What do you think of when you think of puppets? Sesame Street? The Muppet Show? Kids stuff? Much of mainstream puppetry is geared toward kids and the good work is really brilliant. But available to a less mainstream audience is the work of puppet theater companies such as The Old Trout Puppet Workshop, a group based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Groups such as this normally do shows that can be found most often in places such as New York, Washington DC, or Chicago. I had the pleasure of seeing Old Trout’s latest show, Famous Puppet Death Scenes, this past Friday at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio.
I am a relative new comer to really good puppet theater and was so moved by this show. Puppet theater combines moving sculptures, human performance, illusionary stage manipulation and sound to create a magic that transcends all of the above. To put it simply, I was blown away by these guys, and incredibly inspired.
Below is a picture of our “host”, Nathaniel Tweak who provided one of the more touching death scenes himself. If you ever have the opportunity to see the work of the Old Trout Puppet Workshop, do it. I made the 2 hour drive to Columbus and am so glad I did.
Although I was a little bleary eyed from the drive to see Old Trout, Saturday I worked at the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts center in Covington, KY for my first Family Saturday. We had a wonderful group of artists comprised of kids and their accompanying grown-ups. Everyone seemed to enjoy making the available projects and I enjoyed getting to know some new people. Many folks said, “We’ll see you next month!” which I take to be a positive sign that a good time was had by all. So far, for December’s Family Saturday, we are thinking of projects that involve holiday gift giving with a less consumer based philosophy. I’ll keep you posted!