Growing Up Linda – Birthday Trauma, Orlando (exhibition)

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Puppets and props from Growing Up Linda – Birthday Trauma were part of No Strings Attached, an exhibition that highlighted various art forms encompassed by the craft of puppetry. Curated by Ibex Puppetry, the exhibition ran from October 15th – November 12th, 2009 at Gallery at Avalon Island in downtown Orlando.  Growing Up Linda was an ensemble actor-puppetry performance that looked at the off-kilter world of the daughter of a famous ice cream mogul.

In Birthday Trauma, the inciting episode, written with long-time collaborator, PJ McWhiskers, Linda Carvel becomes enamored with her ice cream cake, Cookie Puss.  After Linda makes a wish for eternal friendship with Cookie Puss (the only one in the world who understands her), Daddy Carvel strong-hands her into dismembering her new friend for the consumption of her blood-thirsty relatives.

No Strings Attached featured the work of local and nationally renowned artists and focused on puppetry-related art rather than the puppet as a puppet – with sketched imaginings for puppet shows yet to be built; interactive automata; and sculptural pieces highlighting a haunting sense of movement, artifice, and personality. No Strings Attached was part of the Orlando Puppet Festival, where I was also performing Bride of Wildenstein – The Musical.

Also included in the exhibition were works by the following artists: Darlene Allen, Jack Fields, Heather Henson, Lyon Forrest Hill, Jennifer Hill, “Jenny Mae”, Davy Jordan, David Kahler, Holly Laws, Tamara Marke-Lares, Curtiss Mitchell, Michael Morrison, Michael Noles, Scott Radke, Brad Richard, Helaine Schneider, David Stephens, April Tennyson, Lorca Wood, Vandy Wood.

Ibex  Puppetry is an entertainment company dedicated to promoting the fine art of puppetry in all of its mediums. Founded in 2000 and receiving multiple UNIMA (Union Internationale de la Marionette) awards, Ibex Puppetry supports puppet art in the mediums of film, stage, gallery exhibits, workshops and artist presentations.

Located in downtown Orlando, The Gallery at Avalon Island is a contemporary art space that hosts exhibitions for established artists, literary and film events, and musical performances. The gallery is housed in the oldest operational building in Orlando – the historic Rogers building, a Queen Anne style building that has stood since 1886.