The festival opens on March 8–11 with a shared program of Mother Mold by the puppetry duo It Figures and Tin Iso and the Dawn by Tristan Allen. Mother Mold is a table top puppet show. It has no beginning or end. It’s about getting lost and found and how to breathe through the in between. Tin Iso and the Dawn is a shadow puppet symphony performed alongside an original album. The project shares the origins of an imaginary world, the first chapter to a grand overarching story told through music and solo puppetry. Wordless narrative, magic lanterns and detailed sound design collide in examining the universal longing to make sense of loss and what’s beyond.
A centerpiece of the festival is the two-week engagement, March 10–19, of Deeper Closer Warmer, a new theatrical collaboration between the Puerto Rico-based puppetry duo Poncili Creación and the New York-based musicians The Daxophone Consort. Deeper Closer Warmer is an ancient surgery that examines the crevices of flesh and consciousness. Large-scale transforming foam puppets, with the shrieks, whistles and melodic coos of an electronic orchestra, reveal a world inside the organism where empires of bacteria will fall and new organic machines will be created.
The final week of the festival features two evening-length works. Running March 22-23, The Emotions is a two-act experimental music performance co-conceived by Korean master instrumentalist gamin and Japanese composer and artist Sachiyo Takahashi. The evening opens with gamin’s The Emotions: Impermanence, an experimental music theater piece exploring avenues to bridge the gap between traditional and modern, movement and stillness, sound and visual. Part two features Takahashi’s The Emotions: Equinox, abstract storytelling through puppets/objects, live projection and original music, developed in collaboration with Korean video and object designer Yudam and puppet builder/puppeteer Emma Wiseman.
Closing Puppetopia on March 24 and 25 is Offal Unstory by Kalan Shh (enormousface), which explores the brutal alchemy the human race has been exacting on the “Natural” world, transforming Life into Garbage. Mixing references from the Great Stories of humanity, beginning with Gilgamesh, so many of which are used to justify human domination over the non-human world, the work will tangle narrative with non-narrative performance and philosophy, examining also the role 'Story' per se takes in the Human Project of Killing the Earth.
Puppetopia is curated by Barbara Busackino and Basil Twist.
COVID-19 Safety Information
Masks are optional.
Visit here.org for full festival schedule.