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 Table) whom 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.