I propose a project so surprising, so fantastic, so magical, you will require a keepsake from the event to remember it forever. Its name: The Puppet Photo Booth.
The Puppet Photo Booth will be a week long installation at Market Square in Downtown Pittsburgh. Using plywood, found objects, and fabric I will construct a structure that appears to be an old-fashioned photo booth. Unbeknownst to passersby, a real live puppeteer (me) waits within to give any person who sits inside a seven-minute puppet show. When the participant enters, they are transported to another world – an under the sea themed live action puppet spectacle. And of course, during the course of this show, I will secretly snap a photo, fulfilling the booth’s promise to capture a moment forever.
My name is Murphi Cook and I am a playwright and puppeteer in hot pursuit of my M.F.A in Dramatic Writing at CMU. But why should Murphi Cook in hot pursuit of an M.F.A be the person to make this Puppet Photo Booth happen? The answer is simple: the Puppet Photo Booth is a product of my three major interests manufactured into a compact, effective, artistic experience for any Pittsburgher.
My art is one of atmospheric transformative creations. Currently, I am working on The Society For the Advancement of Miniature Curiosa, a Pop Up storefront installation that replicates the feeling of Victorian Cabinets of Curiosity. Visitors may view live shows, visit our toy theatre parlor or step inside a gallery space filled with rotating cabinets that house fantastic objects. When not transforming spaces, I am performing and writing plays for the stage and other unlikely locations. These plays have been workshopped and produced from Valdez, Alaska to New York City, and feature voiceless circus hustlers, lobotomies, lovers at the bottom of Lake Tahoe, ageless women inside lighthouses, and spam after the apocalypse. And finally, to top it all off, I am a certified Master Scuba Diver giving me the experience to serve as an authority on all things under the sea.
Funded by Pittsburgh, PA (December 2011)