with music by Elizabeth Bagby
In the Works residency at the Chicago Cultural Center
Inspired by the story of Pinocchio, Geppetto is a new interpretation of the classic story exploring themes of growing up, relationships, and identity. This telling combines Carlo Collodi’s classic allegory follows the story of Geppetto with common threads from other familiar stories and myths (such as the biblical tales of the prodigal son and Jonah and the whale) as he his loneliness pushes him into a journey of self-discovery. Geppetto’s odyssey, told through puppetry, clowning, masks, and music, will mirror the challenges we face every day as we strive to shake off our own woodenness and become more deeply human.
This story is told from the point of view of the abandoned father. Geppetto created a puppet to save him from his loneliness, but Pinocchio’s desire for independence leads him to run away leaving Geppetto painfully alone with the emptiness of his life. Geppetto travels his own heartbreaking journey to reconnect with his son searching for him in the vast world. The journeys of Pinocchio and Geppetto parallel each other as they both search for what ultimately defines them; each other. After Pinocchio rescues Geppetto from his consuming loneliness the two men emerge from the belly of a whale and begin new lives transformed by forgiveness.