On July 23rd and 24th, 2006, I performed my short marionette dance piece, Rango Tango, in the Dina Merrill Theater at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut. The performance was part the 2006 National Puppetry Conference where I worked with marionettist, Phillip Huber who choreographed the piece. Funding for my time at the O’Neill was made possible with funding the Kevin Clash Minority Scholarship.
Also featured on the program were Under Milk Wood, written by Dylan Thomas, Directed by Terry Lee; Video Anarchy, directed by Tim Lagasse; Marionettes directed by Philip Huber; Eeks-Travaganza by emerging artist, Marc Weiner; The Continued Adventures of Pussy (puh-see and Cordelia) by emerging artist, Lindsey (“Z.”) Briggs; Group Etude by emerging artist, Ulysses Jones; and It Can’t Happen Here by emerging artist Kate Katz.
Phillip Huber’s work spans theatre, cabarets, and film. Before he launched Huber Marionettes in 1980 with partner David Alexander, he worked for Tony Urbano and Jim Henson. Huber has played the international cabaret circuit that including the Lido in Paris, Casino de Monte Carlo, the Cunard, cruise lines, and The Tonight Show. Huber created and manipulated marionettes for the film, Being John Malkovich. He performed his theatre piece Suspended Animation in Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Norway, Mexico, and Canada. He has collaborated with Tony Ousler on Don’t Trust Anyone Over Thirty at the Whitney Museum. Recently, Huber manipulated puppets for the film, Oz the Great and Powerful.
The internationally-acclaimed Eugene O’Neill Theater Center is dedicated to encouraging and furthering the creative impulse which is at the heart of all theatrical expression – and the puppet arts are no exception. In 1964, the pioneering American puppetry team (and Waterford residents) Rufus and Margo Rose helped founding director George C. White establish the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. This began a long-standing tradition of puppetry at the O’Neill Center, which continued through the efforts of puppet artist Bart Roccoberton. In 1990, Jane Henson established the Rose Endowment for Puppetry to support an annual puppetry conference – thus paying tribute to the Rose’s influential work – and to assure the continuing presence of puppetry at the O’Neill Center. George Latshaw was the Artistic Director for the conference’s inaugural year, followed by Richard Termine from 1992-2003, and Pam Arciero from 2003 to the present.