Our 4thPuppetplays Meeting on Facebook is a round table in French, conceived and animated by Dr Carole Guidicelli, with Sylvie Baillon (stage director for the Ches Panses vertes company and director of Le Tas de sable, National Centre for Puppetry in preparation) and François Chaffin, who defines himself as an “author on stage” and “creator/actor of numerous writing factories” (Théâtre du Menteur).
Puppet and Documentary Theatre? Such an association is somewhat disconcerting. By animating an object, the puppeteer intensifies the theatrical convention, he creates an illusion within another illusion. On the contrary, the documentary theatre, as it was born in Germany with Piscator in the 1920s, then took shape with Peter Weiss in the 1960s, aims to confront the spectator (almost) directly with reality.
Political and social realities, farmers’ memory or memory of the working-class, abandoned land, disused facilities and territories, destruction of the social fabric in an entire region… As close as possible to local experiences, to life stories, to collected words, documentary theatre collects, organises the voices of ordinary life, carries them to make them heard but also, sometimes, to poetise them…
And what is the role of the puppet/the object in all this? What are their tricks, their strengths?
What kind of memory triggers can they be? How can they convey the spoken word? For what awareness and what subversion?