Sep 17

Third Street Theatre’s ‘X’ shines through puppetry and stop animation

by Jenna Shummoogum · 0 comments

X sunny drake 1 photo by leesa connelly

X marks the spot. In Third Street Theatre’s presentation of Sunny Drake’s play titled X, it marks the escape from life into a fantasy world in which the entrance is alcohol. Drake’s one man show brilliantly makes use of puppetry and stop motion animation to tell a bit of a messy narrative about alcohol addiction.

X tells the story of Jamie and Caitlin, good friends who are trying to make it through life while battling alcohol addiction. Both Jamie and Caitlin are played by Drake and are also represented by puppets. The narrative also features appearances by Caitlin’s uncle and the bartender. The story features hand puppets that are basically gloves with mask at the top of the wrist, that Drake has come alive. These puppets then interact with the projections in a intriguing and innovative manner. It’s interactive and dynamic and jaw dropping.

Drake’s storytelling isn’t as stellar. His narrative doesn’t stick together all that well, as the audience knows somewhat who Jamie and Caitlin are, but not enough to connect all the pieces of the story together. Caitlin is struggling with her own sexual identity and her drinking and Jamie is gay, but also has a relationship with religion. The scene where he goes to confess his sins is very amusing.

The set isn’t very appealing to look out, an oddly painted structure doubles as the projection screen and as the bar. It certainly is not as dynamic as the projection design.

Drake is a talented puppeteer and his stop animation is a joy to watch. The story and Drake’s acting could do with some work, to be on the same level as the other elements in the play. X is worth watching for those elements.

X is presented by Third Street Theatre and is performed by Sunny Drake. More information is available online.

Photo Credit: Leesa Connelly

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