The History of Gay Rights in Silverlake – With Puppets!

This is an excerpt of the piece I wrote for www.laweekly.com previewing the latest production from the extremely cool experimental puppet theater Automata in LA’s Chinatown. Special thanks to my editor Zachary Pincus-Roth and Susan Simpson of Automata.

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“Let’s face it, puppets are cool. Automata, the non-profit experimental puppet theater and workshop that is quickly gaining a reputation as the center of cutting edge puppetry in Los Angeles, is yet again proving just how cool puppets can be with their latest production,Exhibit A…

Exhibit A focuses mainly on the inner lives of some key members of the Mattachine Society, one of the very first homosexual activism groups in the United States when it was founded in L.A. in 1950…

Exhibit A mixes this rich and not-widely-known history with fictional elements to explore themes of revolution, secrecy and a space-age vision of utopia. “I don’t really like to make things that are didactic or historically accurate,” Simpson says. “It’s all a part of my fantasy.”…

A puppet show taking on complex social issues and sending powerful messages is pretty uncommon. The spontaneous animation of raw materials is both uncanny and bewitching, with moments where the puppets seem so bizarrely alive that the spectator may be left with questions as to whether we might one day be legalizing inter-puppet marriage. And if puppets can fight for gay rights, then maybe there really is no limit to what puppetry might be able to achieve.

AutomataExhibitA-2

Purchase tickets and learn more about Automata LosAngeles at www.automata-la.comand check them out on Facebook.”

 

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