The Boston College Theatre Department will present a one-night festival --Puppetology: An Evening of Uncommon Theater--in conjunction with the department's Rev. J. Donald Monan, S.J. Professorship in Theatre Arts, which this year is held by theater scholar and artist John Bell, a leading international authority on puppet theater and its allied artistic forms of object theater and toy theater.
The event-which will feature acclaimed artists Eric Bass, Beth Nixon, Lake Simons and Great Small Works, a troupe of which Bell is a founding member-will take place in the Bonn Studio Theater, located in the University's Robsham Theater Arts Center, on Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 7 p.m. It is free and open to the public, but advance reservations are required. [Media note: artists' bios below.]
Puppetology will feature each artist performing a piece from their puppet and object theater repertoire. Eric Bass, the founder and artistic director of the Sandglass Theater in Putney, VT, will perform a selection from his award-winning solo show, Autumn Portraits. Beth Nixon, of Ramshackle Enterprises in Providence, RI, will perform a "portable puppet show," drawn from her critically acclaimed Suitcase Series.
Lake Simons will debut Portrait of Me As Others, which explores the condition of being uncomfortable in one's own skin and the temptation to try on new personas.
Great Small Works, featuring Bell, will perform a piece titled Three Graces, an op-art romp inspired by Grace Paley, Grace Kelly, Grace Jones and Grace Lee Boggs.
"Puppetry is exciting because of the way it brings so many different art forms together in performance: sculpture, music, acting, playwriting," says Bell. "It's always open to innovations as well--new technologies, new mash-ups of intercultural elements, new mixings of high and low culture. Students coming to "Puppetology" are going to be surprised, inspired and excited about what they see--the wide range of performance forms that constitutes contemporary work with puppets and objects."
The festival is presented by the BC Theatre Department as part of Bell's year-long visiting professorship at Boston College.
"We want people to know that puppets are not just for kids. We want students to know that this type of work exists," says BC Theatre Department Chair Scott T. Cummings. "And that dedicated artists do it for a living. It's a hard life, but it's a creative life."
The Monan Professorship in Theatre Arts--named for University Chancellor and former BC President J. Donald Monan, SJ--enables the Theatre Department to bring nationally and internationally recognized professional theater artists to work with, and teach, undergraduate students at the University. Bell is the sixth visiting Monan Professor in Theatre Arts.
General admission tickets to Puppetology are free and available through the Robsham Theater Arts Center Box Office, or by calling 617-552-4002. Reservations are required due to limited availability. For more information, please go to www.bc.edu/theatre.