Sunday, August 19, 2012

Why Puppet Slams?

Listen in to leading puppet slam artists and curators who reflect on why puppet slams matter to them and join the conversation on our Facebook Page.

Playhouse Puppetry Slam #Glen Echo, MD - Pointless Theatre Co., 2011, Photo: Bruce Douglas
 I like to laugh at jokes that are on a more adult level of humor, whether it's bawdy, or sophisticated, it's still not for kids. Also I can't write a 45-minute puppet show to save my life, yet. But I can make vignette scenes that are beautiful, touching, funny, creepy, whatever. Short form puppetry happens to be my favorite sort.
- Valerie Meiss, curator

Puppet Slams are the new Vaudeville. I think young people who can be labeled “hipsters” love the new puppet world. I think older folks who always loved theater can enjoy a slam. I think yes - the slam IS important but what needs to be emphasized is that yes - there is a scrappy nature to the show but there MUST be some attempt on the part of the performers to grow, rehearse, develop, refine. It can't always be scrappy- or the audience will turn away.
Performer-At-Large #NYC

I feel like Slams fill a several important roles. It is great way to get your feet wet in the art form [of puppetry].  Other than doing full-length kid shows or doing videos online, there isn’t really another way to get started.  It is a way to try things out in front of audience and see what sticks. 
Beau Brown, curator 
the  Puckin’ Fuppet Show  #Atlanta

It’s been a great place to experiment and network.  Maintaining a space in puppetry for the adult imagination is really important as well. Though anytime I use adult and puppetry in the same sentence people just think sexy puppets. Of course its sexy puppets! (though mostly not).  Mostly I want grown-ups or anyone who feels they are too old for puppets to get excited about a cardboard box versus a Hollywood film, which does all the work for you.
- Gepetta
Performer-At-Large #Philadelphia

I think slams are a great way to introduce audiences to many different styles of puppetry and get them to realize that it's not just kid stuff.  Also, it helps audiences develop their palate.  If there is a short piece that sucks, maybe they'll learn that the piece itself was bad, not that all puppetry is bad.  Does that makes sense?... Also, I think Beau said this before, it is a good kick in the pants for artists.  Having a deadline forces you to work on that idea you've been kicking around in your head.  
- Jessica Simon, curator

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