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A live, multimedia piece based on the cosmology of the master of horror, H.P. Lovecraft. Puppets+Film+Music=Awesomesauce Read more

Houston, TX Theater
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This project was successfully funded on July 31, 2012.

A live, multimedia piece based on the cosmology of the master of horror, H.P. Lovecraft. Puppets+Film+Music=Awesomesauce

Houston, TX Theater
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About this project

Check out our website: https://sites.google.com/site/cthulhuapuppetplay/ and sign up for our newsletter for updates, information and fabulous fun and prizes*!

Cthulhu: A Puppet Play is a multimedia production that will explore the world and cosmology of H.P. Lovecraft utilizing puppets, film, and original music. Lovecraft's world is dark, twisted and alluring. We will attempt to recreate the atmosphere and bone-chilling dread that his work inspires, all while telling an original story. The project has been partially funded by a generous grant from the Houston Arts Alliance and we are slated to open in February of 2013 at Houston's own 14 Pews! This Kickstarter will fund the fees of additional puppeteers, musicians and artists. 

Who the heck is H.P. Lovecraft? Okay, I will try not to judge you too harshly for asking that.You can learn more about him here: http://hplovecraft.com/ or here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._P._Lovecraft. In a nutshell, Lovecraft is one of the early 20th century's foremost writers of horror and weird fiction. He created a world full of wonderful and macabre monsters and chilling characters. His emphasis on collaboration, and creative generosity, meant that many of his contemporaries and subsequent horror writers have dabbled in the Lovecraft universe, exploring tales of Cthulhu and the Old Ones.

"...Demoniac clouds, up-pil’d in chasmy reach
Of soundless heav’n, smother’d the brooding night;
Nor came the wonted whisp’rings of the swamp,
Nor voice of autumn wind along the moor,
Nor mutter’d noises of th’ insomnious grove
Whose black recesses never saw the sun..."

The Poe-ets Nightmare, H.P. Lovecraft

Our story is an original one, told with the Lovecraft flavor and borrowing some of his most iconic characters. Our aim is to create something fresh and new--that will feel hauntingly familiar to his fans! 

Why puppets? Well, really, why the hell not? Additionally, puppets add a sense of unreality and the fantastic to even the most mundane situations. They are automatons that a puppeteer breathes life into--kinda like zombies! They are the undead brought to the life. What is more macabre than that? 

This production will also explore this issue of liveness in our everyday lives. In an age of Facebook, Twitter, Skype and (yes!) Kickstarter, it is possible to interact with others without ever actually coming into physical contact. While maintaining the timeless eeriness that Lovecraft's work is rife with, we will use film and projections to create a live-yet-dead world in which our main character, a luckless and hermited classics professor from Miskatonic University, resides in.

What's a 14 Pews? A very cool former church that is now an arts space. The space is gorgeous, all wood and airy, very atmospheric. You can read more about them on their website (and view their panorama): www.14pews.org

Film, puppets, live music...and you! With your help, we can make this the best (ahem, only?) Lovecraftian multimedia puppet play possible!

In the midnight heavens burning
      Thro’ ethereal deeps afar,
Once I watch’d with restless yearning
      An alluring, aureate star;
Ev’ry eye aloft returning,
      Gleaming nigh the Arctic car.

Mystic waves of beauty blended
      With the gorgeous golden rays;
Phantasies of bliss descended
      In a myrrh’d Elysian haze;
And in lyre-born chords extended
      Harmonies of Lydian lays.

There (thought I) lies scenes of pleasure,
      Where the free and blessed dwell,
And each moment bears a treasure
      Freighted with a lotus-spell,
And there floats a liquid measure
      From the lute of Israfel.

There (I told myself) were shining
      Worlds of happiness unknown,
Peace and Innocence entwining
      By the Crowned Virtue’s throne;
Men of light, their thoughts refining
      Purer, fairer, than our own.

Thus I mus’d, when o’er the vision
      Crept a red delirious change;
Hope dissolving to derision,
      Beauty to distortion strange;
Hymnic chords in weird collision,
      Spectral sights in endless range.

Crimson burn’d the star of sadness
      As behind the beams I peer’d;
All was woe that seem’d but gladness
      Ere my gaze with truth was sear’d;
Cacodaemons, mir’d with madness,
      Thro’ the fever’d flick’ring leer’d.

Now I know the fiendish fable
      That the golden glitter bore;
Now I shun the spangled sable
      That I watch’d and lov’d before;
But the horror, set and stable,
      Haunts my soul for evermore."

  "Astrophobos", H.P. Lovecraft

Follow our journey: http://cthulhuapuppetplay.wordpress.com/

Tweet us: https://twitter.com/ornerytheatre

Be our Facebook friend: https://www.facebook.com/TheOrneryTheatre

*prizes may or may not be fabulous/exist

FAQ

  • While the language wasn't originally formed for human mouths and vocal chords, the common approximation is "cuth-oo-loo". In the above video you'll hear me say "cuh-too-loo", my own derivation because I read Lovecraft's stories long before I heard anyone else pronounce them.

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    A CD of actor Matthew Carter reading some of Lovecraft's macabre poetry, plus a mention in the program.

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    Get a name drop in the production! We will name a character after you (or your girlfriend, or your dog...) Also: we will include your name (or your company's name, or your dog's name) in the Underwriter's section of our programs, posters and online advertisements.

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    Your very own puppet from the production, along with a signed thank you card from the cast, crew, designers and writers. Also: we will include your name (or your company's name, etc.) in the Underwriter's section of our programs, posters and online advertisements.

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Funding period

- (59 days)