Sunday, December 14, 2008

Jim Henson Foundation funded puppets for a production of The Martian Chronicles

Last summer Fordham University Theatre Professor Elizabeth Margid incorporated puppetry into a stage production of The Martian Chronicles (1950), Ray Bradbury's literary masterpiece. Margid's musical adaptation featured various puppets ranging from a twelve-footer on rods to hand puppets, miniature marionettes, and shadow puppets. The materials used to make the puppets were funded by a grant from The Jim Henson Foundation.

The Martian Chronicles is a project that I’ve had in mind for a while and decided to try my hand at actually adapting myself,” Margid said. “It was also a piece, I thought, that really lent itself to puppetry because it’s about the clash of two different civilizations -- Martian and Earthling.” In Margid’s adaptation, puppets portrayed the Martians in certain scenes and Earthlings in other scenes, depending on the point of view from which the story was being told. “Puppets are like us, but they’re more than us because they have liberation of movement and are free from gravity,” Margid said.

Puppeteer Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets, died in 1990.

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