Each performance of Cabinets of Kismet moves quickly and there is little time to stand still or relax. Everyone is constantly picking up puppets, shifting set pieces, prepping puppets or props or lights and getting into place. But I did manage to sneak my phone backstage last week and take a few snaps of the silliness that ensues in our idle seconds. Amie loves Text Monster, as you can see in these photos:
Amie making a face at paperfish.
Waiting with Widget behind a unit.
Waiting for the video sequence to finish, in the light of the projector.
Only one weekend left to see The Amazing and Marvelous Cabinets of Kismet! We recommend buying tickets online–we have a relatively small number of seats and would hate to have you miss out. I’m excited to be able to share some of our beautiful production photos today, taken by C. Stanley Photography!
Kismet, discovering that his world has been destroyed.
Puppeteer Amie Root, with Lightbulb Head.
Matt Reckeweg and Genna Davidson, with Kismet and Jellybird.
Puppeteers Amy Kellett, Cecilia Cackley and Genna Davidson, with Nurse, Zoom and King Lamp.
Kismet hitches a ride on Jellybird. Photo by C. Stanley Photography
The Amazing and Marvelous Cabinets of Kismet has been getting attention in both print and online media, thanks to interested writers and some very kind reviewers! Below, a selection of mentions from the past few weeks.
Jacqueline Lawton, one of D.C.’s most accomplished dramaturges and playwrights, was kind enough to profile us on her blog.
For a very long time, marionettes were the one form of puppetry I was a bit scared of. So many strings, so wobbly and hard to control. They felt like the most complicated kind of puppet out there and I wasn’t sure I could construct one adequately, let alone perform it. In spite of that, quite a few of our characters in the Paper World section of The Amazing and Marvelous Cabinets of Kismet are marionettes or variations of marionettes. Here are some photos of the different controls and how they work.
This is the control for Gecko. It moves his back legs and one of his front legs.
This is the control for the Loopy. It’s a variation on a 19th century control that I found a picture of in a book. The bottom piece unhooks to move the two “arms” of the puppet, while the top piece anchors the rest.
One marionette is complicated enough. Putting together four of them makes some things easier and some things harder. You sacrifice individual movement when you put multiple puppets on the same control, but it’s worth it to get the effect of the group moving together. Genna came up with the design for this control, of a whole school of Paperfish.
The Amazing and Marvelous Cabinets of Kismet is a project that happened because a group of artists all read books by Shaun Tan and were inspired to create a new story. We hope that watching our puppet play inspires other people to create their own stories as well. To help that process along, we are thrilled to be able to present a PUPPET-MAKING WORKSHOP on Sunday, May 12 in collaboration with SCRAP DC.
Directly after the 2pm show, Karen Klein and Heather Bouley from SCRAP will lead a workshop on making puppets from recycled materials. This workshop is for all ages and is a perfect activity for families to do together. There are only 25 spots in the workshop due to space limitations, so buy your tickets today!