Bonky Dolls

Stuart Window and David Higgins manning the overhead projector during a performance of  A Haunting in Buzzard's Bay  at Big Nazo Studio in Providence with Jeremy Fortier playing viola and Vanessa Gilbert singing just out of the frame.

Stuart Window and David Higgins manning the overhead projector during a performance of A Haunting in Buzzard's Bay at Big Nazo Studio in Providence with Jeremy Fortier playing viola and Vanessa Gilbert singing just out of the frame.

A group for artists

Bonky Dolls is a puppet-centric performance collaboration based in Providence, RI started by myself a few years back.  The central tenet of Bonky Dolls is reciprocity and mutual support among its artists with an aim to creating original performance that utilizes puppetry and presents the ideas and voices of its members in front of an audience.

"Contributing Artists" to Bonky Dolls are those that have assisted a current member in the making of a show.

Full "membership" is gained by having a current member assist in the making of a Contributing Artist's performance project. 

That is, once you have:

  • helped a Bonky Doll make a puppet (or puppet-ish) show

and

  • received help from Bonky Doll help make your puppet show

You are Bonky Doll. 

 

to present puppet based theater

Excerpts from The Haunting of Buzzards Bay, a shadow puppet show created by David Higgins, Vanessa Gilbert, Stuart Window and Jeremy Fortier. Shot at the CulturePark 13th Short Play Marathon, November 21, 2015 at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Songs are traditional with lyrics by David Higgins/Vanessa Gilbert.

Amanda Weir, Nicole LeDuc and David Higgins in  Fields Point Sunset

Amanda Weir, Nicole LeDuc and David Higgins in Fields Point Sunset

Although loosely (if at all) organized for quite some time, Bonky Dolls has recently started evolving from being more of a support group to a presenting entity.  It was even nominated for a couple of Motif awards in the summer of 2017, despite the members behind those projects have no recollection of use the Bonky Dolls moniker in association with those projects.  So, at this point, it seems likely that we will be using that name out in public a bit more in the near future.  And by "we", I refer to current active members:

  • David Higgins - original member, along with Amanda Weir
  • Vanessa Gilbert - long time collaborator with David and Providence
  • Stuart Window - visual and performance artist from UK
  • Jeremy Fortier - classical violist and conceptualist

Amanda and other members that are less active or further afield these days probably won't be using the name anytime soon, but I would smile if they did.