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The Paper Hat Game

  • The Tank 312 West 36th Street, First Floor New York, NY 10018 United States (map)

The Paper Hat Game tells Scotty Iseri's true story of his adventures (and misadventures) as whimsical prankster "The Paper Hat Guy" through the language of Toy Theater and projection. The hero of this visual kaleidoscope has a simple game: handing out paper hats on the subway with the intention of bringing a bit of childlike joy to daily commuters. But even heroes fall on hard times, and despite the Paper Hat Guy’s daily attempt to brighten the city, the city isn’t always able to reciprocate. Torry Bend transforms this almost-true story into a constantly shifting landscape of city life. The story finds its shape with live puppetry, intricate models, photo-motion video and a collage of shifting scenery all layered into a performance space only slightly bigger than an oven. With dreamlike video designed by Raquel Salvatella de Prada, a gritty soundscape, and live puppetry, the performance offers a voyage into the psychological and physical workings of a large city.

Special talk-back with Scotty Iseri after the July 7 8pm performance!

A Co-Production with 3-Legged Dog
At 3-Legged Dog
80 Greenwich Street, NYC

Created & Directed by Torry Bend
Video Designer: Raquel Salvatella de Prada
Puppet Designer: Aaron Haskell
Puppeteers: Angela Olson, Steve Ackerman, Yoko Myoi, Drina Dunlap, Alex Young
Stage Manager: Luisa Sanchez
Sound design: Colbert Davis and Matt Hubbs
Light design: Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew
Movement Director: Kate Brehm
Assistant Video Designer: Thomas Kavanagh
Assistant Light Design: Christian Specht
Electrician: Tomas Del Valle

Torry Bend is a Set designer, Puppet artist and Assistant Professor of the Practice at Duke University. She created and directed the toy theater piece The Paper Hat Game, Manbites Dog Theater and Duke University, Durham, NC, The Great Small Works Toy Theater Festival, Brooklyn, NY, The Den theater, Chicago, IL and Open Eye Figure Theater, Minneapolis, MN; Nesting: Great Small Works International Toy Theater Festival, NY, The Port City Puppetry Festival, NC, Douglas Paasch Puppet Festival ’13, Seattle and Open Eye Figure Theater, Minneapolis, MN. The Elephant, premiered at Disney Music Hall’s International Toy Theater Festival 2008 and performed with Jumbo Shrimp Circus, Los Angeles. She created and directed Loser in 2007, Prague, New York, Minneapolis and Los Angeles.

Raquel Salvatella de Prada is a computer artist and assistant professor of the practice of Visual and Media Arts at Duke University. She practices graphic design, motion graphics and video design. Her work often focuses on integrating computer animation and motion design with different traditional art forms by collaborating with artists of diverse backgrounds such as printmaking, painting, installation art, poetry, puppetry, theater, and musical performance. She finds that the combination of her digital medium with physical visual media can be a powerful way to communicate social issues. Her experimental animation work and her collaborative performance pieces have been featured at festivals and on stages across the country and internationally.

made possible in part by Duke University.

Part of Flint & Tinder, The Tank's flagship theater series.


Earlier Event: July 17
Honest Accomplice
Later Event: July 17
Helens of American Troy