Well, here we are, officially 2 weeks out from the first rehearsal for Avenue Q. The production team has been busy securing the venue, measuring space and nailing down the perfect ensemble. It sounds like a lot of action is already taking place, and that is true! It’s always amazing how much prep work and time goes into planning for a successful production process. The most amazing asset any company can have, I have come to realize, is its team members. Without the help and creativity of a diverse team then nothing seems to move forward toward the goal of excellence in the end piece, known as “the show.” I would like to thank Lucas and Kyle for taking this ride with me again and coming on board this, sometimes scary, venture to push the limits of what artists can do when passionately creating something that has no perceived value, such as theatre. I say no perceived value, because it is difficult to put a price on art. What we want to create and to share is an experience; experiences are not something you can physically take home with you, but it is something that will mentally and emotionally affect you, and that’s what we love to do.
Without getting too fluffy or philosophical, let’s talk about puppets. Ok, maybe the puppets can be fluffy. :) I am having a great time researching puppetry and techniques for the production. It is amazing how many different approaches people take to telling stories using puppetry. There is something so unique and different about these characters we create that can engage people on a different level than if a person were to speak face to face. I can see how it is more interesting for a child to watch something colorful, that looks like a toy talking about life and learning things. The child is stimulated by the vivid imagery of the puppet and can relate to the puppets often simplistic, innocent perspective on life. Brilliant. But what’s even more interesting is when the world of puppetry arts can cross over to communicating with adults. What is it about a puppet that makes even an adult become engaged in listening and watching? Is it the nostalgia of the experience and remembering childhood and watching shows like “Sesame Street”? Is it something more? I think the puppet represents that same innocence and neutral state of being that we all remember as a child and when hearing about adult issues and ideas coming to life through these puppets, adults can again reflect and think about problems in much simpler terms. The puppet presents an unbiased world for adults to think about things without the complication of having to have the entire human experience intertwined. The puppet’s world can be refreshing to see things from a simpler perspective. Using a puppet, the artist can tell you a story without having to involve anyone real, the ideas can be quite controversial, because no one real will be affected. This is the ultimate allegory though, because we still find ourselves relating to the character or puppet, even though it isn’t a real person. It’s interesting how visual we remain throughout our lives.
I cannot wait to show you all our world we’re creating in January. It is going to be an exciting experience to be a part of and, I assure you, the puppets are pumped.