The show “Paperhand Puppet” tells the story of our relationship with the Earth


Paperhand Puppet Intervention is holding its 21st annual exhibit at Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill and the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh.

Each year, the organization tells a story about the relationship between people, Earth and its creatures using giant puppets, shadows and original live music.

Donovan Zimmerman is one of the leaders of the company behind the new show “Unfolding Seeds: Invocations of Transformation”.

Here are some highlights from WUNC’s conversation with him.

What is this year’s story about?

Zimmermann: “We just have about 10 different invocations that revolve around the themes of all flourishing is mutual or collective liberation. It is also based on the idea of ​​what we need to invoke to transform in order to survive that as a species. . “

How is the show impacted by the pandemic?

Zimmermann: “We didn’t tackle the pandemic at all, face it, at all. We just knew that was the condition that people were getting to, no matter what you have in your life, that you are going to get to this. show with the pandemic having affected him, so we just decided to look at other things about healing and what it’s like to go from being isolated and contracted to a more open and contracted way. expanded – but I mean, again, then Delta started to crumble a few weeks before we opened. So that was an interesting pivot that we also tried to fit in, without – again – directly addressing COVID in the show. “

How did you feel in your workshop when you finally saw people show up again to start building the costumes, props and puppets for this year’s show?

Donovan Zimmerman

Each year, the organization tells a story about the relationship between people, Earth and its creatures using giant puppets.

Zimmermann: “Well, that was great. I felt like I could begin to understand why I’m here on this planet, and… why I exist. I have this clear path for myself that I’m trying to find. finding since And so, what we really tried to do was create a practice among our returning puppeteers and musicians to really come together in presence with each other.

“And we kind of decided to create a culture of care. And we decided to integrate that into everything about the show. When people take care of the puppets, they also take care of each other by as cast members And then we take care of the audience and we create this idea – or nurture this idea of ​​stewardship – that also has to do with, of course, taking care of the earth. earth and earth heals us – (this is) also one of the central themes. “

Live music is also an important part of the show. Who brings this together and how big is the group?

Zimmermann: “The band is made up of six people this year. And Charles Jones is our sound designer and he’s an incredible professional wonder of a sound person. Live music is a huge part, it directs the emotions to where you are. need it. It’s a collaborative process where everyone puts down their musical ideas and sketches and we give feedback and we sort of crude things and put them in and then it’s just a matter of refining it after that. . “

People can see “Unfolding Seeds: Invocations of Transformation” this weekend at Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill and next weekend at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh.


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