Experience a giant puppet show in Olympia

String and Shadow is an Olympia troupe that creates giant puppet shows. # k5evening

OLYMPIA, Wash. – String and Shadow is a creative and performing troupe with giant puppets. The group is led by Emily McHugh and Donald Palardy III, two artists with a flair for dressing.

“I saw a giant puppet show in 2015 for the first time in 2015,” says McHugh. “And it feels really accessible…it’s silly to say now, but I haven’t yet. never really been a performer and was quite shy. But seeing people perform in masks and in these costumes, seemed really liberating and possible to me.”

The puppets, masks, and giant heads you see on stage are made of mache, clay, and love. They take from a few days to a few weeks.

“Emily is quick,” said Palardy. “She can blow them away. I saw her sculpt a paper puppet in three days.”

And while all these heads and masks are beautiful, there’s just one problem. Eye holes are exactly that – small holes.

“We were like seventy percent blind on stage, which you’re used to,” McHugh said. “You start learning about the physical where you are.”

String and Shadow’s July 2022 show, “Far Away and Hard to Find,” runs every weekend in July. However, no matter what show they make, they guarantee it will appeal to all audiences.

“We try to work through a lot of the things that can go through the heads of kids that adults would have,” says McHugh. “It has to create an intergenerational space that children and adults can enjoy together.”

String and Shadow perform in both indoor and outdoor spaces. During the pandemic, they even made a drive-in product called “Paper Moon”. No matter where they are, these fine professionals make a whimsical art.

“I usually describe it as something very silly, very serious,” says Palardy.

“My favorite part of String and Shadow is all the work that goes into making a show,” says Palardy. “It’s just as exciting as performing the show – sometimes it’s even more exciting, because you can spend hours writing paper with someone. So it’s really building community, and then performing. It’s like celebrating all that the community has done.”

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https://www.king5.com/article/entertainment/television/programs/evening/experience-a-giant-puppet-show-in-olympia/281-d7fcbe92-69cb-4dd5-a076-c4411e39b59e Experience a giant puppet show in Olympia

Russell Falcon

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