Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Black Sheep Puppet Festival
This is just a heads up that we are in the Black Sheep Puppet Season, thanks to people like Tom Sarver. This is one of the last approved events before the Stillers high holidays and seems to becoming better each year. Events will be going on throughout the month.
This month, The Brew House in the South Side will be hosting the Black Sheep Puppet Festival for the eighth year. The festival “is an international showcase of contemporary innovations in puppetry as an art form and performance medium,“ according to its website, www.blacksheeppuppet.com.
Once again, puppeteers and artists from all over the U.S. and Canada will return for a month-long festival promoting puppetry in its modern form. While the resources are paltry and the puppets are not extremely high-tech, sincere passion for puppetry has been clearly displayed at the past seven festivals. Many of the artists return year after year with new projects and creations to show off.
Pittsburgh native Tom Sarver, this year’s curator and the one who has been integral to the festival since its inception, is currently opening a museum called the Tom Museum in conjunction with the Mattress Factory. As part of this festival, he will be conducting a make-your-own-puppet day at the Mattress Factory, during which workshops will be held for introductory puppet-making.
The festival started in 1999. A group of artists that worked in The Brew House at the time wanted to bring something new and different to The Brew House — something that displays the cutting edge, experimental forms of puppet,” Sarver said. “I was in school in Philadelphia studying painting, had just started doing puppet shows, and happened to run into the people doing the festival. Getting involved in the puppet festival helped me get more into it and keep up with it as an art form. It was really inspiring for me.”