Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Living Sea of Memory

I went to see a puppet show by Paperhand Puppet Intervention this weekend at the Forest Theater in Chapel Hill. It was incredibly crowded! Definitely a big change from when I performed some selections from Shakespeare plays on that stage one summer at drama camp.

The theme of the show was collective storytelling, specifically looking at how storytelling has been used to oppress, and trying to broaden and explain some of the things we have grown up with. For example, the whole thing begins with a piece that aims to explain how patriarchy got to be such a dominating structure in most of the world's cultures. The show also includes a section compiled from the experiences of members of the company that includes memories of their grandparents, giving pause to how the wisdom and experience older folks is not honored in our society these days.

The thing is, the themes were pulled off through the story and through the spectacular puppets made the thing a joy to watch. There was live music (including 3 drummers) and these huge, colorful puppets that the audience clapped and whooped for every time they entered the stage.

Here is a scene from the very beginning:

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