Ready-Made Puppet Theater

Ready-made Puppet Theatre
Photo credit: Rob Kovitz

In 1989, the Ontario Association of Architects invited each architecture school in Ontario to contribute a puppet theater to its 100th anniversary celebrations in Kingston. The Ready-Made Puppet Theater was the University of Waterloo’s contribution, after being selected through an intramural design competition.

The Ready-Made Puppet Theater is constructed from a (newly purchased!) port-o-potty shell. It is a manifesto in favor of ‘adhocism’ and a nod to Marcel Duchamp’s idea of the ready-made, while referencing the University of Waterloo’s 3rd year ‘Sweet’s Catalog Project’. Why make things from scratch in a society of plenty?

To transform the port-o-potty into a puppet theater, a proscenium was cut out, red velvet stage curtains were hung, a transparent acrylic stage installed, and wheels and wheelbarrow handles added. The theatre was assembled (not to say “built”) and delivered in less than 48 hours by a team of a dozen students from the class of ’89. After the festival ended, the theatre was donated to one of the puppeteers.

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About Rafael Gomez-Moriana

I am an architect, writer and educator. rafagomo.com chronicles my architectural making, writing, teaching and curating activity, while criticalista.com is an archive of my writings as well as a platform for venting personal rants and observations. I studied architecture at the University of Waterloo (Canada) and at the Berlage Institute (the Netherlands). I direct the University of Calgary’s architecture term-abroad program in Barcelona, and have previously taught in the Metropolis Masters Program in Architecture and Urban Culture, CIEE Architecture and Design program, as well as at Carleton University and the University of Manitoba.

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