Working in puppetry was just what filmmaker, animator, and media artist Edward Westerhuis needed for artistic transformation.
The Vancouver-based artist has a background in filmmaking, but it was the collaborative process of working on a cardboard science fiction puppet show, Sci-Fi Double Feature, that Westerhuis truly realized the creative potential of multidisciplinary work.
“I’ve kind of moved from where I started in my film career to this whole new dimension of puppetry. It’s been about releasing control and allowing myself to play because puppetry is about discovery and having a sense of play—a lot of things can change,” Westerhuis told the Straight by phone.
Sci-Fi Double Feature by Ramshackle Theatre is not a typical puppet show. It includes three performers, including Westerhuis and his camera, live on-stage in plain sight as the story unfolds on a screen. For Westerhuis, this new performative role has required him to move outside of his comfort zone, which has, in turn, shifted his outlook on the possibilities of cinematography.
Movement is the theme at tomorrow’s (April 23) daylong TEDxEastVan at the York Theatre, where Westerhuis is a speaker. He will elaborate on his experiences working with artists in a range of disciplines and how the process has expanded his identity as an artist, and transposed who he is as a person.
“I find that to be the gold...we’re all learning by working together. That is a super essential part.”
Ramshackle Theatre just returned from an East Coast tour with Sci-Fi Double Feature. The Whitehorse-based company is now in production for their second show, Tombstone: A Sci-Fi Western, set to premiere next year.