Sunday, March 26, 2017

'Pupa', An Irish Pinocchio Inspired Tale with a Relevant Difference

We didn't get to promote this in time for its run, which ended on Saturday March 25th, but wanted to quickly highlight it anyway to put it on your radar for the future.

Created by Limerick puppeteer Emma Fisher, who also writes and designs, as well as performs with the puppets, this show is definitely a more adult inclined take on Pinocchio, which sounds like it has parallels with The Girl Without Hands as well. (Emma's previous show, 'Spun', considered 'notable' and 'impressive', was kid and family friendly.) Shown at the Lime Tree Theater, by Beyond the Bark, in Ireland this past week., we hope there will be future opportunities for folks to catch this one.

From the press kit:
The freakish metamorphic tale of us. 
A puppet girl struggling with her disabled part splits herself in two, casts off her disabled part and banishes it to the room of forgotten limbs. A puppet boy falls from normality, breaking and reforming. They both go on separate quests to find a sense of wholeness. As they navigate a dark world they encounter many characters on their way- a wise bug, fragmented and broken bodies, singing mouths in jars, and silence. 
Pupa is inspired by the fairy-tale Pinocchio. Transforming and metamorphosing from abled to disabled, such as when he burns his legs of at the fire, along the way Pinocchio is helped by many characters who share their stories with him and make him who he is. 
Pupa derives from the Latin for puppet meaning girl or doll, and is also used to describe the middle stage of an insect’s metamorphosis before it re-emergens as a new creature. This is a metaphor for the transition from able to disabled within the play. 
By mixing puppetry, mask, ceramics, song and film, we will tell the freakish metamorphic tale of us. Audiences will be lead through a multi-sensory, interactive, Kafkaesque, telling of Pinocchio as never seen before.
In a land where we are all different, we question what normal even means, looking at how people with disabilities think society sees them. We are telling stories of coming out/identifying as disabled and navigating the grey area between disabled and abled.
A cool tie-in to note, Beyond the Bark hosted a special puppet-making workshop during the preparation for this show with world renowned puppet and prosthetic hand maker, Ivan Owen, along with creator and Artistic Director Emma Fisher.
A little more about the names behind the creation of the puppets for the show:
IVAN OWEN:Makerspace Lab Manager at the University of Washington, Bothell & an interdisciplinary artist exploring a wide range of topics. Co-inventor of the first open-source 3D printable hand prosthesis & a volunteer for the e-NABLE open prosthetics community. His past work has included musical composition, metal casting, jewelry, recreations of medieval armor and costume and prop making for stage and screen including Modern Family and Outrageous Acts of Science. His most recent project has been working with Emma Fischer to create a functional, wearable mechanical artistic creation & with her exploring ways in which digital fabrication can be utilized in puppetry.
Examples of some of his past & current work can be seen here: EMMA FISHER:Artistic director of Beyond the Bark inclusive puppet and installation theatre, puppeteer/puppet maker, writer and set designer. She is an Irish Times theatre award nominated designer. She has taught puppetry at The London School of Puppetry, Mary Immaculate College and schools, hospitals and community centers across Ireland and the UK. She is constantly pursuing new techniques in puppetry and is delighted to be working with and learning from Ivan Owens on a Travel and Training funded by the Arts Council. and
Keep an eye out for these folks and their work! We have a feeling we'll see more adapted fairy tales in the future from these people.

1 comment:

  1. Surprising, this genre in ability to disability in a puppet theater/hopefully to film at a theater for adults, fits into my life since... age brings this horror story of the pupa to life in realistic days of women who seem lost in a tunnel vision of a story. Like this, the pupa searching for wholeness with Pinocchio type character, medical science tries to give aging husband and wife a little more life, but bring irreparable pain. Perhaps this Pinocchio genre puppet show might bring so truth to those individuals entering old age in not so perfect physical shape though not through their own fault. Much happens in this story, sort of a Faust, Cervantes story of Dulcinea? and the Don Q? Fairy tales bring delusion and escape, best wishes for this past work. atk