Who’s Hungry is a series of experimental puppet plays that tell the stories of the homeless and food-insecure living among us. The series premiered at The Great Hall in West Hollywood in June 2008, and was presented at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Vermont and Great Small Works’ 9th International Toy Theater Festival in New York. Video excerpts from those shows can be seen here, and a behind-the-scenes clip is available here.
Created by playwright/UCLA professor Dan Froot and directed by acclaimed puppeteer Dan Hurlin, the performances mix puppetry and dance with music by Amy Denio, and text. Who’s Hungry – Santa Monica focuses on five local residents and will run at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica on January 27 – 28, and February 3 – 4, presented by the venue and 501 (see three) ARTS.
The action takes place upon a custom built 24-foot dinner table, which the audience views from the side, as if they’re dinner guests. Props include Delft china, televisions, Matchbox cars, rod puppets, and puppets inspired by Japanese Bunraku. Click here for some great photos of the “Sharon” Bunraki-style puppet, whose feet are shown above, and her puppeteers. The 90-minute shows start at 8:30pm and tickets are $20 (students and seniors $15).
Highways Performance Space
18th Street Arts Center
1651 18th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404
“Who’s Hungry opens up the full spectrum of the lives of homeless and hungry people – the humorous side and the triumphs large and small that make life worth living, as well as sadness and desperation. This play goes much further to humanize the situation of poor people than dreary photos that try to get you to donate money.”
– Frank Tamborello, Executive Director, Hunger Action Los Angeles
Photo by Jeff Woodward, courtesy of Who’s Hungry – Santa Monica