Orlando International Puppetry Festival

Have you ever had this nagging thing that you knew was wrong, but you couldn’t figure out what? For the last two years, I’ve known that the props work wasn’t satisfying, but I didn’t realize how much I missed the world of puppetry until coming down here this weekend. Some of it was performing, but more of it was hanging out with puppeteers.

We had dinner last night with twelve puppeteers, only three of whom spoke English as a native language. It was this great wide ranging conversation about art and connection.

Today we performed twice, which went well. I got to see the short film series Heather Henson curates, Handmade Puppet Dreams which I’ve been wanting to see for a couple of years now. Here’s one of the pieces, Incubus by Lyon Hill.

Before you watch this, you need to know that these are puppets and are being performed in real time. I tell you this, because otherwise it looks like animation or photoshop. No. Puppets.

See! Totally inspiring.

Afterwards we went out to dinner and I just…I’ve really missed this. Puppeteers talk about their in ways that writers don’t. I mean, we’ll sit around and say, “I’m thinking about doing this one man show…” and everyone will join in this collaborative discussion without (most people) without ever trampling on the other person’s vision. I love writing, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve missed collaboration.

Anyway, it was a wonderful weekend.

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7 Responses

  1. Joe Iriarte

    That was pretty amazing.

    And more than a little disturbing.

    -o-

    If you need any restaurant recommendations or anything like that, give a shout. 😉

  2. Julia

    Hope you’re enjoying Orlando. If you have the time/leisure, try going out to eat at one of the Disney resorts, such as The Wave at the Contemporary. No park ticket needed! (And you can be sneaky and ride the monorail around the loop, too, for a free thrill. The FUTURE!)

    Wish I could have come seen you, but circumstances just didn’t work out. There will always be a next time, though…

  3. -e-

    This was wonderful. Yes, really inspiring. The thin paper hands curling and interacting with sheets and bodies added so much- bringing me to the same astonished and incredulous place as the protagonist. Thank you.

  4. Skott Klebe

    “Incubus” is spectacular. When you say it’s puppetry, performed in real time, do you mean the whole thing was performed in sequence? How did they manage the cuts and POV changes – as when the incubus first is viewed from the side, then from the front? I’m amazed; the production uses multiple 2d puppets from different perspectives to create an illusion of 3d, and the “camera” (really, the fourth wall) changes angles with the cinematic gusto of a movie that edits live performers together.
    I think that a lot of the puppetry I’ve seen online (most of it on your blog) stays to a fairly fixed POV.
    Or were segments performed in real time, and edited together? It’s still quite remarkable.

    On collaboration – it sounds like you may not have an actual, in-person writing group. A lot of what a writing group gives you is what you say you miss in the collaboration around puppetry.

    SK

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