(becoming) Hue Man by T.Anthony Marotta
Originally produced for Atlanta Center for Puppetry Arts Xperimental Puppetry Series. Developed for International Fringe Tour: Montreal CANADA, Avignon FRANCE, Atlanta, Chicago, Portland, Boulder
Playwright, Performer, Puppet & Mask Design/Build, Media & Scenic Designer
Hue, the puppet, is assigned a gender. With guidance from his well-meaning role model, Hue must MAN-euver through the stereotypes and out of the boxes to uncover his huMAN potential. A modern-day Pinocchio, Hue Man looks beyond the boy and asks, “What kind of man—or more precisely, huMAN - can this puppet become?” This one-man show features a dozen puppets, a clown, masks, shadow-play, media, a hungry caterpillar, and a puppet circumcision - engendering a conversation about MASK-ulinities learned and lived.
Originally developed for Atlanta's Center for Puppetry Arts for their 2014 Xperimental Puppet Theatre series, this new play explores masculine identity using a variety of masks, puppet/objects, media, clowning and mime techniques. This solo project allowed me to follow many areas of my creative research simultaneously, from devising and developing the script, to designing and building the puppets, set, masks and media, and ultimately producing and publicizing the performances. The play received a Provost Summer Grant to develop into a full length piece and continues to develop and tour nationally and internationally. I received Montreal Fringe’s “Spirit of Fringe 2014” award and was invited back to perform again in 2015. Recently the piece was invited to perform with a talk-back at the American Men’s Studies Association conference in Ann Arbor titled, “(Un)Masking Masculinities.” The written play was selected for inclusion in the forthcoming The Best Plays from American Theater Festivals 2015.
“(becoming) Hue Man” was a delightful exploration of gender roles, childhood anxiety and social conformity. A cutting, Chaplin-esque satire, the piece was a solidly entertaining reminder of how articulate mute performers can be."
-NewCity Stage, Chicago
"Such a simple story of masculine identity and hope! I was deeply touched..."
-Boulder Fringe Review
"A different mask is worn by the kid...each representing a different hue (hence the title) of masculinity...it provokes us to reflect whether these masks reflect our reality and how our identity affects how we interact with other people. It is experimental, ambient, immersive. But what makes this stand out is how the playwright animates himself and his puppet son throughout.
Hue Man is lovely as it does a great job tackling the sensitive issues in a light-hearted and creative manner. "
Grants, Awards, and Honors
Publication: Selected for inclusion in The Best Plays from American Theater Festivals 2015, Ed. John Patrick Bray. Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, New York, NY
Selection: Center for Puppetry Arts, Xperimental Puppet Theatre, 2014
Grant: University of Georgia, Provost Summer Grant 2014: Development of piece from 10-min to 60 min performance.
Award: Festival St-Ambroise FRINGE de Montréal, Spirit of Fringe, 2014
Invitation: Festival St-Ambroise FRINGE de Montréal, PErformance, 2015
Invitation: American Men's Studies Association Conference, (Un)masking Masculinities, Artist/Performance, 2016
Invitation: Festival OFF d’Avignon, The Garage International, Performance, 2015