I exhibited 40 storyboards and 3 pop-ups from Growing Up Linda – Fudgie’s Death at the Eighth International Toy Theater Festival and Temporary Toy Theatre Museum presented by Great Small Works at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood.
Fudgie’s Death storyboards and pop-ups made with EuGean Seo,
2008, Photo: Marsian De Lellis
The Temporary Toy Theatre Museum was curated by Emmy Bean and on view between May 23rd June 1st, 2008. The storyboards and pop-ups I displayed were all from Fudgie’s Death, a segment of Growing Up Linda that follows the troubled daughter of a famous ice cream mogul and her downward spiral into frosting, substance abuse, and Fudgie the Whale. The pop-ups were created in collaboration with Korean paper engineer, EuGean Seo, who redesigned my initial storyboards so they would work as theatrical pop-ups. In the performance of Fudgie’s Death, I transformed her table-top pop-up books into full-screen cinema using live-feed from tiny security cameras and projectors.
From a Great Small Works announcement:
“Toy Theater: The Grandest of Tales with the Simplest of Means”
Toy Theater (also called Paper Theater) was the rage in parlors across Europe and the Americas in the 19th century, a popular means of staging dramatic spectacles at home. But just as revolutions in print technology had brought Toy Theater into 19th-century homes, 20th-century advances in electronic media and mass culture led to the virtual extinction of this inexpensive family entertainment. The small box used to stage sumptuous dances, battles and stories in the parlor was replaced by an all-too-familiar box in the modern living room. Fantastic in scope, easily affordable and open to any imaginable content, Toy Theater begs to be rescued from obscurity and re-invented in a wide variety of contemporary styles.
Great Small Works is an OBIE Award-winning collective of theater artists who draw on folk, avant-garde and popular theater traditions to address contemporary issues. Its members are: John Bell, Trudi Cohen, Stephen Kaplin, Jenny Romaine, Roberto Rossi and Mark Sussman. As of 2008, the company produced seven Toy Theater festivals in NYC since 1993.
For the 2008 Toy Theater Festival, Great Small Works completely transformed St. Ann’s Warehouse, billing it as “a colossal event of miniature proportions”. Great Small Works organized six different programs for adult audiences, a late-night cabaret for developing work, two symposia, two public workshops, and the Temporary Toy Theater Museum which featured an extensive exhibition of both historic and brand-new examples toy theater.
The artists who had work on display in the Temporary Toy Theater Museum included: Jason Adams, Emily Anderson, Morgan FP Andrews, Germán List Arzubide, Danielle Ash, Daniel Baker, Jon Bankert , Alejandro Benítez, Michelle Beshaw, Eric Bernard, Ramón Alva de la Canal, David Hyde Costello, Jonathan Cross, Pablo Cueto, Marsian DeLellis, Trish Denton, Andrea Dezsö, Drama of Works, Morgan Eckert, Eric Edelman, Joel Egger, Beth Elkins, El Puente Academy Students & El Puente Leadership Center, Sally Fisher, Sean-Michael Fleming, Jane Freeman, Elvira Gascón, Janie Geiser, Alexandra Gray, Chris Green, Ayesha Hameed, Patrick Harrop, Sarah Hauser, Louise Harter, Serra Hirsch, Island Academy (Rikers Island), Frances Jetter, Rebecca Kelly, Tine Kindermann, Kieran Kinsella, Mayer Kirshenblatt, Kara Kovacev, Daniel Lang/Levitsky, Jamie Leo, Naima Lowe, P.J. McWhiskers, Johnnie Moore, Ann Neff, El Neto, Ken Nintzel, Judith O’Hare, Oiseaux Sisters (Carolyn Fellman & Susan Andrews), Erin Orr, Lisa Pietersma, Fiona Pippa, Valeska Populoh & Cause Company, Julio Prieto, Helen Quinn, Kip Rathke, Maddy Rosenberg, Erik Ruin, AE Ryan, Harry Saffren, Toni Schlesinger, EuGean Seo, Beom Sik Shim, Annie Silverman, Lake Simons, Lydia Stein, Mark Sussman, KT Thomas, Edwin Torres, Amy Walsh, K Webster, Karen Werner, Paul Zaloom/Sean Meredith/Sandow Birk, and Danijel Zezelj