This week’s ”Arts” page explores Hip Pocket Theatre’s Cowtown Puppetry Festival, celebrating its sixth anniversary this weekend at the Silver Creek Road compound. HP co-founder Diane Simons created the Festival with her daughter Lake, a puppeteer and mime who has performed the miracle of making a living off of puppetry in New York City. Her friend Erin K. Orr, a New York artist, co-conceived the Festival’s sundown Puppetry Pageant. She’s spent part of the last eight summers down here because she thinks Fort Worth is just too cool – even in August.
One of the Cowtown Puppetry Festival’s big influences is the politically conscious Bread and Puppet Theatre in Vermont. Check out some fuzzy but viewable video examples of their work that is decidedly, um, left of center: ”Who’s a Terrorist?” (dig the scary giant Ben Franklin head!); ”Plastic Surg-a-tron” (about America’s obsession with beauty); and ”The Grand Forgiveness Society” (which lampoons Pres. Bush commuting the sentence of Cheney’s ex-chief of staff Scooter Libby in 2007). The Cowtown Puppetry Festival steers clear of political content, by the way.