PF-21 ARTIST INTERVIEW: Bridget McAlonan (of Inventing Trees)

A moment with Bridget McAlonan (Company: Inventing Trees) of YIPPEE SKIPPY!

How was your PortFringe show born? There was a meme circulating of time traveling to the middle ages and earlier would be the best (worst) because that was when aliens visited our planet the most as evidenced by medieval paintings (there was just weird stuff in there…).  Originally, we were going to do a very serious piece about the public education systems and disenfranchisement.  But our puppet maker (Bridget…(me the one writing this)) got too sad by the content. So, we decided to do something really stupid and silly: joyriding aliens.

Our piece is wonky and there are issues we see in it.  It is a work in progress.  And within the troupe we go round and round about whether we will go back and fix those issues (either with a live show at a puppet slam or at via a new video).  But we’re excited about its silliness and hearing feedback.  

What about the world *right now* makes your show important? When aren’t joyriding aliens important?! There is nothing profound or important about this piece.  It is just a silly joke that we pulled out to 15 minutes with gags and shtick.

Here’s the thing though:  we laughed the whole time we made it.  We still think it is funny.  Life can be really serious.  The day jobs that the folks in our puppet troupe have are really serious and can be too heavy sometimes.  Making art is self-care.  It is where we play.  It is where we find joy even when it seems like the world is bleak.

Why is FRINGE important? We can play and figure the things out.  Art is about play and problem solving.  Fringe allows artists to be artists and play.  Thank you for that.

What have you learned as an artist during the last year of pandemic times? Art cures.  Making art is a lifesaver. And being in a puppet troupe with your family (the people who live in your house during a quarantining pandemic) is really helpful.

Have you checked out the other PF21 show listings? Pick one you’re excited to see or learn more about, and tell us why!
Hauntology by Ella Mock
because ghosts. And ad hoc exorcisms.  These totally appeal to the Gen Xer in us.  (We knew we shouldn’t have eaten that aging hipster. )


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