Story last updated at 2/4/2009 - 11:44 am
JUNEAU - Playwright, actor and theatrical carpenter Bo Anderson has had his plays produced in Alaska, the U.K. and Switzerland. However, "Puppet Play" is his first show to be produced in his hometown. The comedy opens Feb. 5 as a Second Stage production at Perseverance Theatre. It is directed by Emily Smith and features puppets as well as real live actors.
Anderson credits his international success to his Web site. He has placed several of his scripts online, available for free download. He encourages anyone who comes across his site to produce the plays. All he asks is for copyright credit. He said he is glad to finally be in the same town in which his play is being produced.
"It has been super useful to actually see a play being developed," Anderson said.
Anderson designed the set for "Puppet Play" and also holds the title of master carpenter for Perseverance Theatre.
"Puppet Play" lightheartedly presents the parallels between fantasy and reality with two contrasting scenarios unfolding simultaneously.
On stage right, we see a puppeteer behind the scenes of a children's TV show who is fed up with the phoniness he feels he is portraying to the kids in his viewing audience. On stage left, we see two co-workers in the aftermath of a one-night stand dealing with sincerity issues of their own. Meanwhile, the puppet show plays on their television. Both scenarios explore the area between TV fantasy and the disillusionment that often comes upon finding out that the puppet characters aren't really your friends.
Anderson said the inspiration for this script probably came from his brief stint working "as a carny at Disney World." Many of his coworkers walked around daily in character costumes and subsequently had to deal with the issues of simply being an anonymous person behind the face of a well-known character such as Winnie the Pooh or Goofy.
Anderson said much of his motivation for writing "Puppet Play" came from his girlfriend, Kathleen Harper. She is a puppeteer and created the puppets for the play.
"Every time I sit in front of the computer and don't know what to write, she (says), 'Write a puppet play,'" Anderson said. "So this is kind of my answer to that."
"Puppet Play" features puppeteers Milenka Curich and David Moriarty, as well as Matthew Garrison, who also plays the troubled puppeteer. Real live actors include Leona Schrader-Dee, Mark Sean Tinneny, and Patricia Kalbrenner. The play opens Thursday, Feb. 5 at 7:30 p.m. and runs Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. through Feb. 15 at Perseverance Theatre. All tickets are pay-as-you-can. For more information call 463-TIXS.
Read more works by Bo Anderson at www.bo-o-rama.com.