November 1, 2012
Newly Hatching…

…on our Hearth—

You’re invited to the first showings of our newest work. That’s not very appealing if you’re 3,000 miles away, but hopefully you can catch it on our next tour.

Gifts is a gift: it’s free. We’ll pass the hat at the end and have books & dvds on sale, but it’s for you to offer as you will, and for us to offer you something deeply from our hearts.

Like our Co-Creation readings, Gifts is designed for house concerts. That’s why we’re presenting these preview performances at our home in Sebastopol.

They’re Saturday, Nov. 24, 7:30 pm; Wednesday, Nov. 28, 7:30 pm; and Sunday, Dec. 2, 4:00 pm. You absolutely need to make reservations—707-824-4307 or by email—as seating is very limited and we can’t make exceptions without knocking out a wall.

What’s it about?

Oh damn. It’s like pulling elephant tusks for me to describe one of our own pieces—I’ve been trying to do it for 50 years. Should’ve forced one of our kids into slavery as our publicist.

Well, it’s two actors, vaguely resembling ourselves, revisiting stories that are metaphors drawn from their life as a duo, an interplay of loss and gift. A young couple are trapped on an endless freeway leading them back, at last, to another try at Life. The dream of a prestigious award dissolves into begging for scraps, and finally a banquet. The gods offer us a gift, and we have to choose.

Or, in Elizabeth’s words: “It’s about our experience of going from place to place, friend to friend, carrying our lives in small bags and boxes and putting them on display in intimate circumstances. We’ve taken three short theatre pieces, all involved with the journey of life, and it’s all in the webwork of the actual event, the audience looking at the show, sometimes eavesdropping backstage, always knee to knee with the action. And we’re working with puppets and objects, projecting life into something that’s lifeless. When you put a tiny top hat on top of a pepper grinder, there is really a creature there.”

We expect to start touring Gifts on the West Coast in January and launch another Eastern tour in late spring or summer. We’re starting to solicit hosts now for performances in living rooms or small venues in the Bay Area & North Bay starting in January.

So if you’d like to attend one of our November previews, give us the word. There’ll be socializing & refreshments, and we hope to be able, from your responses, to find out what it’s all about.

More News—

For one night at least, the humble city of Vallejo was the hippest spot in the Bay Area. Fire puppets, a graceful mist figure, a stumbly but charming marionette of neon tubes, a Japanese ghost story told on a postage-stamp toy-theatre stage, a shadow Miss Muffit and monster spider, a smart-mouth skunk, the goddess Kali, and a parade of festive, improvised zombies—the Oct. 27th Zombie Jamboree, the second event of the Forbidden Cabaret Puppet Slam, and more to come.

We performed our sketch “At the Prom with Kali,” with effusive response. For us, the great thing about a variety-show format is that no one knows remotely what to expect. We’ve sorta made a life career producing stuff that’s impossible to describe—really bad for business if you’re trying to put out publicity but great if you come before an unsuspecting audience for that “Wow!” effect.

Other big project: Elizabeth’s canning 17 jars of tomato sauce from our garden—last batch shown here. I peeled onions & garlic, and washed the pots.

Peace & joy—

Conrad Bishop