The Last Voyage of the Sea Cow

All photos of “Last Voyage of the Sea Cow” are from PuppetLOVE 2003 version of the show and were photographed by Christianna Fachin

In 2003 Tim was done. Making BIG shows didn’t hold the same appeal as it use to.
“I guess I’m now more interested in performing in intimate settings rather than building the puppets for 1000 plus seat houses.”, says Tim. “Large shows become mechanical far too easily. There is no discovery; no spark, no urgency because of the cost.”

After grumbling about the above for several months an Idea (with a capital ‘I’) came in a vision, “Make smaller, simpler, shorter shows” and “Keep your work zone clean of projects you’re not working on”.

Well, that seems simple enough. With enough storage bins.

“The Last Voyage of the Sea Cow” was born because Mr. Giugni doesn’t like shadow puppetry’s fixed nature and the actual a fourth wall between the audience and performer.

“At first the puppets were monstrously complex, with joints and sticks and colored bits of stuff.”, said Tim.  “Why? Because oh so many puppeteers, myself included, want little people with blinking eyes, moving mouth, or twitching eyebrows, when basic or no movement is all that is needed.”

Looking at the complex mess he had created, he took a pair of scissors and lopped off the head of the Captain puppet. “I then used my fingers as the arms, legs, guns or whatever fit my whims. Perfect and simple. Well, after I got the hang of it.”

He then made 300 tiny crew cut-outs that he throws into the audience.

The piece is about the S. S. Seacow, a tugboat who’s Captain believes he’s dead and that the ship is constantly changing. The crew believes the opposite. They mutiny thinking the Captain is mad. The First Mate attempts to shoot the Captain and misses and the resulting hole in the keel causes the boat to take on water.

The Captain then tears a giant hole in the ship and delivers a final line that makes you wonder if the ship was indeed haunted, or not.

“This show is also significant in that it was the last time that we used a four track to do any recording. I now use all sorts of stuff to get the feelz for the show. Last time is was in surround sound.”

This is the last image of the piece.

The ship was mounted on two booms. The booms were on a backpack. The whole ship swung from side to side. There were two articulated lights mounted to my head that gave off a bizarre double light.

“I liked the piece, and then threw everything away. Some sort of spiritual purity thing, I think.” You can get a close up of this picture by opening it in another window.

As to keep his work zone clean. “I’m working on it.”