Concrete Temple Theatre brings their one-man puppet theatre spectacle, “Geppetto: Extraordinary Extremities” to Catskill’s Bridge Street Theatre for three performances November 11-13, 2016. A tale of resilience and adaptation for audiences of all ages, it tells the story of a puppet-maker and recent widower, Geppetto, as he attempts to perform the mythical love story of Perseus and Andromeda without his wife for the first time. During the performance things begin to go haywire, and Geppetto finds himself desperately improvising to overcome the challenges of performing alone while at the same time scrambling to devise new storylines, new characters, and even new limbs for his puppet hero.
Inspired by an NPR story on Hugh Herr, whose legs were amputated after a climbing accident and who now designs technologically advanced artificial limbs, “Extraordinary Extremities” began life as “Peculiar Extremities” in June 2012 when a 20-minute-excerpt was presented as part of St. Ann’s Warehouse’s Puppet Lab’s “Labapalooza!” In March 2013, an in-process version of “Geppetto” was performed at Hudson Opera House, Hudson, NY, and in June 2013, “Geppetto” premiered as part of HERE’s Sublet Series, generously supported by The Jim Henson Foundation. In November 2013, the play enjoyed a seven-city tour in Northern Italy where it was performed in Italian, and in January 2014, it was performed at Teatro Jaco in Jaco, Costa Rica in Spanish. “Geppetto: Extraordinary Extremities” has also been presented Off-Broadway at SoHo Playhouse, April-May 2014; November 2014 at Pontine Theatre, New Hampshire; January 2015 at The Mint Theater, NYC and Rowan University, NJ; March 2015 at Creative Aging Conference, NYC; June 2015 at Diana Jones Innovative Senior Center, Brooklyn, NY; September 2015 at The Dairy Center for the Arts, CO.
The production can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages and cuts across cultural divides. It has been successfully performed for adults, young adults, and children, as well as for people with disabilities. One parent who brought her son to see the show in January 2015 wrote: “Thank you for a lovely afternoon. My friend recommended “Geppetto” to me after my son expressed interest in seeing a play. Like the best of art, we both enjoyed it on different levels. Afterward my son described the performance as “awesome” and now he wants to spend every Sunday attending different performances. Thanks again for a wonderful, thought-provoking piece and an ideal introduction to the theatre for my son. All without the assistance of an iPad, I might add.”
“Geppetto: Extraordinary Extremities” plays Friday November 11 and Saturday November 12 at 7:30pm and Sunday November 13 at 2:00pm at Bridge Street Theatre, located at 44 West Bridge Street in the Village of Catskill, NY. Tickets are $20, $10 for patrons age 21 and under, and can be purchased at the door before each performance 45-minutes before showtime. For more information, visit Bridge Street Theatre online at BridgeSt.org.