Pennings aka general blog

Puppet Manifesto 2


Before pulling the trigger about pulling some strings

Before wielding the rod that might spoil your show





what you are doing. 

Consider also what you want to do, but consider what you are doing and have done before you do more. 

But… don’t consider too hard what you have to show for your efforts.  More importantly,

Consider your impulse

Consider your intention

And, if you are certain that your impulse is not best expressed as novel, sculpture, or  some other non-performing form, then consider:

            The dancer,

            who can tell stories and share emotions with the human body alone

            The mime,

            who can do the same thing, but in a weird and not very graceful way

            The storyteller,

            unencumbered before the audience

            The musician,

            who can touch dark ancient part of brain with sound

            The singer,

            Who, through song, combines the complexity word and the primitives of tone

And consider the actor

There is not another figure on stage that can do what the actor does.  Neuroscience confirms what has been known for centuries.  When we see a person in the same room as us portray an emotion or state of being, we feel it. 



Pain, joy, fear, hunger, thirst and so on.  We don’t simply recognize it, we don’t merely understand it a larger context of any social, political, cultural information we have gathered.  We feel it.  The same neurons fire in our brain as if we were having the experience as the actor is portraying.  And this does not happen with an actor on film, in two dimensions. 




If you understand that the power an actor brings into a room is not required by your art


If you understand that the power an actor brings into a room even prohibited by your art


If you need to tell truths that can’t be believed when spoken by a human


If you need to arrive at the artwork’s destination only after traveling through the childhood imagination and fascination even when your audience is adult


If you need to

If you refuse to allow the writers and readers of words to claim a monopoly on the use of the term “poetry”


If you must bend time and space like a film, but in the same room as the audience


If you must not be constrained by the physics of a human body, but must tell a human’s story

or if you must tell a universal story with the voice of beings and objects unable to speak


If you must make sculpture sing and dance


If you find that you need to fit the whole show into your suitcase.


It is apparent that no better solution exists…



the puppet from,

among all the puppets that exist and

among all the puppets that you can conceive of.

Choose the puppet

            that will best serve


                                    most fully be your