Amazing puppet show

Written by Sihan Wang

Last night I went to the Krannert Center watched “No Blue Memories-The Life Of Gwendolyn Brooks”, which is a Shadowplay. The huge Christmas trees looked very good. 

Before I went, I actually have no idea what it is going to be like, I even thought it was going to be like an opera play but only with puppets, but it turns out that the puppet that I know wasn’t the kind of “puppet” that they used on stage. The puppet that they used is all kinds of different shape of people that they cut from paper. This performance was very interesting; I have never seen such a performance with such creativity, it feels like watching an old black & white movie in this modern day, but with no outdated techniques. Overall the props they used was four projectors, all kinds of puppets including people, building, cars, and every single thing could see in a normal movie, and very importantly, a live band that played the music with no stop, perfectly fit in with the whole performance, what’s surprise with this band is that from time to time there would be a singer that sing along with the show, I like her voice and song very much!

After I sit, I noticed that the “actors” were practicing with people, which was very fun and made me wanted to know more about what was going to happen. This play was basically about how a writer lives her life and had so much impact on different people, even people in jail write letters to her.

In the first 30 minutes, I wasn’t even fully enjoying the show, because the way that they used puppet from the projector and performed with live actors was just so fun! I could not help myself to see what is happening on the stage under the screen, what were they doing when they switch scenes, how did real actors grab things on the screen while what she did on stage was merely grabbing air. With those questions, I was so excited that Harkins (The female lead) told us that after the show there’s a “puppet time” which we could explore how they did those amazing shows with only two screens and four projectors.

So it turns out that they were able to project more than one scene simultaneously onto the screen, that’s why I was so confused about how they manage to keep track of different scenes with no mistakes. They fully explained how they did it and I was amazed by their genius mind, and wish I could do it too.

Overall I enjoyed this play very much and it was such a wonderful time to spend my Thursday night!

P.S the last photo is the puppet they used in the end scene!

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