Shadow puppets take on RCAH
When thinking about the arts, shadow puppetry may not come to mind. However, that changed for those who attended the Manual Cinema’s shadow puppet workshop on Sept. 18 at the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities.
The day after the shadow puppet troupe performed its current project, Lula Del Ray, a couple members of Manual Cinema met with a group in the art studio of Snyder Phillips Hall to share tips and tricks on how to put on a real shadow puppet performance.
Lula Del Ray is a lonely adolescent girl’s coming-of-age story set in the American Southwest and inspired by the music of Hank Williams, Roy Orbison and Patsy Cline. It was developed at the University of Chicago in the Theater and Performance Studies Program where Manual Cinema served as Ensemble-in-Residence in 2012.
Manual Cinema was founded in 2010 by five artists from Chicago. They strive to change the cinema experience by using overhead projectors, paper puppets, silhouettes, and a live band. Manual Cinema is currently ensemble-in-residence at the University of Chicago where the group also teaches. It has traveled all over the country performing and also putting on workshops, like the one at MSU, to educate people on shadow puppet theater.
“We do a very specific thing, so I doubt anyone is going to go out and start a cinema and shadow puppetry company, but maybe some new approaches to sound design and/or to visuals, or to theater, or maybe a theater person discovering shadow puppetry for a scene in a theater piece will give people a new perspective,” said Ben Kauffman, a member of Manual Cinema.