On Wednesday, June 16th, 2010, I performed Fudgie’s Death, at Blue Gene’s Pub during the National Puppetry Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, assisted by Liz Hara. Fudgie’s Death, a short segment from Growing Up Linda, is a neo-noir tale of depravity centered on the daughter of a famous ice cream mogul, who must come to terms with her troubled past.
Fudgie’s Death was written with longtime collaborator, P.J. McWhiskers and Joel Egger with pop-up books created with Korean paper engineer, Eugean Seo. Costumes were designed by Rachel Weir with specialty corseting created by Lee Vargas Perez and Hunter Wells. Kari Rae Seekons created a special sound design I was able to trigger from the stage, while Aaron Barlow provided live video feed.
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. Now celebrating it’s twenty third year, under the direction of Pam Arciero, the O’Neill Puppetry Conference continues to nurture the art of puppetry through its unique mission.
The mission of the National Puppetry Conference is to be a catalyst for the professional puppet artist’s growth and development through both the exploration of performance styles and skills, and the production of new works-in-progress for puppet theatre. The conference focuses on empowering puppet artists to create through the visual imagery and kinetic form of the puppet and enhancing their work through a collaborative dramaturgical process. The goal of the Conference is to encourage and create the highest quality of puppet art.