Jul. 18, 2023 By John Schilling
As indicated by its title, “Paper Play” features puppets, props and staging made entirely out of paper. For Puppet Beings Theatre, the team behind the production, the idea is to promote “one-material Object Theater” or a modern take on puppetry that aims to incorporate everyday objects as “the main characters and elements” in the story.
“We are delighted to welcome the Puppet Beings Theatre for their U.S. premiere at Flushing Town Hall,” Director of Education & Public Programs Gabrielle M. Hamilton said. “Their innovative puppetry unleashes the imagination and creativity in audiences of all ages.”
The Flushing performance of “Paper Play” will feature two stories called “The Park” and “The Paper Play.” The former centers on the theme of caring for the elderly with a story of a little boy playing with a ball in the park, a moment that “unexpectedly brings him closer to an old man he had once feared.” The latter story, described as “a wild and creative ride,” takes a more meta approach as paper is “playfully transformed” before the audience’s eyes into different characters.
“Folding and joining this everyday object in creative ways, the production completely reimagines paper as a storytelling and creative medium,” according to a release from Flushing Town Hall. “Both ‘The Park’ and ‘The Paper Play’ will take audiences on an adventure filled with wonder and laughter, offering magical moments of playfulness and discovery.”
Puppet Beings Theatre was founded in Taiwan over two decades ago by puppet performing artist Cheng-Chieh Sun. In establishing the group, Sun’s goal was to produce and introduce modern puppet shows for audiences far and wide.
Since then, Puppet Beings Theatre has performed at international festivals hosted in India, Edinburgh, Tunisia, China, Latvia, and more. Over the years, the group has won various International Puppet Art Awards, including “Best Performance” and “Best Creativity” at the 2009 Shanghai International Children Theatre Festival, as well as the “Creative Award” at the First China Nanchong International Puppet Art Week in 2014.
In August, the group will make its way to New York City for its United States debut at the International Puppet Fringe Festival in Manhattan. The “Paper Play” performance at Flushing Town Hall in Queens will conclude the group’s trip to NYC.
The hour-long “Paper Play” will premiere at Flushing Town Hall at 2:15 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 13. Before the performance, families are invited to participate in a workshop at 1 p.m. that will give everyone the opportunity to “create their own mini-performance” with various shapes of paper. This workshop is included in the $15 price of general admission or $12 for members, seniors, and students, and $8 for children under 12 years of age.
Flushing Town Hall is located at 137-35 Northern Blvd. For more information, visit flushingtownhall.org.