Sm{art}: Geppetta: Puppetry as Resistance

If Frida Kahlo’s painted figures and Marcel Dzama’s illustrations were lifted off the canvas and brought to life in a seance performance, their stories and gestures would surely resemble the performative cabaret work of Geppetta. Philedelphia-based queer fabulist Adelaide Windsome is a multimedia puppeteer who explores mental health, identity and survival through the fantastic.

Windsome’s characters inhabit a hand-painted world of cryptic vaudevillian surrealism. Puppets include lonely birds, body parts, colorful mountains, organs, forest creatures—all sharing parts in a hybrid of natural forms embodied through craft, movement and story by one woman. Geppetta’s work is comparable to the, albeit higher budget, queer Canadian marionette artist Ronnie Burkett, who like Geppetta, crafts each puppet by hand, writes, and solo-performs in his elaborate theatrical productions. When not puppeteering, Windsome tells ghost stories and sea shanties to the accompaniment of tiny instruments (sometimes played by puppets: their legs, her fingers) performs ukulele covers from Hole’sLive Through This, and is an illustrator and educator.

Geppetta has toured nationally showcasing her puppetry and songs with the Tranny Roadshow, The Femme Show, Fresh Meat Productions, Puppet Uprising, and the Philadelphia Rock ‘N Roll Camp for Girls. Look for her in your town on tour this Spring and Summer!

by Mel Mundell
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1 Comment Has Been Posted


I LOVE puppets. Thanks, Mel!

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