Dan Froot + Dan Hurlin

2011 Lab Artists: Dan Froot + Dan Hurlin

In July 2011 VPL hosted Los Angeles based performance artist Dan Froot and New York-based puppet artist Dan Hurlin in Guilford, VT for a two-week residency to develop Who’s Hungry? / Santa Monica – the newest in an ongoing series of puppet plays based on the life stories of hungry and homeless people in Los Angeles.

For Who’s Hungry? / Santa Monica Froot has adapted stories collected from homeless people of Santa Monica, CA to create a series of puppet plays.  Froot and Hurlin were joined in Vermont by composer/musician Amy Denis and four puppeteers for a two-week intensive workshop period to rehearse the plays, construct the puppet theaters, record the musical score and share the work as it is in process with local audiences. The artists worked at the recording studios of Guilford Sound and the hall of the Broad Brook Grange where they rehearsed and performed Who’s Hungry? / Santa Monica on a 24’ long dining table for audiences of 30-35 people.

Sara Coffey, the Director of VPL, says she selected these nationally renowned artists for the Lab because their work provides an important commentary on hunger and food scarcity – issues that are plaguing communities nation-wide and are relevant to urban and rural communities alike.  

VPL hosted two open studios on July 21st and 25th and an informal work-in-progress showing on July 28th at the Broad Brook Grange in Guilford and two recording sessions with community members whose voices were included in the sound track for the live performances.  

The open studio visits and showings raised $250 and many bags of non-perishable food items that went directly to benefit Guilford Cares to support the Guilford Food Pantry.

Residency Reflections by Sara Coffey

sheetl ghandi rehearsing with sharon

At the end of their first day of rehearsals at the Broad Brook Grange, Dan Hurlin said to me "we choreographed our first etude today!" I loved hearing how Dan thinks about puppetry in choreographic terms.  Rachael Lincoln, Sheetl Ghandi, Darius Mannino and Zachary Tolchinsky are dancers as much as they are puppeteers.  It has been fantastic to observe them in the studio as they build the work bring Dan Hurlin's objects and Dan Froot's stories to life.