We are very excited to be hard at work again on our show Malevolent Creatures! We first workshopped this piece in the summer of 2014, but it got put on hold for awhile as we focused on building and then performing Saudade. Now we are back at it, exploring the layers of meaning in stories featuring supernatural characters from British folklore.
The first segment of the show, which focuses on a witch from Leicestershire called Black Annis was developed and shown as part of a puppet slam at Black Cherry Puppet Theater in Baltimore this past month. Here are a few photos from rehearsals and the performance. Photos are by Cecilia Cackley and Bill Haas.
It’s been four years since we started Wit’s End Puppets and for all that time, we’ve been operating primarily out of a house in the southwest quadrant of Washington DC. Each person on the team had her own workspace at home, but meetings and large building projects, from covering flats with recycled paper, to gluing together a 60ft cranky, happened in the living room of that house.
This summer, we said goodbye and moved our boxes, puppet sets and building materials to a new studio in the Brookland neighborhood. At first, the space looked like it does in the photo above. It took a lot of time and effort, but we’ve finally made progress and everything is (mostly) organized. Here you can see the two sides of the room, with materials and tool storage and plenty of surfaces to work on. Here’s to another four years of creativity and passion, collaboration and puppet magic!
We’re proud to have completed a tour of D.C. and Arlington, VA with our show Saudade this year, partially supported by a City Arts Project grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Below are some snapshots of the places we performed.
Lincoln’s Bedroom at President Lincoln’s Cottage, in Washington, DC.
Performing for an adult ESL class at the Arlington Education and Employment Program (REEP)
We were part of the On the Move tent at the 2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
We performed in the beautiful and historic Arts & Industries Building for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
The view from the stage at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
Welcome to our new studio space! It was bittersweet to leave the house in southwest DC where we had our start, but change is in the air. A move is an opportunity to organize, to re-furbish and streamline our process–or at least we hope that’s what it will be! As you can see, the space is something of a shambles right now. It’s going to take awhile to get everything in place and looking how we would like it. To motivate ourselves, I’m going to be posting a picture every day on Twitter, to document how long it takes for the pile of materials and tools to become a working studio. Follow along and watch it change!
Our March tour of Saudade is halfway done and it’s World Puppet Day! If you haven’t had a chance, check out this new trailer and a few other blog posts about amazing puppetry and puppeteers from around the world.