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.
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.
As part of our preparation for this tour of Saudade (which starts on Friday!) we were able to bring in photographer Liza Harbison to take some shots of the shadow puppets. Here are a few:
It’s been a busy year here at Wit’s End Puppets; a year filled with new work and new friends and collaborators! Here is a list of our top five ‘first’ moments from the year.
4. First Fringe show in way too long!
Our very first show using the name Wit’s End Puppets was back in 2010 for the Capital Fringe Festival. We had a wonderful time working with banished? productions on their piece I Thought the Earth Remembered Me for this year’s festival.
3. First video shoot!
It was a whole new world for us, incorporating puppets into a gothic, lush set for a music video with She Monster Productions.
2. First City Arts Project grant!
We are thrilled that DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities decided to award us a grant to tour Saudade around the city in collaboration with the American Immigration Council and GALA Hispanic Theatre. If you would like to help support this tour and send us to even more places, you can donate here!
1.First International performance!
Traveling to Winnipeg for the Winnipeg International Storytelling Festival was an amazing opportunity. We met so many incredible artists and teachers; people who work every day to help immigrants and refugees in Winnipeg. It was an honor to share our art with them and hear their thoughts and stories.
Here’s to a 2016 that’s just as rewarding and exciting!
Some photos of our trip to Winnipeg this month for the Winnipeg International Storytelling Festival:
Like many artists, I am rarely satisfied with the first iteration of a project. After the performances of Saudade at the Intersections Festival, we had lots of conversations with audience members and each other about what could be clearer, stronger and more powerful in the piece. From puppet movement to sound, to crankie images, we examined each element of the project to see what could be improved.
Because we are going to the Winnipeg International Storytelling Festival in May, we have a deadline for completing all these fixes and it is getting close! Here are some photos of the work we’ve been doing:
Baltimore artist Katherine Fahey designed the puppets and crankie illustrations for SAUDADE. We asked her a few questions about her process and inspiration. Enjoy!
Cecilia Cackley: When did you start building crankies and what draws you to them as an art form?
Katherine Fahey: I started making crankies in the beginning of 2011, when I was making a music video for Wye Oak called Fish. My first crankie was made as part of a larger shadow puppet piece. That was when I started to see for the first time that I could perform with my artwork. This was exciting and frightening to me. I have always admired the connection performers have with their audience, but I am a pretty shy person. I was excited to be able to combine my passions for shadow puppetry, paper cutting , music, and storytelling together, but wasn’t so excited about getting up in front of people.
CC: Who are some of the artists that inspire you?
KF: My creative community mostly. All the folks at Black Cherry Puppet Theater (Valeska Pupoloh, Michael Lamason, Lisa Krause, Jenn Strunge, Kevin Sherry, and Porch Puppets), Erik Ruin, Nanaprojects , William Schaff, Anna Robert Gevalt, Elizabeth Laprelle, and all of the other crankie makers, paper cut artists, story tellers, and puppeteers out there.
CC: What were some of the challenges in designing Saudade?
KF: I have a lot of experience working with other artists, but have become accustomed to just coming up with a show on my own from start to finish. It was different to have to stop and ask Cecilia what she meant and try to see things through her eyes. We spent a good amount of time editing scenes together so that they could be translatable to shadow puppets and a crankie.