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Reimagining a Twilight Zone Classic With Puppetry

Written by Candace King

Chava Curland '11 and other IC students performed the puppet star of show together.

This past fall, Dan Jones ’12 returned to campus to put on a show featuring a puppet. But this wasn’t a children’s show. It was an adaptation of Jerome Bixby's classic short story “It’s a Good Life,” which was the basis for a Twilight Zone episode.

“In the original episode, we never really see the main character in action,” Jones said. “Puppetry allows us to show Anthony's powers in suggestive ways that Rod Serling was not able to on television, where things had to be more literal.”

The performance was put on as an Ithaca counterpart to the Rod Serling Conference, which was held in Los Angeles for the first time in its seven-year history. The Emmy-winning creator of the popular television series The Twilight Zone taught at IC during the 1970s and is the namesake of the conference. Jones, an accomplished puppeteer whose credits include Big Fish on Broadway, put a new spin on the Serling-style storytelling by incorporating puppetry into the live performance. The main character was portrayed by a puppet, and three student-actors manipulated the puppet on stage. The puppetry lead was theatre studies alumna Eva “Chava” Curland ’11. The rest of the cast was made up of current IC students.



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