The Secret Lives of Puppets


Independent, contemporary artists across the US and Canada are using puppets to fascinating effect, and, in the process, recruiting audiences that span hipsters, metal heads, theatre lovers, art theorists, and book geeks. Could the puppet renaissance go mainstream, as Stephen Marche prematurely predicted in 2009? Well, The Old Trout has dabbled in mainstream environments, such as the National Art Gallery and Alberta Theatre Projects, but, as Peter Balkwill says, they still find themselves labeled as “the independent guerillas that stormed through the backdoor.” And the troupe’s latest project, Ignorance, is unlikely to propel them toward a sitcom deal. Calling it a “puppet documentary” The Trouts are currently writing a stage show on prehistoric man and how we evolved to the largely miserable group of people we are today. It looks at “why we’re not happy. And how we might solve this problem without resorting to alcoholism, tranquilizers, frontal-lobotomies, or other forms of induced ignorance.” All the writing, ideas and designs for the show are being posted on its website where the group encourages visitors to weigh in on the ideas and hand in better ones.

more from Lindsay Gibb at Broken Pencil here.