Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Saturday Shadow Puppet Show at Black Cherry Puppet Theater!

Recent work on Baltimore band Wye Oak's music video Fish and my love for music have taken me further down the road of shadow puppetry as of late, but this time, into the past. This new shadow puppet show is based on a song written in 1978, set to the tune of an old shape note song, about a woman who lived in the mid-1700's.
It was inspired by the imagery of a song written by Carole Moody Crompton called Mrs Whitmore's Song. I've loved this song for years, but didn't know much about it. Crompton based her song on an article she read about Elizabeth Whitmore, a regional heroine, surviving a winter while caring for her small child, on her own in the wilds of Vermont in the mid-eighteenth century. She set her lyrics to the tune of a haunting but beautiful old shape note song called Fuducia. The combination of the moving music and the vivid imagery drew me in the first time she heard it. I couldn't help but want to make something about it. I was able to contact the songwriter who explained that when she wrote the song she was supporting herself as a single mother and felt an intense connection to this woman from so long ago. As someone who sees a lot of this same struggle in my own city, this made me want to do it even more.

Shadow puppetry is a lot like animation. You work on it for a month and it's over in five minutes, but somehow you can't stop doing it. A cranky shadow puppet show is created by pasting paper to one continuous scroll of paper which you then crank. It was an exciting new challenge creating a continuous visual story line. With the help of my wonderful husband Neal and my fantastic intern Raj Bunnag I was able to complete the crankie in a  month. 

Black Cherry Puppet theater will host a broad array of wonderful entertainers this Saturday night including, among others, Squidfire's Kevin Sherry and Miranda Pffiefer, creator of Celebration's stunning video, Honey Suckle Blue. Special musical guests TBA! Tickets available at brownpapertickets.com.
Puppet Slamwich!
Saturday, June 18, 2011, 7 and 9 pm
Black Cherry Puppet Theater
1115 Hollins Street
Baltimore, MD

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