Horror author Kathe Koja recasts her Victorian-era novel for the DIA stage
Published: February 15, 2012
She never knows the endings of anything she writes, and this same approach is possibly the charm of the show.
Puppets and Passion may be a good introduction if you haven't read the book, or seen any of the show's previous incarnations. Even if you have, Koja promises it'll be something new. They're calling Puppets and Passion the "movie trailer" for the big immersive production to come.
What Koja wants the "trailer" to say is this: "Here's this world, here's what this is like, and we want you to know what we're about, and then we'll be able to open the doors of the brothel entirely, and then you can walk in. What you do is up to you."
Puppets and Passion (also listed as DIA Moment Puppet Performance: Under the Poppy) is at 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 17, at the Detroit Institute of Arts lecture hall, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7900. Free with DIA admission. More information at underthepoppy.com and kathekoja.com.
Under the Poppy
by Kathe Koja
That first night at the brothel we didn't even have the sign yet, only the name, Under the Poppy chalked mysterious-like on the wall outside. It was me on the door, Decca the hostess, and Rupert the host, telling the girls what to do, how to flutter their fans ... The ladies have always fancied him, not that he fancies them back. Poor Decca, she's in love with him, you know, straight-up, and that's not telling tales because anyone who spends a tick with her can see it. There's gossip about them being sibs, but people only say that 'cause they live here together and aren't wed or bedding, and people have to say something.
That other's her true brother, the show-man from overseas, or wherever he says he comes from: they have that same foxface look, and the same air of, what you call it, secrecy. Like they both know something you don't. But he wears his easier than hers, like for him it's a sweety tucked into his pocket, and hers is a bone stuck in her throat ... He's brought a new kind of life to us for sure. Not that we were asking for it! But those puppets, what does he call them? The mecs, right? They're well worth having, I'd like to learn to work a few of them myself. Make that Pan Loudermilk jig, eh? Not bloody likely. He looks like he'd bite your fingers off if you tried.
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