Blood From a Turnip - Rhode Island's only late night puppet cabaret

Rhode Island's
Only Late Night
Puppet Cabaret

Friday March 18

Perishable Theatre
95 Empire Street
Providence RI
Friday March 18, 2005
One Night Only, Two Shows
Programme A: 8PM
Programme B: 10PM*
*adult screening, you must be 18
Price: $5.00
No reservations
Seating first come, first serve
Information: 401-331-2695x106
Program lineup subject to change

Check back here for details on the next show scheduled for Friday May 20

An Evening of Puppet Film and Video

Ladies and gentlemen, hold onto your seats! After a string of controversial curatorial decisions, theatrical impresario, Vanessa Gilbert and savvy puppet mogul, Marsian have teamed up once again to take the puppet community by storm with Blood From A Turnip. This latest installment of Rhode Island's Only Late Night Puppet Cabaret is dedicated to Puppet Film and Video and claims to appeal to the strangest common denominator with works ranging from the mundane to the subversive featuring 1997 MacArthur Foundation grant recipient Kara Walker's first puppet film, the work of performance artist, Nancy Andrews, puppeteer Tim LaGasse, local art maven Xander Marro, video puppeteer Dennis Hylnsky and Plushie Schwartz*. BYOP (bring your own popcorn).

When asked about the current slate of film-makers, Vanessa Gilbert (Blood from A Turnip founder) remarked, "We've never done a film and video night. The line-up is so phenomenal we had to offer the program with two seatings! We've taken some risks this time expanding from what people traditionally, view as puppetry to related sub-genres such as animation, computer graphics..." "... AND PLUSHIES!", Marsian, her glamourous co-curator chimed in, "Blood from A Turnip is a splash of glitter in this beige beige world. Night-life is not what it used to be and puppetry has become the new karaoke!"

TESTIMONY (8:49 min) 2004, B&W
Kara Walker
TESTIMONY is the artist's first video work and was recently exhibited at the SITE Santa Fe Fifth Annual Biennial and Brent Sikkema Gallery in New York. In a narrative centered on a revolt by white slaves against their black overseers, Walker employs paper silhouette figures in stop-start animation reminiscent of puppet shows and shadow plays of the 19th century. At times, we catch a glimpse of Walker's hand as she moves the figures, or her silhouette in the background, emphasizing the 'home-made', physical quality of the piece. This silent, black and white film continues Walker's interest in themes present in her cut-paper work, including issues of sexuality, power and brutality within the institution of slavery, and their resonance in contemporary society. Walker is best known for her iconic silhouetted figures which have appeared in galleries and and contemporary art museums throughout the country and around the world. She is a recipient of the 1997 MacArthur Foundation Achievement Award and was the United States representative to the 2002 Sao Paolo Biennial in Brazil.
MONKEYS AND LUMPS (38 min) 2003, B&W w/ optical sound
Nancy Andrews
This film is a hybrid of drawn animation, live action and puppetry. The central theme is the unknown or the 'other' and our efforts as individual humans to understand our place and relationship with the unknowable. There are several subjects woven into the film. These are: facial expressions of human and non-human primates; space training and missions of chimpanzees; human study of monkeys (symbolized by the image of Jane Goodall); interactions between humans and animals (taken from news reports); lumps-- organisms that wash up on beaches that fit no known life forms (also called globsters); and, extra-terrestrials.

The film's character, Ima Plume (pronounce EE-MA PLOOM), is a chalk-talk specialist or public illustrator who draws before small audiences. Her chalk talks are represented in the hand drawn animation segments.

Credits: Written, animated, shot and edited by Nancy Andrews, Music by John Cooper, Narrated by Elmer Beal, Ima's Wig by Dru Colbert, Funded in part by grant from the Maine Arts Commission

Nancy Evelyn Andrews lives in Seal Harbor, Maine, where she makes film and performance pieces. For the past few years, much of her work has reflected her interest in the confluence of film and live performance as exemplified by the early twentieth century practice of presenting silent films with live sound effects, narration, and music. Recently, her work has concerned colonial America through the use of puppet characters and historic diaries. She has beenthe recipient of grants and fellowships from the Illinois State Arts Council, The Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art (supported by the Jerome Foundation and New York State Council on the Arts), and National Endowment for the Arts. Her work has been presented by the Museum of Modern Art, Pacific Film Archive, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Jerusalem Film Festival, and Chicago Filmmakers; and is in the film collections of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art. She was nominated for a Rockefeller Media Fellowship in 2002. Between 1993-95, she studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received a Master of Fine Arts in 1995. Nancy is currently on faculty at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, where she teaches performance art, video making and film history.
Xander Marro
Xander Marro has been described by the Providence Phoenix as "a puppet-maker & projectionist, steeped in the underground". She is a member of the famed Dirt Palace, a feminist art collective where she makes movies, puppet shows, prints and phone calls. Her adventures underground have included curating the long-running 'Movies with Live Soundtracks' series and touring with Birdsongs of the Bauharoque, a two-woman puppet operetta starring her alter-egos Lady Longarms and Madame von Temper Tantrum.
Tim LaGasse
Veteran Blood From A Turnip performer, Tim LaGasse will be showing his latest puppet film. LaGasse is a professional puppeteer, designer, puppet builder, and filmmaker. In his spare time he performs with puppets for more mature late night puppet comedy shows and Puppet Slams all over New York and New England, and tours the world performing in television and live puppet shows in places like London, England and Seoul, Korea.
Dennis Hylnsky
BAGH DAD FALLS is the artist's most recentpersonal work. "It began to take shape with two events, my mother's gift to me of a shoebox filled with her personal snapshots and our preparation for war in Iraq. There were many questions concerning my mother's photographs that spanned from 1920 to present day. As I tried to assemble a family history I found a period of time shortly after WW2 where aunts and uncles took husbands and wives, had children, and tried to make good families after a decade of depression and war."

" For the first time I began to put together a personal series of events and stresses which forged the family of the 1950's. These families and the families of my friends grew up in dysfunctional households with Dads suffering undiagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These were our Heroic dads. The moms had spent the war years in a matriarchal society only to give it up as full time wives. Cold war fear gave way to other fear. TV advertisements made us fear our behavior."

"It is the children of the Baby Boom who make the decisions concerning our present conflict. My question started to become something like this. On what basis do we Baby Boomers; who were the first Television test market and who lived in fear of Atomic Attack ... how do these adults make and view our war on terror? Having grown up with fear in the background are we simply more comfortable living with a war that has no clear front, no clear enemy, no clear end and no clear plan."
PLUSHIE SCHWARTZ presents graphic depictions of sex, fur-suits and voyeurism without apology. Totally over-the-top, Plushie proves that being yourself is the only way to find true happiness! Housemates, T-Dances and K-Holes challenge Plushie every step of the way. Will he find acceptance? Love? or just drug induced substitutes? (*Programme B only)

Deborah Nash at
Graphics courtesy of Marsian
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