I love puppets. From the fanciest creation at Jim Henson’s studio to the humblest sock. I’m thrilled that both shows in Red Tape’s season feature prominent roles for puppets, and they are used in ways one wouldn’t expect. The puppets in Mouse in a Jar and The Love of the Nightingale are meant to disturb, rather than amuse.
A quick search for the History of Puppets reveals tales of the Shadow puppet epics of Indoneisa, the years of training spent on Japanese bunruku, and the rod and string puppets used in Italian morality plays, the backstage antics behind the film Team America: World Police, and the latest Broadway outings by Julie Taymor.
Puppets as figures of fright go way back. The uncanny valley hypothesis of 1906 has studied the level of discomfort prompted by puppets, robots, CGI effects and other objects that look and behave similar to humans. The more human it looks, the less we trust it.
Paul G. Miller
Mouse in a Jar runs October 5-31, 2009.
Purchase tickets through our website.