Trouble Puppet and Tutto Theatre offer smart new thought pieces at FronteraFest’s Long Fringe
This year’s Frontera Fest features fantastic entries from the Trouble Puppet Theater Company and the Tutto Theatre, two local groups known for their artistry and innovative productions. Read on for reviews of two standout shows, playing this weekend as part of the festival.
The new plays in FronteraFest’s Long Fringe offer lots of strange, interesting entertainment, but Trouble Puppet Theater Company‘s The Crapstall Street Boys might be the only one prefaced by a circus act. After the charming antics of Chickendog Circus’ juggling, trombone and accordion and Jingles the dog, the Troubles dove into their much darker fare. This new play evokes Dickensian drear from its title to the gloomy industrial sights and sounds on the single level tabletop stage. But of course, the message seems aimed right at our consumerist society today.
In Crapstall, a young boy named You Lad is farmed out to a factory by his nasty parents, who seem ripped from the pages of Roald Dahl. There, many young boys manufacture the Monster Masher 3000 (the latest in anti-monster security systems), and unwittingly become monsters — or monster feed — as the brutish, unfeeling ways of the factory take their toll.
A hand-held camera offers a puppets’ eye view of the action in a creepy, surveillance cam-style. One might detect hints of the FoxConn plant in Shenzhen, where iPads and nearly every other techno toy are made, with its 12-hour shifts, alleged underage employees, and nets to prevent workers from jumping to their deaths.