On Saturday night Ramshackle Theatre brought together a eclectic group of performance and installation artists to create a performance show in the woods. I was honoured to be one of the artists asked to make this project happen.
This was the third year that Ramshackle has produced Theatre in the Bush. The show brought together seven groups of artists. We drew locations randomly out of a hat exactly one week before the show. We then had 7 days to pull together our performances. On the night of the sold-out show the audience gathered with warm clothes and flashlights at a bonfire. They were split into four groups and then were brought around to the seven shows by a team of guides. Each show lasted ten minutes and there were five minutes between each showing so that the audience could make their way through the dark woods to the next location. The other artists involved were: Monique Romeiko, Peter Jickling, Sarah Moore, Steve McGovern, George Maratos, Mike Ellis, Shane Orban, MacKenzie Orban, and Tyler Kuhn and the productions ranged from contemporary dance, to storytelling, to a puppet show (that was me), to comedy.
Tyler Kuhn (my husband) and I created our own puppet theatre in the woods. Using nearby trees for support we build our stage by hanging backdrops, set pieces, and curtains (our living room curtains to be specific). We created a cozy viewing area for the audience out of a set of blankets that we had used to yarn bomb a truck earlier this summer.
Our puppet show was a re-telling of the Princess and the Frog, in a Mad Libs format to give the audience lots of opportunity to participate. Our version of the story had an unhappy ending complete with zombies (which were very fun puppets to make).
The audience seemed to really enjoy the show – they were laughing the whole way through and a couple came back to watch the show a second time. All in all a success.