressing all their “fear and delight”. Bravo, ladies!


#inspiringfellows: March

In light of our upcoming short film, Coyote Girl, we sought out  #inspiringfellows for March in the world of puppetry on film. The vastness of applicable inspirations was overwhelming and truly inspiring! If you have some time to kill, search puppets on film in your favorite social media outlet or search engine: there are some incredible films available for your consumption! While searching the hashtag #puppetsonfilm, I most frequently came across the 2014 Puppets on Film Festival presented by the Jim Henson Foundation and hosted by BAMcinematek over this past fall. We had a brief eye on the festival, but were consumed with preparation for If the Vices… at the time. Luckily, the marvel of the internet still spreads the gospel of fantastic puppetry on film through their Facebook page. There I found this incredible video:

Now, I understand if you aren’t the puppetry geek that I am, and don’t want to watch all two and a half hours of this forum, but do yourself a favor and skip to 24:20 to watch our March #inspiringfellow Toby Froud, as he discusses the process of creating his beautiful, artistic, and poignant short film Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned poster (source: imdb.com)
Lessons Learned poster (source: imdb.com)

Froud grew up literally surrounded by masterful puppets, making his first appearance as the baby abducted by Bowie in Labyrinth. He is the son of legendary designers Brian and Wendy Froud who were a core part of Jim Henson’s team on both Labyrinth and Dark Crystal. He even addresses (in the video above) working with his mum on the early stages of transforming his character sketches to 3D puppets. His partner in crime on this project is Henson’s daughter Heather (hosting the video symposium above), founder of the Handmade Puppet Dreams film series.

Toby and David Bowie in Labyrinth (source: craveonline.com)
Toby and David Bowie in Labyrinth (source: craveonline.com)
Mr. Froud faces his creation (source: portlandmonthlymag.com)
Mr. Froud faces his creation (source: portlandmonthlymag.com)
Toby Froud's amazing Spider puppet with an equally beautiful friend.  (Source: portlandmonthlymag.com)
Toby Froud’s amazing Spider puppet with an equally beautiful friend. (Source: portlandmonthlymag.com)

From the sweet and expressive faces of his puppets, to the masterful animation provided by the puppeteers, to the touching story behind Froud’s journey to creating this film we’ve fallen in love. We adore an honest, homespun, heartfelt tale full of imagination, creativity, and a touch of wisdom. Especially when it involves puppets!

The protagonist of Lessons Learned (source: vimeo.com)
The protagonist of Lessons Learned (source: vimeo.com)
Froud's amazingly skilled crew (source: stripeypajamaproductions.com)
Froud’s amazingly skilled crew (source: stripeypajamaproductions.com)

You can find out more about Lessons Learned and Mr. Froud on his website: http://www.stripeypajamaproductions.com

You can also join us in following him on twitter: @Toby_Froud

His film is still making the festival circuit so stay posted for a screening of Lessons Learned  near you!

Who do you find inspiring? Any recommended #inspiringfellows that we just can’t miss? Tweet #inspiringfellows to @outcastcafe with your inspirations and suggestions.

#inspiringfellows: January/February


Hey, y’all, sorry we missed January! We were busy making the movie Coyote Girl, or hadn’t you heard? While we garnered much inspiration from the expansive Heartland and the howling coyote friends, we didn’t get out to see much. Luckily, we were tipped off to a very cool puppet happening that took place at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre in DC by DCist contributor Anya VanWagtendonk (read her article here) while we were half-way across the country making our cool puppet happening. Over the holidays, Woolly Mammoth hosted our #inspiringfellow of January & February: The Old Trout Puppet Workshop:

January/ February

Old Trout Puppet Workshop (Source: http://www.theoldtrouts.org)
Old Trout Puppet Workshop (Source: http://www.theoldtrouts.org)



We feel particularly inspired by this odd and fantastic self-proclaimed: “motley gang of artists churning out ideas for a whole heap of unlikely things: puppet shows for adults and children, sculptures, films, music, books, plays, paintings, and pedagogy.”(source) The show that VanWagtendonk shared with us, Famous Puppet Death Scenes, is a celebration and exploration of the fears, anxieties, and curiosities we have about death through the safe and illuminating medium of puppetry. In a very puppet-y way, the show turns these horrors on their heads and into joy and amusement… the ups and downs of which we at Outcast Cafe know well from our work on The Dick and The Rose

Famous Puppet Death Scenes now touring (Source: http://www.theoldtrouts.org)
Famous Puppet Death Scenes now touring (Source: http://www.theoldtrouts.org)
Still from FPDS (Source: http://www.theoldtrouts.org)
Still from FPDS (Source: http://www.theoldtrouts.org)


Still shot from FPDS (Source: http://www.theoldtrouts.org)
Still shot from FPDS (Source: http://www.theoldtrouts.org)

But we also feel akin to the Old Trout folk, in their beautiful exploration of puppets on film, their ambitious world travels, and of course, their broad exploration of the light and dark, the holy and bawdy, the ins and outs, the passage through the veil.

Still from Old Trout's "Ignorance" (source: http://www.theoldtrouts.org)
Still from Old Trout’s “Ignorance” (source: http://www.theoldtrouts.org)
Still from Old Trout's "The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan" (source: http://www.theoldtrouts.org)
Still from Old Trout’s “The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan” (source: http://www.theoldtrouts.org)
Still from Old Trout's "ignorance" (source: http://www.theoldtrouts.org)
Still from Old Trout’s “ignorance” (source: http://www.theoldtrouts.org)
Still from Old Trout's " The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan" (source: http://www.theoldtrouts.org)
Still from Old Trout’s ” The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan” (source: http://www.theoldtrouts.org)

Old Trout Puppet Workshop, we salute your detailed and gorgeous bravery in storytelling and look forward to taking in a show down the road! Thanks for the inspiration, #inspiringfellows !

Still from Old Trout's "Ignorance" ...love this guy.  (source : http://www.theoldtrouts.org)
Still from Old Trout’s “Ignorance” …love this guy.
(source : http://www.theoldtrouts.org)

Check out this stunning music video they made for Feist’s song “Honey, Honey”:


Can’t get enough of them…Although we may have missed the U.S. leg of the run, if you are interested in catching Famous Puppet Death Scenes, the show is still touring in Canada and here are the dates I pulled from their website:

February 3 – 22, Majestic Theatre, Eastglen High School, Theatre Network, Edmonton, AB

March 13 – 28, Flanagan Theatre, Theatre Junction GRAND, Calgary, AB

March 31 – April 19, York Theatre, The Cultch, Vancouver, BC

Find out more about their past and present work, and about where to see it at their website: http://www.theoldtrouts.org/index.html

and join us following them on twitter: @theoldtrouts

#inspiringfellows: December


Happy New Year, all ye creative and caring beings! It’s been a productive month for Outcast Café as we have been hard at work on pre-production rehearsals and meeting for our upcoming film Coyote Girl. Between prep and the holidays we may have gotten a little carried away with good cheer, celebration, and creation and forgotten to share with you our #inspiringfellows of December! But better late than never:


Bristol Old Vic's A Midsummer Night's Dream
ArtsEmerson presents Bristol Old Vic’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream  


Our #inspiringfellows of the month is the Bristol Old Vic Theatre  for collaborating with an old favorite, Handspring Puppet Co., several months ago on a stunning production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Holy wow, Batman! Per usual, these exquisitely manufactured hand-manipulated puppets not only stood out as stunning works of their own, but truly engaged in the storytelling of this Shakespearean favorite in places where the story had never quite been illuminated in such a way and could only have been done so by the likes of puppets! The bicycle contraption which served to turn Bottom into a literal ass was a personal favorite, but from the gardening tool hodgepodge that created Puck, to the majestic oversized Titiania and Oberon, we were transported from start to finish.


Puck serves his master Source: Angela Weiss gettyimages.com
Puck serves his master
Source: Angela Weiss gettyimages.com

We commend your brilliant and intentional use our favorite manipulated objects, time and time again! Bravo!


"Titania straightway loved an ass!"  Source: Angela Weiss gettyimages.com
“Titania straightway loved an ass!”
Source: Angela Weiss gettyimages.com





You can check out what Bristol Old Vic is up to here on their website or follow them @BristolOldVic



The Majestic Fairie King and Queen Source: Angela Weiss gettyimages.com
The Majestic Fairie King and Queen
Source: Angela Weiss gettyimages.com


Who do you find inspiring? Any recommended #inspiringfellows that we just can’t miss? Tweet #inspiringfellows to @outcastcafe with your inspirations and suggestions.




One of the best parts of being at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2011 was all of the amazing and inspiring theatre going on all within a few miles of each other, a walk-able smorgasboard. You could pick whatever you wanted. And although the world isn’t as conveniently smushed together as that blossoming month of creativity, Outcast Café continues to discover truly inspirational fellow artists making the kind of theatre and art that we can really get behind, the kind that lights a fire in our hearts and under our butts. This post marks the first of our monthly blog trend: #inspiringfellows


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Our #inspiringfellows this month are the Pigpen Theatre Co. and their gorgeous show “The Old Man and The Old Moon”. In their first year at Carnegie Mellon these seven talented storytellers and musicians, came together for a devised side project and have stuck to songs, shadow puppets, simple tales and each other ever since. We love their sense of play and clarity of storytelling, their clever use of beautiful and original music, and especially their inspiring use of shadow puppets. Check them out: www.pigpentheatre.com & @PigPenTheatreCo 

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(photos sourced from writerstheatre.org, tumbler.com, and lydiafine.com)

Who do you find inspiring? Any recommended #inspiringfellows that we just can’t miss? Tweet #inspiringfellows to @outcastcafe with your inspirations and suggestions.