The Xperimental Puppetry Theater (XPT), playing May 12-15 at the Center for Puppetry Arts continues its commitment to developing and showcasing new, innovative works in puppetry by established and emerging artists from a variety of disciplines. Artists experiment with a dazzling, myriad of puppetry styles–marionettes, masks, automata, object-theater, body puppets, rod puppets, shadow puppets – and short films featuring stop-motion, claymation, live manipulation, collage, silhouette and other film styles. All of these styles and techniques communicate the power of puppet-theater to visually and metaphorically transcend the limitations of traditional actor-only storytelling.
The experimental mission of XPT results in work that is imaginative, bold, avant-garde and adult by nature. The stories can be personal, mythical, allegorical, fantastical and thought-provoking. The intention is to invite the audience to see their world through a lens of unlimited visual possibility. Some of the works in this year’s line-up include a worm’s eye view of Atlanta, stories from the ancient world to an alien world, a stop-motion film that combines the latest stop-motion technology with the art of origami and (of course) a piece of political satire.
This year’s film lineup is as follows:
- Akkadian Night Music – By Steve Morrison
- The ancient hero, Gilgamesh, mourns his past and he searches for peace.
- Princess Cottongrass – By SCAD Atlanta Stop-Motion Club
- A Swedish folktale told with downshoot 2.5D stop-motion and origami.
- Unicorn Princess – By Sara Gaare and Jessica Sanchez
- The wacky adventures of a half human, half unicorn in search of her family.
- Tiny Traveler – By Dante DeStefano and Colin Wheeler
- Experience the sights and sounds of Atlanta with the city’s smallest newspaper courier.
This year’s live performances are as follows:
- Puppet Politics 2016 – By Ian Custar
- Hear four alternative candidates make their case for what’s important this year.
- Deep – By Matthew Siano
- Separated from his vessel, a deep-sea diver encounters various sea creatures in the ocean’s depth.
- Fantagio di Fantastique – By Bean and Bear
- A puppet works to perform magic tricks, if only his assistant doesn’t get in the way.
- Acts of Thecla – By Moira Bucciarelli
- Thecla leaves a life of privilege to follow the teachings of Paul, but encounters gender barriers.
- Stretch – By Spencer Murrill
- A variety of puppetry styles and theater techniques are used to tell stories of an alien world.
- I Loved a Broken Man – By Shari Bohnsack
- The unique story of a romance gone awry.
For more than 30 years, XPT has allowed the Center for Puppetry Arts to invite theater newcomers and seasoned professionals alike to collaborate and showcase their talents by writing, directing, constructing and performing experimental works for the puppet stage. At its essence, XPT is a lab or incubator for new ideas and works for puppetry from artists of every artistic discipline, some of whom may never have worked in puppetry. Once the artist is chosen, he or she receives a small stipend. The real benefit for the artist is freedom to experiment and collaborate with fellow artists under the guidance of Center staff. This alchemy is what moves ideas from conception to execution. All accepted submissions will be archived in the Center’s puppet film library for guests to enjoy for years to come.
Recommended for ages 18 and older, XPT continues to prove that puppets are not just for kids. A beer and wine cash bar will be open before the show and during intermission.
May 12-15, 2016
Thursday – Saturday: 8 p.m.
Sunday: 5 p.m.
Talkback with the artists following every performance
Center for Puppetry Arts
1404 Spring St. NW
Atlanta, GA 30309
Tickets are $10 (Members) and $15 (Nonmembers) and include the performance, as well as entry to the Worlds of Puppetry Museum. Tickets may be purchased online at www.puppet.orgor by calling 404-873-3391. For more information, visit www.puppet.org/xpt16.