COYOTE'S WAY: A Texas Puppetscape
August, 2006. Lake Worth, TX
Conceived, designed, and directed by ERIN ORR, ALEX KAHN, and SOPHIA MICHAHELLES with the COMMUNITY of LAKE WORTH.
Music by RIMA FAND
In summer 2006 we were invited by Hip Pocket Theatre to collaborate with puppeteer and performance artist Erin Orr to create a community pageant just outside of Fort Worth, Texas. Guidued by local events, we became interested in the recent increase in coyote encounters with residents around Lake Worth, and by the ensuing attempts by local environmental groups to propose strategies for better co-existence with the creatures. Coyote's Way merged vivid first-hand account of local residents' coyote experiences with ribald Native American Trickster-myths. What evolved was our first "Puppetscape", a series of looping vignettes and tableaus installed (or sometimes wandering) in the local landscape, a former shooting range, interestingly enough. We provided three shaman guides to lead small groups into Coyote's world, and perhaps help make sense (or nonsense) of what they found there. The project took on its own local flavor as local community members got involved, first simply to help build elements for the pageant, and eventually to take on roles as performers (many for the first time).
|Shadowy coyotes haunt the hillsides||Some great deals in the parking lot...||Everyone had to don a mask to enter Coyote's world.||Your friendly guide...|
|First sighting of Coyote in a field||He's flaunts his new firepants. . .||. . .until his tail starts to burn.||"Cheap art, anyone?"|
|The ubiquitous yipping pups||"Eat me!" taunt the roadside roots.||Coyote pays for yielding to tempation.||Fortunately the audience is upwind.|
|The bungling host.||The fearsome Skookums.||. . . who jealously guard the gift of fire.|
|While the animals longlingly look on|
|Coyote steals the fire||A relay race ensues||Coyote teaches the art of firestarting||just in time for nightfall...|
|as bears appear on the horizon||Coyote strands his companions in the sky. . .leaving us the stars||A proud Trickster takes credit. . .||. . .and wanders off into the landscape.|
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