Bombadil & Torry Bend
DUKE PERFORMANCES PREMIERE: FRI, JAN 24 – SUN, JAN 26, 2014
Durham’s Bombadil made their name on the local and national scenes playing ambitious indie pop with an international kick: “the melodies are chipper, the hooks prominent, the performances energetic, and the arrangements full to bursting with ideas” (Paste Magazine). Duke Theater Studies professor, director, and puppet maker Torry Bend handcrafts exquisite miniature worlds. In a rare five-star review, INDY Week called her puppet odyssey The Paper Hat Game “sparkling yet pensive.”
Duke Performances united two of Durham’s most inventive forces in the world premiere of Love’s Infrastructure, an immersive experience on a set designed by Bend, with music performed live by Bombadil and enlivened with a cast of Bend’s captivating puppets. The theatrical performance, part-concert, part-puppet show, part-live film, premiered January 24-26, 2014, in a sold-out world premiere run of four performances at the PSI Theatre at the Durham Arts Council.
When Aaron Greenwald presented the idea of combining music and puppetry together for a live performance, he unknowingly also brought the challenge of uniting these separate performance types. While searching for a way to give the puppets and musicians an equal presence on the stage, we realized that we needed a third type of presentation to bring them both together. Music and video, as we all know, work perfectly together when enhanced visual production is wanted for live, television and Internet applications. Video is also the ideal means to bring the intimacy of puppetry to a larger scale. By embracing these already trusted relationships we found video to be an incredible tool to blend the performance worlds of puppetry and live music; it allowed the band, the puppets, and the stage to be equal partners in the narrative telling. Love’s Infrastructure became a hybrid performance that is collaborative in both its final executed form and process of creation.
—Torry Bend, Director
‘Community’ is a word thrown around as something built, cultivated, strengthened and empowered. We all travel through life singular and independent, until something or someone intersects our path. These chance encounters send us shooting off into unexpected directions and make us keenly aware of the people and places that surround us. This is both the story of our protagonist, and the reason we find ourselves here today. With the support of Duke Performances and Duke Theater Studies, Bombadil and Torry Bend set off together to collaborate on Love’s Infrastructure. As we had hoped, Durham’s creative community showed up to lend a hand and inspire the finished product. Friends, fans, artists and strangers came to “build parties” at Fullsteam, Duke, and Shadowbox to hot glue, X-Acto, and connect. The final result, a show that layers music, puppets, video, and realities, was created with the support of many intersecting communities.
—Monet Marshall, Assistant Director
Sumner James Phillips
Assistant Lighting Designer
Assistant Video Designer
Izzy Burger, Anna Nickles, Ben Page
Made possible, in part, with support from the Durham Arts Council’s Annual Arts Fund and the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, and the Department of Theater Studies at Duke University.
- WUNC, It’s ‘A Marriage Of Concert, Puppet Show, Music Video And Live Film.’ Give Up?
- INDY Week, Review: Love’s Infrastructure, a striking theatrical collaboration of Torry Bend and Bombadil
- INDY Week, An inventive theatrical collaboration between a puppeteer and a pop band
- Daily Tarheel, Puppets at Play
- Duke Today, Bombadil’s ‘Love Infrastructure’
- The Chronicle, Duke Performances hosts local band with puppetry
- CVNC, Duke Performances Premieres Love’s Infrastructure
- Torry Bend, Love’s Infrastructure