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A Note From Puppet Designer & Puppet Director Eric F. Avery

NOV 27, 2019

Moby-Dick Whale Puppet

Theater can be a wasteful field. We create complex worlds, but rarely do we ask where the materials to build that vision came from, or where does everything go once the final curtain falls? I’ll let you in on a dirty little secret: it goes to the same place as the excess waste that YOU produce. Our lakes, rivers, oceans; our air and lungs; littering the surface of the Earth, and packing full the wounds we call landfills. Why do we consume with such ferocity? We are situated in a society that normalizes, and even glamourizes, overconsumption. We are in a climate/capitalist crisis, and it’s up to puppets to save the day?

This production is concerned with the most pressing themes of our time, and it is my sincere hope that the images you see in this production haunt you. The puppetry in Moby-Dick is designed to remind you of your own complicity in the problems we face as a society, especially those connected to our changing climate and environmental justice. To achieve this we made a choice to utilize waste stream materials (fancy term for trash, rubbish, refuse, garbage, junk, etc.) to construct the majority of the puppets and some other objects in the production.

We are each responsible for our impacts on the world and on other people. Our tweets, tags, and likes are just the latest form of talk; it is our actions that shape change. Each day we are empowered with the ability to make choices, and if we want to solve the problems we face it is up to us to make different choices about the actions we take. I hope this production will serve as a meditation or inspiration on how you will align your beliefs with your actions. I hope this puppetry will serve as an example of the poetic alchemy that’s possible when what is unloved is seen and given another opportunity to be something worthy of appreciation, something beautiful, magic, or even lovable.

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