Dawn of the Apocalypse

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On June 19th, 2010, I performed as an anthropomorphized oil spill in Dawn of The Apocalypse, a song response to the Deepwater Horizon spill with music composed by Melissa Dunphy.  I performed Dawn of the Apocalypse at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center at the culmination of the 2010 National Puppetry Conference.

An iconic image of an oil soaked bird from the Gulf of Mexico became the impetus for  the lyrics and images. Melissa Dunphy composed the music and engineered the auto-tune. Carole D’Agostino fabricated the dress from garbage bags while Heather Henson worked on the oil rig hat.  The garbage bag material used for the dress, the oil-soaked bird-umbrella, and the oil spill became a significant material as the plastic it is made from is derived from oil, and due to its ubiquitousness at landfills and association with trash.

From the lyrics:

It’s the dawn of the apocalypse and look who washed to shore
While you were busy charging things and driving to the store
Its a sticky situation. Its a sticky situation.

Behind a shady dealing. Theres a reason for my fear
I’ve got a sinking feeling. Our extinction’s in the air
Mass eradication. Mass eradication

My love is spilling
An iceberg cries itself to death
My love is spilling
A sea turtle takes its last breath

A tsunami of boiling sorrow
I think I’m gonna sit right here and
Wait until tomorrow. Wait until tomorrow

Its the dawn of the apocalypse and look who washed to shore
While you were busy charging things and driving to the store
It’s a sticky situation. It’s a sticky situation

Behind a shady dealing. Theres a reason for my fear
I’ve got a sinking feeling. Our extinction’s in the air
Mass eradication. Mass eradication

My love is spilling
An Iceberg cries itself to death
My love is spilling
A sea turtle runs out of breath

A tsunami of boiling sorrow
I think I’m gonna sit right here and
Wait until tomorrow. Wait until tomorrow
tomorrow tomorrow

Why do you always have to drill baby drill?

Melissa Dunphy specializes in theatrical and political music, exploring how music can bring unexpected emotion and connection to dry or confronting settings. Her best-known work The Gonzales Cantata, which used transcripts of Senate hearings as lyrics, simultaneously condemned, mocked, and evoked pathos for Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales; the work received rave press, including features on such politically diverse outlets as The Rachel Maddow Show, Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, and National Review.

While at the National Puppetry Conference, I also performed in and helped to develop Tim Lagasse and Martin P. Robinson’s puppet film, Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft, and also performed Fudgie’s Death, a segment from Growing Up Linda at Blue Gene’s Pub.

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.

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.

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