Minnesota’s Twin Cities is lucky in that it is home to “one of the most unique and original and very creative and beautiful productions that you can see” as put by Peter Schulze, a current board member of the BareBones Outdooor Puppet Extravaganza.
BareBones is a performing arts non-profit, which has been organizing with the Twin Cities community to build and perform extravagant outdoor shows since the early 1990’s. Each year, members of the community who wish to be a part of the event invest roughly 11 weeks of their year in creating a storyboard, working to build puppets and rehearsing the play in order to perform it during the weeks leading up to Halloween. Each build workshop is open to the public to participate and even hosts a community meal.
BareBones performance venues include outdoor public spaces such as Minnehaha Falls Park and Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis, Dunning Fields and Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, and the parking lots at Bedlam Theatre and the Midtown Public Market in Minneapolis. They do not charge admission, but a suggest a $10-20 donation at the gate.
This year, the title of their performance was “We All Fall Down“, which speaks on the commodification of play, the collapse of civilization and what life and beauty grows forth from the decay. Their act includes aerialists, fire-spinners, giant larger-than-life puppets, stilt-walkers, and more. This year they featured music from Venus Demars and All the Pretty Horses and performed at Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul, right next to the Mississippi River. After every performance, they host music and dancing and give out free hot organic food provided by Sister’s Camelot.
You can see the entire performance by watching the video below and/or by visiting our livestream.