May Grab Bag

A monthly round-up of articles, videos and links we shared on Twitter. 

See # 4.

See # 4.

This month, we’re highlighting puppeteer Caroll Spinney, who stars in a  new documentary called I Am Big Bird. If I’m being totally honest, one of my favorite movies of all time is Big Bird in Japan. So this month, here are some of the links we found about Spinney, an incredibly inspiring artist. Enjoy!

1. An article from Linda Holmes at NPR about the documentary.

2. A brief item from the New York Times Magazine.

3. Spinney did an Ask Me Anything over on Reddit and shared some great stories.

4. The trailer for the documentary.

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Top 5 Reactions to the Word ‘Puppet’

Puppets are not for the faint of heart.

Puppets are not for the faint of heart.                Photo by Patricia Germann.

We discovered over the course of Malevolent Creatures rehearsals that we’ve all gotten pretty similar reactions when the word ‘puppet’ comes up in ordinary conversation. Here are the top five comments we’re used to hearing. Have you made one or more of them when meeting a puppeteer?

1. “Oh like the Muppets!” Well, um, not always. In fact, we’ve never created a show with hand-and-rod style puppets before, although we’re in the planning stages for one with GALA Hispanic Theatre.

2. “So you do stuff like on Sesame Street!” No, not really. Not too much counting or alphabet songs in our shows. Not all puppets are intended for children, despite the ubiquity of Big Bird and Bert and Ernie in our culture.

3. “Um…like Pinnochio?” Aside from Jim Henson, this is probably the only other named puppet character that most people can come up with.

4. “How cute!” Yes, very….until the puppet starts to go on a rampage and eat the audience. Wait, what? Oh right. NOT ALL PUPPETS ARE FOR CHILDREN. OR SQUEAMISH ADULTS.

5. “Is that a real job?” As a matter of fact, it is! Aren’t we lucky?

February Grab Bag

A round up of links and news we highlighted on Twitter this month: 

#1: Still from the documentary THE MAN WHO MADE ANGELS FLY.

#1: Still from the documentary THE MAN WHO MADE ANGELS FLY.

1. The Washington Jewish Film Festival has a documentary about puppeteer Michael Meschke called The Man Who Made Angels Fly playing March 1 & 2! We posted an interview with the festival director earlier this week and will be introducing the screenings, so come see some amazing marionettes!

2. Benedict Cumberbatch gets some counting help from the Count. I think the show Sherlock could use a few puppets.

3. A thought-provoking interview with Cheryl Henson about the potential pitfalls of being labeled a puppeteer.

4. Genna is working with Imagination Stage on their production of Rumplestiltskin for young audiences. We ran into some similar characters in our folklore research this year.

5. Our friend Ashley Hollingshead from Portland OR is raising money for a new devised theater show called Independent Women. Support new theater and make a contribution HERE.