Bobbindoctrin Puppet Theatre has been producing original puppet works for the benefit of the Houston community since 1995. Bobbindoctrin provides experimental adult puppet performances with low admission prices and gives actors, directors, playwrights, musicians, sculptors, dancers and engineers a much-needed and unique venue for their art while encouraging theatregoers from all economic strata to attend. Bobbindoctrin has a history of introducing audiences to new forms of stagecraft using puppet techniques rarely touched upon by conventional theatre groups. Bobbindoctrin incorporates a mix of shadow, rod, hand, string and tabletop puppetry, as well as masks, in any given show. These varied traditions of puppetry are applied to presenting new and original works (not performed or published elsewhere) written explicitly for the puppet stage by local playwrights.
Bobbindoctrin Puppet Theatre first performed at local nightclubs, starting out as opening acts for musical acts such as Little Jack Melody and Miss Murgatroid. During this period of three years Bobbindoctrin amassed a repertoire of short puppet plays including Punchface, No Vocab Man, The Black Box, the Corpus Struwwelpeter series and Straw Boss. The high attendance and enthusiastic response for these shows encouraged company members to present solo productions on a larger scale. Bobbindoctrin Puppet Theatre premiered an adaptation of Tolstoy’s Ivan the Fool, Joel Orr’s The Mauist and The Crime of the Assistant Master Butler, all produced at DiverseWorks as part of their Houston Residencies program. Bobbindoctrin has collaborated with Ars Lyrica, Houston in an interpretation of Handel’s Acis and Galatea, with full orchestra and choir alongside a full-color shadow puppet interpretation of the story (performed at both Moore’s Opera House and the second floor of No Tsu Oh.) Bobbindoctrin explored new puppet storytelling techniques through images and movement in the triptych of one-act plays, Corruption of the Species, at Atomic Café. With its brother-in-arms Infernal Bridegroom Productions, Bobbindoctrin collaborated to present Marie-Irene Fournes’ The Danubeand Orr’s The Noblest of Drugs, both directed by IBP’s Jason Nodler.
Bobbindoctrin has long been committed to providing educational opportunities to company members, local artists and the general public. The abilities and special skills of people already associated with the company are great and varied, and Bobbindoctrin has traditionally incorporated the talents of other artists of varying media to present new works, treating each performance as a production workshop. In 1998 Bobbindoctrin hosted Puppet Infested Planet, a collection of puppet video works selected by design to introduce local audiences to national and international puppet acts. Led by Jenny Campbell, Bobbindoctrin company members are also developing puppet production workshops for high school students. Through new productions, special events and workshops, Bobbindoctrin continues to promote the long lost art of puppetry to new audiences.