Having recently returned from the 2010 O'Neill Puppetry Conference, my mind is racing with inspiration from being surrounded by so many creatively ambitious souls. Without knowing I was missing it, it was nice to be welcomed home!
The atmosphere surrounding the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center is a constant buzz of potential, powered by people and resources beyond measure. They are dedicated to the art of producing new art - and they are damn good at it. There is a reason they earned the Regional Tony Award this year!
The Puppetry Conference, headed by Artistic Director (and resident Muppeteer) Pam Arciero, strives to provide the nurturing and challenging lead-by-example approach to the world of puppetry arts, aiming for every student to exit
the conference having created something that didn't exist
previously. In addition to conjuring new work, the conference is about creating a community of artists - and this particular aspect blew me away. Never before have I born witness to - much less been a part of - such a raw source of life-giving spirits. Puppeteers are (by their very nature) artists who give life to the world around them and can see beyond the surface to the inborn potential below. I feel honored to be a part of their world and can not wait to see what else is in store.
Our time spent at the O'Neill was only twelve days in the real world, but with everything we managed to pack into every nook and cranny of time it felt like months. We were suspended in a bubble ready to burst at any moment - and when the moment came where we all went our separate ways, that bubble could no longer be contained. So now we find ourselves back in the real world cleansed and renewed by this giant bubble, and ready to take it all on.
After a week of giving life to the inanimate, the real world seems so full of possibilities!