PATRICIA GERMANN: My background is actually in dance. I was drawn to this show because of the wordless nature of the piece, which really resonated with me as a dancer. I’m also inspired by the sheer variety of puppets in this show – how they’re constructed, how they move, and how they tell their stories. Cecilia and Genna are incredibly inventive.
JL: Wit’s End Puppets was established in 2011. What inspired you to form this company? What contribution do you hope to make to the D.C. Theatre community?
PG: I joined the project in January, and am thrilled to be a part of bringing original, contemporary performance to DC. It’s exciting to see how this show is pushing boundaries artistically.
JL: In addition to performances, Wit’s End Puppets has conducted workshops at elementary schools in D.C, Maryland and Virginia. Can you speak a bit about this work and the importance of arts in the schools?
PG: That’s a great question. Our work in schools and libraries is a really important part of what we do. It gives us the chance to tell compelling stories and to share the art of puppetry with young people. There are so many reasons to advocate for arts education in schools – research has shown correlation between arts participation and improved academic performance, more consistent school attendance, and greater arts appreciation later on in life. From my perspective, though, arts experiences are vital because they give kids new tools to express themselves and to cope with the changes in their lives.
JL: What excited you about taking part in the Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint? What have you learned from this experience?
PG: CulturalDC’s Mead Theatre Lab program has been a great launchpad for us. The team at CulturalDC is always ready to help us troubleshoot challenges, and being presented by the program has taken a lot off our plate – like setting up online ticket sales and sending out press releases. What have we learned… That you should always print more postcards than you think you’ll need, and that DC humidity + a fresh coat of paint = sticky cabinets and drawers!
JL: You’re billing THE AMAZING AND MARVELOUS CABINETS OF KISMET as “the story of one puppet’s journey through fear and the unknown.” What can audiences learn from Kismet’s adventure?
PG: Midway through the show, Kismet has to leave his home, his friends, and everything he’s known. It’s the kind of seismic change that a lot of us face – whether embarking on a new adventure or losing someone we love. Kismet is a great example of being able to retain one’s own identity while adjusting to a world that’s new, different, and sometimes scary.
JL: If there is one thing you want audiences to walk away knowing or thinking about after experiencing THE AMAZING AND MARVELOUS CABINETS OF KISMET, what would that be?
PG: That puppetry is an exciting medium with almost limitless possibilities. On their Metro ride home, audiences should be building creatures out of the objects they find in their handbags.
The Amazing and Marvelous Cabinets of Kismet
Created by Genna Davidson & Cecilia Cackley
Directed by Carmen C. Wong, banished? production
April 24 to May 19, 2013
Mead Theater Lab at Flashpoint, 916 G St. NW
$15, Students and Seniors $10
Call 202.315.1310 or visit www.witsendpuppets.com.