Tuesday, August 26, 2008

IMHO...A Success

The Rolling Regional Festival (RRF) is over. In all, I can’t say whether everyone would consider it a success or not. I suppose it wasn’t compared to a normal regional festival which is attended by more puppeteers. However, it was unquestionably successful in sharing puppetry with the public.
157 We learn
I am, however, often reminded that sharing puppetry with the public is not what a puppetry festival is for. Puppetry festivals are about puppeteers, for puppeteers and attended by puppeteers, or so they say. By ‘they’ I refer to the nay sayers of the RRF. They are right…I do remember those long ugly debates as to whether or not a puppetry performance at a festival should be open to the public at all or only for festival attendees. To these people I would say…without puppeteers, how can we have festivals at all? I do know that guilds should be doing what we did without the frame work of something like the RRF. That is true, but not easy for all locations. In fact, without the rolling RRF, two of the guilds would not have done anything. Both are small…one is ‘inactive’ due to less than 10 official members and the other is tottering on the brink of ‘inactive’. So there is something we must count as a resounding success…for you see, not only would nothing have been done in these locations with out the RRF, but also no regional festivals are even possible in those places due to low numbers of members. If in these locations, we can attract new interest in puppetry, then a regional festival there becomes possible.

168 - Piggy kids
Here are the facts as I know them: one Montana guild member attended Portland’s day; one Seattle guild member attended Montana’s day; Family members of Portland folks attended Seattle’s day and both Montana and Seattle guild members attended Victoria’s day. This may not sound so wonderful for a festival, but look at the pictures. Look at the children not only enjoying a puppet show, but also trying their hands at making and using puppets. Shall I add numbers to your opinion of the RRF? Try this: since the August Day of Puppetry in Seattle, there have been about 60 hits on the guild website which is 3 times more than normal. Most of those hits came on the week after the DoP. Plus, they were effort hits…people given a flier that had to type in the URL. That shows true interest, wouldn’t you agree?

069 Making puppets
Now I honestly don’t remember when it was I wanted to become a puppeteer. My earliest memory having to do with puppets was asking for them from Santa Claus. I have a vague memory of a puppet show at the Seattle Center involving a snow monster and a memory of a marionette princess I saw some where on a vacation. What if it was a Day of Puppetry some where that set me on my path? Who’s to say one of those happy little faces you see trying out my marionette dogs, won’t some day say the same thing?

111-family with Dogs

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great write up and view....I hope we can develop puppetry on the west coast.

Keep in touch....meet you soon.