Yesterday, I attended an amazing event in Pittsburgh called the Black Sheep Puppet Festival at The Brew House. The Brew House has artist spaces and a theater and an association of mostly volunteers devoted to art and artists of every medium.
There were activities for children in the day and an evening lecture on the history of puppets and their significance in the long tradition of storytelling throughout the world. These shows could be very political, bawdy, and entertaining and a great way for our ancestors to preserve freedom of speech...afterall, the puppet said it!
There were puppets of every kind imaginable, with demos of how they operate. The evening performances ranged from the bizarre and surreal to the adorable and a dash of political satire added in very smartly . I was impressed at the way each group created their puppet characters using all types of mediums from matchsticks to elaborate paper mache'. They even had a 5 min contest at intermission where two of the puppetiers had to come up with a puppet with whatever items where in the box they were given. I was awestruck by the creativity, materials, and expression. My favorite puppet of the evening included elaborate hand knitting in the costume which gave it a rich texture.
If you ever have a chance to attend a puppet festival - dooo go - and remember to look for the knitty puppet!
Marg (letting her imagination soar)
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