“The Flatiron Hex” is a solo puppet performance that tells the story of Wylie Walker, a contract shaman who works for NYORG, A city in the middle of a swamp. Wylie uses his unusual talents to solve problems and do routine maintenance on the city’s interweb bio- technology. Due to the haunted land and sentient mainframes, Wylie faces many occult adversaries. Storms constantly threaten to destroy NYORG, but a secret feature of the Flatiron building keeps the storms at bay, that is as long as the cloud-code is cracked and the correct ritual procedure is followed.
HISTORY OF DEVELOPMENT
"The Flatiron Hex" was created by Co-writers James Godwin and Tom Burnett during a residency at Dixon Place, supported in part by a Doris Duke Exploration Grant. The first workshop presentation of "The Flatiron Hex" took place in October 2014 as part of the P.A.T.C.H. Series with the support Heather Henson and a Jim Henson Foundation Production Grant. After completing a wildly successful three-week premiere run at Dixon Place in New York City in May 2015, "The Flatiron Hex" is now in the capitalization stage for a 2017 Off Broadway Run.
James Godwin is a performance and visual artist and puppeteer. He is a founding member of the Elementals puppet company and "Uncle Jimmy's Dirty Basement". His work has been presented all over NYC and beyond in such venues as P.S.122, Dixon Place, DTW, Franklin Furnace, LaMama and the Walker Art Center. He was also a cast member of Henson Alternative's off broadway show "Stuffed and Unstrung" (aka Puppet Up!). He has worked with Julie Taymor, Dave Chappelle, David Bowie and even Aerosmith. His film and T.V. credits include "I sell the dead", "Ice Age 2", as well as "It's a Big Big World" for PBS, Saturday Night live and the forthcoming "StakeLand". Puppeteering Wyatt Cenac for “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” in Washington D.C. was is a highlight for James. His one man show, “Lunatic Cunning” was awarded a 2012 project grant from the Jim Henson Foundation and had it’s premier at Dixon Place in N.Y.C. in April of that year. “Lunatic Cunning” is also an official selection of the National Festival of the Puppeteers of America in 2013 and left with a Jim Henson Award for Innovation, and UNIMA-USA Citation for Excellence and shared the honor of "Best in Festival".
Inspired by speculative fiction and neo-noir, “The Flatiron Hex” is peek inside a parallel world infected with intelligent viruses and paranoia. Elements of the fantastic collide with the everyday to become evocative of a magical reality. It’s also a quest, a blood soaked comedy of redemption and sacrifice.
The gel of invisible membrane that blurs the line between illusion and reality stimulate
the emotions in the visual/visceral world of live theatre. Throw into this strange ether a high level of expertise in puppetry/performance, and the interplay of audience, performer, and inanimate objects brought to life, deepen the experience, creating new, intriguing, surreal, and hilarious landscapes. In this new world, the world of "The Flatiron Hex", it is our on-going collaborative challenge to walk the tight rope whose tension gives birth to that interplay, delivering an escape into the imagination for all who bear witness. It is a balancing of many forces that bring a vision to the stage, not least of which is the result of extensive rehearsal. Enjoy!
-Tom Burnett, Director
"The Flatiron Hex"
“The Flatiron Hex” is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization.
WATCH THE TRAILER
Conceived, Designed, Performed by James Godwin
Co-Written and Directed by Tom Burnett
Written by James Godwin and Tom Burnett
Sound Design by Tom Burnett
Stage Management by Ceili Clemens
Lighting Design by Jay Ryan
Produced by Jean Marie Keevins for Little Shadow Productions
All photos by Richard Termine