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UNC NEWS RELEASE: “If My Feet Have Lost the Ground,” a Toy-Theater Piece by Torry Bend



CHAPEL HILL – The Process Series takes flight with If My Feet Have Lost the Ground created and directed by master designer/puppeteer/object theater maker Torry Bend plays March 21 & 22 at 7:30p.m. at Historic Playmakers Theatre located on Cameron Ave. 

If My Feet Have Lost The Ground is a toy-theater play in development about flight, perspective, reflection and loss.  Using the emotionally charged environment of an airplane this play investigates the self-reflection one experiences when seeing the world from the tiny window of an airplane.  Flight is unnatural to the human body yet we miraculously step onto planes and travel across the world gaining momentary perspective that is evolutionarily unfamiliar.  The cabin of an airplane becomes a holding tank for reflection, and processing thought, all temporarily stored in a container being propelling forward at impossible speeds.  To visually investigate these ideas the play will draw connections between landscape and body using both areal photography and medical drawings to challenge the ideas of scale, power, relevance and importance, while highlighting the emotions of reflection: anticipation, love, loss and acceptance.

The core collaborators on this project, Torry Bend, Raquel Salvatella de Prada, Jeanette Yew and Sarah Krainin all worked together in the creation of The Paper Hat Game.  Last produced at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham and a two time winner of the Indy’s Best of Triangle Theater Award for Best Production.  The four women work in separate specialties, but all work as core contributors to the whole of the piece, bringing there ideas about directing, video, narrative, visuals to the table regardless of assigned role.

Joseph Megel, founding director of the Process Series  in its fifth year notes, “this is the second puppet/object theatre work we have brought to the Series.  Torry is one of our most creative and innovative artists, (a Professor of Theater design at Duke) in our area.  Her work “The Paper Hat Game” featured at ManBites Dog Theatre in Durham was a visual masterwork.  We are so excited to be the incubator for this new work in the series.”

According to creator“This encounter with The Process Series comes at the very beginning of our collaborative process.  We will be using these two weeks to discover what works and what doesn’t: physically, narratively, manually and digitally.  In the case of toy-theater that often means a fair amount of cardboard, tape and stand in puppets.  It is exciting to have an audience willing to give feedback, share thoughts on the direction of the piece and help us with an outside eye as we negotiate the early stages of creating.”

As always, we process series features the beginnings and potential of new work and the audience can contribute your opinions and thoughts in a discussion after the performance.

If My Feet Have Lost The Ground will be performed utilizing a variety of techniques: tabletop, Bunraku, video projection, shadow and toy theater.  The main performance area will be a pivoting table that rotates to become a rear and front projection screen maximizing the shows ability to mix live puppetry with video projection.   The show will have one articulated Bunraku style puppet as well as simple toy theater style puppets all performed by a cast of 4 puppeteers featureing Evan Mitchell, Monet Marshall, Lawruh Linsey and Nicola B. 

About the Process Series

The Process Series was founded by Joseph Megel, an instructor at UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Communication Studies, who has spent the last 20 years focusing on the direction and development of new works for theater, film and video. The Process Series is dedicated to the development of new and significant works in the performing arts and features professionally- mounted, developmental performances of new works in progress. The mission of the series is to illuminate the ways in which artistic ideas take form, to follow artists and performers as they explore and discover and to examine the unique creative process for each artist presented. The series is a program of Carolina Performing Arts and co-sponsored by the Department of Communication Studies.

About Carolina Performing Arts

The mission of Carolina Performing Arts is to enrich lives by creating and presenting exceptional arts experiences and connecting them to the UNC community and beyond. Established in 2005 at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carolina Performing Arts presents the very best from the full spectrum of the performing arts: internationally renowned recitalists and orchestras; dance and chamber ensembles; jazz, folk and world music performers; and opera and theater companies.

CPA strives to nurture artistic innovation and the development of new works on and off campus; to challenge and inspire audiences with powerful and transformative performances; and to integrate the arts into the life of the University, embracing its mission of teaching, research and public service.


Process Series performances are free and open to the public. For more information, please visit The series is a program of Carolina Performing Arts and co-sponsored by the Institute for the Arts and Humanities and the Department of Communication Studies.

Process series contact: Joseph Megel, (919) 843-7067,
Carolina Performing Arts contact: Reed Colver, (919) 8431833
News Services contact: LJ Toler, (919) 962-8589, (919) 219-6374



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