On June 15th, 2013 I performed Ashes to Ashes, Rust to Rust an initial excerpt from Object of Her Affection as a participant piece at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center Waterford, CT at the culmination of the National Puppetry Conference. In Ashes to Ashes, Rust to Rust, a woman who desires intimate relationships with inanimate objects discovers that the bridge she has come to love has been cheating on her.
My time at the 2013 O’Neill was made possible by the Alumni Travel Scholarship, Terry Fator Scholarship.
Also performing short-form puppetry pieces were Zeb West, Katie McClenahan, Gavin Cummins, Marjan Poorgholamhossein, Spencer Lott, Brandi Hoofnagle, Stephanie Diaz, Bonnie Duncan, Aubrey Clinedinst, Heidi Rugg, Leila Ghaznavi, Christonpher and Justin Swader, Ian Sweetman, Jenelle Weidlich, Cameron Garrity, Mike Oleon, Brian Hashimoto, Mindy Leanse, Nate Brown, Annie Staats, Adam Kreutinger, Beau Brown, Michelle Finston, Holiday Campanella, and Arlee Chadwick.
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. The 2013 Conference was dedicated to the memories of Jane Henson and Jerry Nelson.