‘Puppet Mocumentary’ at Dixon Place

James Godwin, puppet provocateur.

Master puppeteer and performance artist James Godwin has been pushing the puppetry envelope for years with his Bunraku-inspired dark-comedy puppet troupe, The Elementals. His creations have been described by The Village Voice as “―gorgeously wrought mutants who look like they evolved downstream from a nuclear waste dump and talk like vulgar barflies.”

Godwin brings his perverse sense of puppet humor to Dixon Place for the world premiere of Lunatic Cunning, his semi-autobiographical “mockumentary” that revolves around the story of a shaman who is asked to cure a tribal elder (who is dying of old age) by using a puppet channeled to him by the spirit of the shaman.

Godwin blends experiences from own life as a puppeteer into the plot—working with Julie Taymor, his appearances on Saturday Night Live, Chappelle’s Show, PBS, and his work with the Muppets—with an amusing assessment of the history of puppetry and performance art. To connect all the dots, he mixes traditional puppet techniques such as tabletop, marionette, hand, shadow, mask and objects, with live drawing, ritual, lights and sound―all the while showing us why he is a master of his craft.

Dixon Place  // $15 // *Suitable for ages 13 and over // Fridays and Saturdays, April 6 – 21 // 7:30pm  // 161A Chrystie Street.