BLOOD FROM A TURNIP - Friday, December 13th

BLOOD FROM A TURNIP – Friday, December 13th

Blood from a Turnip, RI’s premiere late-night puppet salon, returns to the Psychic Readings space at 95 Empire this Friday, December 13th, at 10pm! They’ll be presenting “The Snowflake Man”. Tickets are $7. One night only, so don’t miss it!

The story of “The Snowflake Man” is inspired by Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley, the self-educated farmer and scientist who attracted world attention when he became the first person to photograph a single snow crystal. “The SnowflakeMan” swings audiences into the historic 1920s through creative storytelling, intricately designed Czech-style marionettes, and a striking pop-up book of water color scenery. This UNIMA-USA award winning show combines art, science, and a little known piece of New England history to magical effect!

We also chatted it up with David Higgins from Blood from a Turnip!


Could you give a brief history of Blood from a Turnip?
Back in the 1990’s, very few cities had a late night puppet scene (quite a few do now).  Providence was not among those very few cities until Vanessa Gilbert and Jeremy Woodward, who lived in Providence, thought it should become one of those very few cities.  Vanessa was a theater director.  Jeremy was theater artist also, mostly on the design side of things.  Around the same time some folks up in Boston started a Puppet Slam, which was pretty similar.  In the past 15 plus years, the term Puppet Slam has caught on.  There is even the Puppet Slam Network which gives us money.  The term puppet salon has not really caught on.  However, at Blood From a Turnip, the idea of salon is embraced.  For quite a few years it has been a supportive place for professionals to try out something new, for visual artist to try performing, for exploring the question of “what is puppetry” and for having some fun.
What’s a “puppet salon” – what can first-timers expect?
A diverse selection of short (3-10 minutes, mostly) puppetry.    Some charming and personable musical interludes.  A nice crowd.  As far as what to expect artistically, its hard to be specific.  BFaT tries to program every salon to have variety, so first timers can expect to see a seasoned performer and a novice, one show that is clearly and easily identifiable as a puppet show along with something that could be argued as not even being puppetry.  There might be a puppet film,
What attracted you to puppetry as a means of expression / art form? What has kept that interest alive over the past 15 years?
Some folks that make and perform with puppets have been latched onto for years.  I suppose they just didn’t stop doing what we all do as children… exploring stories by using objects to represent other things.   But most folks I know, including myself, got drawn to to puppetry in order to fill an artistic desire.  There are actors that are looking for a new mode of performance, visual artists and designers that want to add narrative to the imagery they make, writers that find new possibilities with the medium.  I came to from the writing.  I had fictional story that people thought was a true story when I told it.  I made it into a puppet show for honesty’s sake.  I could make a fictional world where the story was true.  I’ve stayed with puppetry because anything is possible
Blood from a Turnip took a little break recently – what were you doing during that time?
Writing for humans and puppets and trying to figure out what to do with BFaT.  And other, more boring things.
Any interesting tidbits about The Snowflake Man ?
It’s personal for the artist.  When Sarah Frechette’s Grandfather was a little boy, he purchased three photographs from Snowflake Bentley. His pride in those photos is what inspired Sarah to create this piece.  As she puts it, the show is “a love letter from me to my late Grandfather.”  It’s a treat when an inspired story can be passed through the hands of someone who has the skill and training to realize the vision.