Puppets for a thriving planet

2011-06-29 08:39

Environmental consciousness is a new addition to the yearly Out The Box puppetry and visual theatre festival running in Cape Town in September.

Festival director Yvette Hardie says that their green platform will be called Arts for a Sustainable Earth.It will feature theatre or multimedia productions that aim to “inspire new behaviours for sustainable living and reimagining possibilities for our collective future”.

It will unfold in Cape Town’s bohemian suburb of Observatory at two theatre venues and in public spaces, and will be accessible to people of all ages.

Hardie said they “wanted to find a way that the arts can address environmental issues”.
“It’s a chance for the arts to say how we can contribute to this issue.

“There are so many companies that have been thinking that this is an issue that should be taken to schools or into theatres ... that have been doing work with an environmental thrust.
“It doesn’t have to be just educational. It’s about thinking about new ways of the world that we’re living in. Art should be contributing to a sustainable Earth.”

Hardie was recently appointed president of Assitej, an international association for theatre for children and young people.

She said that at least 80 of their 152 applicants for participation in the festival were from outside South Africa. Of those, only 55 companies were selected to show their work. The nine-day festival includes storytelling across platforms.

The live performances will be accompanied by the Moving Things Film Festival that shows films that feature puppetry and stop-frame animation.

The deadline for participation in this film festival is the end of July.

Among the screen shows are two collections of short films entitled Handmade Puppet Dreams curated by Heather Henson, the daughter of Muppets creator Jim Henson.

Shows resulting from an active skills development and job creation component, Active Puppets, will also be on the main festival programme.

» Out The Box Festival runs at various venues in Cape Town from September 3 to 11

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