All members of The Misfit Puppet Troop came to The Troop from completely different walks of life, color, and creed. Lady Fitzburgh was found in a Thrift Shop. Gary was once a plank of wood. Baby Bear had never performed for an audience. It is seemingly impossible, then, that these puppets could come together in any type of scenario, right? Wrong. On a cold day in March of 2020, a few puppets threw an idea on the wall and waited to see if it stuck. Baby Bear looked at Lady Fitzburgh, Sticks looked at Green Guy and Blue Man looked at Gary- seeing each other for the first time as not only “what was” but “what could be”. That day, The Troop headed to Fort Greene Park (along with producers, The Out of Work Puppeteers) and the performance just seemed to click. The Misfit Puppet Troupe has hardly ever had a rehearsal, but you can’t tell, their bond is seamless and invites even the crustiest of passersby in to engage with the magic.
The day of the auditions. Excitement. Nerves. Everyone is bouncing off the walls- practicing their 16 bars and Tragic Shakespeare monologues. Kitchen Drawer, being less learned in the craft of “The Auditions” comes prepared with “The Cha Cha Slide”, his favorite song as a young’n. The performance was lively, enthusiastic, and deep. The director, Blue Man, sheds a tear at the performance while Cha Cha Real Smooth-ing. It becomes clear that Kitchen Drawer is perfect for the Titular Role of Hamlet, unseating the Casting Director’s favorite- Nickadoo. They uploaded the audition videos on to youtube
late may 2020
Finally! After two days of email discourse, Blue Man and Gary finally came to the conclusion that they would take a chance on the burgeoning star, Kitchen Drawer. Shock and awe rumbled amongst the Hanging community, while the Drawer community celebrated day after day to rejoice finally getting the appropriate representation in mass media for their people.
Blue Man coaching Baby Bear on breath support during a rehearsal of Act I Scene 3.
A selfie from Kitchen Drawer and "Skully" rehearsing the To Be or Not To Be speech.
Tech Week- or, Heck Week- came around faster than Blue Man could reprimand his actors for chewing gum. To say the production was unprepared for the week would be an understatement. The producers, The Out of Work Puppeteers, had decided to leave a lot of important things til the last minute- including promotion. SO, to counteract this, they decided to have a very intense week of instagram postings in order to garner the support the show deserved. After all, marketing IS everything. Without marketing, there is no audience. Without an audience, is there even a show? Or just a bunch of colleagues standing together and singing to the abyss? Besides this oversight, the Heck Week was filled with a lot of late nights and early mornings. The 10 out of 12s turned in to 14s out of 17s, the stage manager (Toto) got stuck in their basket and was 3 hours late to the theater one day, and finally Baby Bear’s piercing high G7 broke the glass part of the stage lights, causing her rendition of Mariah Carey’s “Emotions” to be replaced with “Don’t Rain on My Parade”. This sudden last minute change up then forced Baby Bear to enter a character re-working quarantine, where she refused to leave an empty room for the 72 hours. The most unfortunate incident of Tech “Heck” Week was when Blue Man accidentally wrote publicly on Twitter his dissatisfaction with The Out of Work Puppeteers and how they are “unprofessional swines”. Read the post down below. He later wrote an apology to his producers, to which they accepted.
Finally, opening night came around and every player felt more than excited to get the adoration they so intensely deserved. At the 30 minute call, everyone gathered in a circle wearing their costumes, to play a final game of “Zip Zap Zop” before the curtain opened for the first time. After the intense game, the cast and crew all put hand in sweaty hand and passed around a pulse- a pulse that would unite The Misfit Puppet Troupe more than ever before. With fire in their eyes, each member of the troupe took their places 15 minutes before curtain, and got into character.
The curtain rose on a crescendo, and that was all she wrote.
After another tough day in The Drawer, Kitchen Drawer notices that the humans have left the drawer slightly ajar. Ajar enough to catch the site of something that just might change his life. “Could it be?” Drawer thinks to himself, “Yes, yes it is! It’s an extremely exciting and DIY flyer for The Misfit Puppet Troop’s Hamlet! The Musical!” Kitchen Drawer immediately is taken back to the many performances of Hamlet he attended in his youth where he would watch his late father portray the Title Role at The Community Theater. Infused suddenly with the urge to perform, Kitchen Drawer decides to leave his life of forks, knives, and random soy sauce packets behind and focus all of his energy in acing the audition. For the next week, Kitchen Drawer essentially taught himself how to project, cheat out, box step, and hit a high C. Drawer does not reveal his processes, but I am of the understanding that there were several noise complaints filed via his neighbors.
late may 2020
The battle between Director, Blue Man and Casting Director, Gary, went on for 37 hours and was primarily over email. Email sometimes is a better way to argue with people you respect, because then you can really take the time to contemplate your retaliation, and “hit em where it hurts” to put it bluntly. Below, you will find a few excerpts from this email exchange:
On August 6th, all cast and crew were invited via email to a table read, which was live streamed for marketing purposes. Though skeptical at first, everyone walked away with the excitement only a newcomer could bring to a performance troupe. Suddenly, everyone was building drawers for their rooms to sleep in and partying with the Cabinet folx.
Professor Pig teaching choreography for the famous play within a play scene.
Rehearsals were well under way! On the 7th week, Lil Michaela, the esteemed costume designer, introduced headwear to the cast. Lil Michaela won “Best Headwear” at last year’s TT (Tiny Tony) Awards for Gone With the Wind! The Musical. In order to keep her reputation strong, Lil M decided that all the cast members of Hamlet! The Musical would wear hats, primarily Fedoras and Stockmans. Unfortunately, Lil Michaela had no idea about Baby Bear’s insecurity with her ears. Bsby Bear’s contract states in very fine print that she will not be costumed in a hat or head garment, nor will anyone else around her. When Little Michaela attempted to dissuade Baby Bear from this opinion, Baby had no other choice but to leave Little M a strong worded voicemail. Listen to an excerpt here:
Blue Man leading the cast in vocal warm ups before Final Dress.