International Puppet Festival Presents “The Bluest Eye”
The Department of Theatre and Dance production of The Bluest Eye will be presented at the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival in January 2022. The show was originally performed at UC Davis in spring 2018.
The production will be performed on Jan. 28 and 29 at 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 30 at 3 p.m. at the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago.
Based on the acclaimed novel by Toni Morrison, the production received four awards at the 2019 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival including the entire cast for Outstanding Ensemble Performance, Karola Lüttringhaus, doctoral candidate, for Outstanding Costume Design, Janni Younge, Granada Artist-in-Residence, and Professor Margaret Laurena Kemp for Outstanding Direction, and Younge and the creative team for Puppet Design.
The production was distinctive in its use of puppets as the characters, manipulated and voiced by the student actors. Kemp used puppets to explore innovative ways for a multi-racial and multi-generational cast to participate in this culturally specific performance.
Written by playwright Lydia R. Diamond, the work is a powerful adaptation of Morrison’s debut novel which explores the destructive power of racism and the strength of a community attempting to embrace an era of change. The play centers on Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, who wants nothing more than to be loved. Confronting turmoil at home, she prays for Shirley Temple’s blue eyes, believing their beauty is the only thing standing between her and the happiness of the white girls at school.
For details, visit the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival website.