Exploring Otherness Through Puppetry
Here is an excerpt from a post by Amanda Monfrooe – our dramaturge on the Frog Prince Project – as she prepares for the first week of rehearsal. To read the full post, visit Amanda’s blog at Pony-Pie.com
When we were talking about the piece recently she [Rene] used the term “sculptural” to describe the theatrical language she’d like to use in the piece. So the task will be guiding our objects and puppets toward the extremes of literalism and abstraction. How gestural can the objects be without the meaning and intent of the moment being obscured? How can the manipulation be symbolical rather than literal without undermining the narrative? Where is the metaphorical usefulness of objects more profound (in terms of storytelling, for example) than more representational puppets? And how can the audience’s understanding of the concepts at work in the piece be informed by the relationship between the puppet and the puppeteer?
In many ways these are questions common to objects as they are used in performance art and dance, a more and more common feature of contemporary work – including my own. But this research will eventually be used to create a show for 5 and 6 year old children. How far can the work veer toward (capital P) Performance languages without losing this particular audience?
The featured image for this post is by Sketch This Out, sourced through Flickr (creative commons licence).