The National Puppetry Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center is a very important place where new works of puppetry is created. The conference is for everyone, from seasoned professionals to beginners, both looking to explore and learn.
This year (2012) I was on staff, assisting Martin P. Robinson teach a class in "Puppet Exploration."
** Description of the class from the Martin P. Robinson/the O'Neill website;
The Puppeteers Touch... The Objects Profundity
We Puppeteers know the magic that happens when a performer picks up or puts on a puppet of some kind and starts moving it in space before an audience. Too often, I feel, we rely on this novelty aspect of puppetry to carry the day. We don't buckle down to do our homework, to know our instrument in an intimate way so as to let the character and story shine through. Would any musician with only a passing knowledge of their instrument (or even a fairly good knowledge) attempt a concert for a paid audience? ...Puppeteers do this ALL the time.
I propose a week of experimentation in many styles of puppetry with an emphasis on exactly how well-thought-out technique translates to effective characters and storylines... a respect for the objects and a respect for the audience. I would like participants with some performing experience...applications will be reviewed with this in mind. Mostly, of course...all admonishing and profundity aside; I just want to have a blast with some cool people for a week...
- Martin P. Robinson
** Below is a video with Artistic Director Pam Arciero
In the video at the 0:11 mark, is footage of my project "s'Muther," which I workshopped as a participant project at the O'Neill in 2010.
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