2012 National Puppetry Conference

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7rob7
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2012 National Puppetry Conference

Post #1 by 7rob7 » September 9th, 2012, 9:14 am

The 2012 National Puppetry Conference was this past June at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in CT; I was there.

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I was there for the Pre-conference Writing Intensive: Writing the Puppet Narrative, and it was life-changing. Let me tell you why.

For forty years I've considered myself a designer, and presented myself as a designer. Then a few years ago, on impulse, I adapted Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress into a play -- which Foggy saw -- because I needed a project of some kind to "tele-create" to complete my MFA in Montana without actually having to be in Montana. (Which I'd love to be in, but that's a different thread.) Now, I wrote a lot in high school and community college, but set it all aside when I had to concentrate on building a career as a designer (there're a lot more people ready to pay designers than there are ready to pay writers, in case anyone was wondering.) Some people say I'm a pretty good designer, even after all these years. But the writing had been on the backest of burners.

Anyway, the opportunity to apply for the O'Neill came around, and -- figuring I had nothing to lose -- I told them I'm a writer.

And they accepted me as a writer. :shock:

Here I was at a national theatre conference, and nobody knew I was "really" a designer. It was like I'd put on a red nose and clowned at a circus without anyone being the wiser. It was, as I said, life-changing. That's where I wrote the first draft of the first scene in The Misdirection of Henry Walker, and now here I am fussing with typos in the full draft I sent out to a dozen people yesterday for feedback.

Hokey smokes!

(And that's why I put this in the Literature, Language & Writing forum.)
There's nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be; it's easy.

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7rob7
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Joined: August 8th, 2012, 7:07 am

Re: 2012 National Puppetry Conference

Post #2 by 7rob7 » September 9th, 2012, 9:35 am

Not to put too fine a point on it, but because of this experience -- and, ok, the contacts I made -- I have been appointed Director of New Works for the 2013 Puppeteers of America conference outside Philadelphia; this means I will be spending the better part of the next year soliciting scenes from works-in-progress by puppetry and object theatre artists all over the US (at least), and putting them together in a series of showcases where audiences and a "panel of experts" (something else I need to organize) offer comment and feedback to the writer/artist.

It's a model of how playwriting and screenwriting are fostered and developed nowadays, but it will be the first time, I think, anyone has concentrated on writing for constructed actors.

I'm loving it! :-bd
There's nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be; it's easy.

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Bill Bryan
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Re: 2012 National Puppetry Conference

Post #3 by Bill Bryan » September 10th, 2012, 5:49 am

OK, that is way cool.

I've always been a writer. Now I'm learning to be a designer (of websites). ;;)
"My presidency is entering the fourth quarter. Interesting stuff happens in the fourth quarter."
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