Home > Uncategorized > “The Crapstall Street Boys” – A Trouble Puppet Marvel

“The Crapstall Street Boys” – A Trouble Puppet Marvel

Chris Owens Photo

Chris Owens Photo

Having experienced “The Crapstall Street Boys” Trouble Puppet Show during Frontera Fest several months ago in Austin, I was looking forward to the fuller 90-some-minute version of the Connor Hopkins creation that opened Feb 20 and concludes the next two weekends in March – Thursday to Saturday 6 thru 8 and 12 thru 15 at 8pm, as well as a Sunday March 9 show at 6pm.

Bob Kinney Words & Chris Owens Photos

The heartfelt and cleverly staged play focuses on You Lad (puppeteered by Caroline Reck), the unfortunate son of so-called parents who did not even bother to name him and are only in his life for the money they can get.

Set in a grimy industrial town in the UK where what’s best for the ever-domineering Torch & Pitchfork Corporation LLC is forced upon those who labor within it, the play opens with You Lad cuddled on his sparse blanket on the floor in a dirty corner of the family living room – sadly his bedroom.

You Lad’s pitiful parents decide to limit his already meager meals to cut down on family expenses. Little Pig (puppeteered by Noel Gaulin) – the only playmate who resonates with him – one day is gone. Word in the neighborhood is that the Monsters must have taken him away.

Trouble Puppet Photo

Trouble Puppet Photo

You Lad’s parents then sell him to the Torch & Pitchfork mega-factory for a few coins and the boy enters a new – even more depressing – existence where he is paid but then has to give back most of his sparse paycheck to the Torch & Pitchfork’s company store for uneatable gruel and sub-marginal lodging.

The factory boys work long shifts interrupted by a few hours of sleep and then it’s back to work day after day after day in the spirit of the corporation’s motto – “Hard Work is its Own Reward.” Failure to perform to the company’s unachievable standards results in the cruel Boss’ verdict – No Rations Tonight – time and time again. You Lad discovered his lost friend Little Pig is working in the factory.

Building on Trouble Puppet’s eerily beautiful production of Connor Hopkins’ “The Head” play last year where video and noise abounded, this performance includes grainy camera shots and a variety of instrumental music and factory noise.

I leave how the play unfolds and concludes to your viewing before “The Crapstall Street Boys” closes March 15. I promise – you will be smiling when you leave. While the play is unrelentingly grim – it does end on an uplifting and joyously explosive moment when the boys finally win and are free.

As a journalist, I especially enjoyed the depiction of television “journalism” Torch & Pitchfork-style where the message is always the same (aka Fox News’ daily Talking Points) and the newsroom’s clocks remain out of sync.

Bob Kinney Words & Chris Owens Photos

Chris Owens Photo

Chris Owens Photo

Trouble Puppet Website


Events Pages




Folks who made this possible –
Puppeters –
Caroline Reck – Dallas Tate – Elyce McMaster Lahay – Gricelda Silva – Jose Villarreal – Nathan Lahay – Noel Gaulin – and, Travis Bedard

News Anchor/Torch & Pitchfork Spokesperson –

Connor Hopkins
Narrator – Caroline Reck
Artistic Director, Author, Set Design, Puppet Design, Director & Lead Builder – Connor Hopkins
Media Design and Integration, Sound Design –
K. Eliot Haynes
Producing Partner, Front of House, Media Board Operator
– Kathryn Rogers
Stage Manager – Samantha Accettulli
Costume design – Lucie Cunningham (puppets) and Jennifer Davis (puppeteers)
Light Board Operator – Kim Soriano

Bob Kinney Words & Chris Owens Photos

Chris Owens Photo

Chris Owens Photo

Categories: Uncategorized
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  1. July 7, 2016 at 11:00 am

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