We are so thrilled to have Reay Kaplan, puppeteer extraordinaire, as our latest featured artist! Reay's talents include writing scripts, creating puppets, designing sets, and of course, her incredible ability to bring inanimate objects to life through the art of puppetry. Below is an interview with Reay.
What was your favorite thing to do as a child?
I think my favorite thing to do as a child was to make up stories. With my stuffed animals, with my friends and care takers, and by myself. I would explore the woods behind my house and had a whole world of fairies, giants and elves, in tiny neighborhoods that only I could find.
What's the first puppet show you remember seeing?
I don't remember the first show, but I do remember taking the subway with my mother as early as three years old, to The Puppet Showplace Theatre in Brookline, MA. We went all the time and The Showplace is STILL going strong, 40 years later!
When did you know that you wanted to become a puppeteer?
I didn't know I wanted to be a puppeteer until I was 23 and performing puppets for the very first time, while living in Hawaii. I had auditioned for an experimental puppet productive, thinking I might be cast as a voice, but I was cast as a puppeteer and was hooked. In retrospect, however, I think I always loved puppets. The Muppets were very real to me. I loved Sesame St., lived for The Muppet Show every week, and was even a card-carrying member of The Muppet Show Fan Club!
What do you like best about your job?
Being a puppeteer allows me to express myself in every medium I love, visual art, movement, theatre and music. It provides opportunity to bring life to characters that wouldn't exist any other way. Puppetry doesn't limit me in the characters I can perform either. What other art form would have allowed me to be a princess, an elf, a Thing, a pirate and a manatee in my career?