Geppetto Festival: A Day of Puppetry
by Anthony Chase
The Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Daemen College will host “The Geppetto Festival: A Day of Puppetry” on Wednesday, April 17. Named after the beloved woodcarver from Carl Collodi’s 19th-century children’s classic, Pinocchio, the day-long event will feature performances, lectures, workshops, and other presentations by puppeteers and other artists from all over the United States.
“The mission of the Geppetto Festival is to share enriching presentations and performances that bring new life to puppetry,” says Cameron Garrity, the festival’s organizer, who is overseeing the project as part of his BFA studies at Daemen College.
All events will take place on the Daemen College campus at 4380 Main Street, Amherst, and are free and open to the public.
11am—SONGS OF THE ERIE CANAL by Franklin LaVoie of Buffalo. Outdoor performance in the sheltered patio of the Wick Center at Daemen College.
Noon—CUSTOM FOAM PATTERNING, a workshop hosted by Matthew Laird, a fabricator at Animax Designs, where he works on puppets and full-bodied costumes for theme parks around the globe. Haberman Gachioch Center for Visual and Performing Arts.
1pm—ONE VOICE, MANY VOICES, lecture by Broderick Jones. Jones is a writer, actor, and director who has served as a puppeteer for stage and film throughout the East Coast. Haberman Gachioch Center for Visual and Performing Arts.
2:30pm—UNCOVERING THE MYSTERY OF CZECH MARIONETTES, a lecture by Christine Dempsey, of Cambridge, MA. Dempsey is an artist, puppeteer, and educator whose work includes Time Machine Guitar, The Muppets, and RoboPuppet Theater presents The Hobbit. Haberman Gachioch Center for Visual and Performing Arts.
3:15pm—s’MUTHER, film screening with Chase Woolner, followed by a talk-back. Woolner is a CalArts graduate who worked as a “Muppeteer” on the 2011 film The Muppets. Haberman Gachioch Center for Visual and Performing Arts.
4:15pm—HANDS UP FOR PUPPETRY—FIGHTING THE DEVOLUTION, lecture by Cameron Garrity. Garrity is a writer, performer, and director of theatrical pieces for humans and puppets alike; he filmed a series of commercials starring his puppets with Western New York studio IBC Digital in May 2012. Haberman Gachioch Center for Visual and Performing Arts.
6:30pm—SYMPHONY, performance by Michele Costa of Buffalo’s theatreFigüren. Costa has been performing with theatreFigüren since 1991, and was the recipient of a Jim Henson Foundation grant in 2005. Haberman Gachioch Center for Visual and Performing Arts.
7:30pm—PUPPET SLAM, the day’s climax, a series of short performances by Laird, Jones, Dempsey, Woolner, Garrity, and others. Haberman Gachioch Center for Visual and Performing Arts
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