Touch the Puppet Head
Touch the Puppet Head is a mix of puppet film shorts and live puppet acts. Puppeteers from Atlanta and beyond will dazzle the audience with their modern day vaudeville performances. Acts will include previous National Puppet Slam featured artists Carla Rhodes and Gavin Cummins; local acts Raymond Carr, Charles Pillsbury and Charles Kelso; as well as puppeteer and playwright Zeb West.
Beau Brown is an Atlanta Film Festival Special Guest Programmer and the Director of Atlanta's Puppet Slam, The Puckin Fuppet Show; officially recognized and sponsored by the national Puppet Slam Network.
All puppetry arts programming for our 10-day festival was carefully curated by Beau, Elizabeth Leary and our festival programmers for the 2014 festival audience and filmmakers.
“Carla Rhodes and Cecil Sinclaire" — Join ventriloquist Carla Rhodes and her cantankerous sidekick Cecil Sinclaire for melodies, vitriol and salt water taffies.
Bio: Carla Rhodes is the world's foremost (and only) rock'n'roll ventriloquist. Mentored by the legendary Shari Lewis, Carla has performed since her teens and appears regularly in New York City when not touring nationally. www.carlarhodes.net
“The Odd Shuttle” — In a television, film, and theatre mash-up we see if two lovable rogues, James Tiberius Kirk and Han Solo, can live together on a small spaceship without driving each other crazy.
Bio: Charles Pillsbury of Death By Puppets and Charles Kelso of Felt Nerdy are collaborating on several sci-fi themed puppet shows for local conventions this year. Kelso and his wife Veronica regularly appear as Felt Nerdy (feltnerdy.com) at The Puckin' Fuppet Show, Atlanta’s local puppet slam. As part of Death By Puppets, Pillsbury also performs at puppet slams in the Atlanta area and produces video shorts which can be seen on deathbypuppets.com.
“Spacetansmananagasm” — This musical puppet odyssey celebrates the Rocket Man mythos, told from the perspective of Ground Control, Major Tom and Major Tom's wife—mashing all your favorite astronaut songs (and some of your favorite 90s slow jams) to tell a love story about being lost in love and space!
Bio: Zeb L. West is a writer, performer and director currently living in Austin, Texas. He is a member of Austin’s Trouble Puppet Theater Company, and Brooklyn’s Alphabet Arts. He graduated from The Dell’Arte School of Physical Theater in Northern California, where he studied Commedia Dell’Arte, Clown, Maskmaking, Tango, Tumbling and Corporeal Mime. Prior to that, he received his undergrad degree at San Francisco State. In the past 15 years, Zeb has worked in San Francisco, New York, Philadelphia and Austin and toured nationally performing with masks and puppets.
“Puppet Show The Movie" — In the end the audience will be the only survivors... barely.
Bio: Raymond Carr has been a Puppeteer filmmaker, artist, director and designer for more than 15 years. Starting at an early age, Raymond performed with his families clowning and puppetry troupe based out of Los Angeles, California. In 1999, he made Atlanta his home. He has since traveled nationally and throughout Europe performing and teaching workshops in the art of puppetry. Some of Raymond's credits include: Puppeteer for Nick Jr.'s Lazytown, Head puppeteer for Walking with Dinosaurs The Arena Spectacular: North American Tour, Puppeteer/writer/director for various performances at The Center for Puppetry Arts, regular performer at Dad's Garage Puppet Slam and various other theaters throughout Atlanta and the Southeast. He has produced and directed several award-winning film and multimedia projects that have been featured in film festivals around the country. He has also been commissioned to create films and interactive puppetry experiences from organizations such as Scoutmob and Ibex Puppetry run by Heather Henson (daughter of Jim Henson).
“Bread Death” — The epic tale of three breads and their quest to recover the Golden Crystal from the Scary Castle. Written by Chanz Kalestrom age 5 and performed by Gavin Cummins age 41.
“Jack's Story” — The classic story of a boy and his dog with cars and cones and talking cats.
Bio: Gavin Cummins is a puppeteer from Seattle who is currently studying puppetry at the University of Connecticut's Puppetry Arts graduate program. Gavin co-founded the Fussy Cloud Puppet Slam in Seattle and has performed various slam pieces across the United States including the 2013 National Puppetry Slam at the National Puppetry Festival. He has built puppets for several theater's including Youth Theater Northwest and Seattle Shakespeare Company. He most recently helped curate an exhibit for the opening of the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry and will be performing in the puppet play Reverse Cascade in Boston at the Puppet Showplace in April.
- "Conrad Fails at Normal" by New Puppet Order
Conrad, an odd old man suffering from a number of mental maladies, has a chance encounter while feeding squirrels in the park.
- "Death by Puppets" by Charles Pillsbury
- "Happy Memories" by Jack Fields
A cupcake is born to a loving mustachioed mother. As it embarks on its journey, it is exploited and tortured by a series of terrifying beings. It is torn from the prenatal pastry world, eviscerated by 12-dimensional Mathuloxes, and experimented on by a doctor of unknown powers. Will the cupcake be destroyed by torment, or metamorphose into something greater?
- "Melvin the Birder" by Katie McClenahan, Spencer Lott and Nicolas Mahon
Melvin Littleton has dedicated his life to documenting woodpeckers. The most elusive species, the Mustard Billed Wood-pecking Belly Wiggler, is proving...well, elusive.
- "Retire for the Evening" by Ed Hellman
After a lifetime together, a ventriloquist expires in his apartment; his beloved sock puppet struggles to continue performing their act on his own, dragging the dead body behind him.