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There have been some good movies about photographers, but to my knowledge there has never been a theater production about the life of a famous photographer. Until now.
     A  new production, called “Disfarmer,” has opened at St. Anne’s Warehouse in Brooklyn. As you might expect from the title, the drama is about Mike Disfarmer, the eccentric small-town photographer who during the Great Depression captured the residents of Heber Springs, Arkansas in his store-front studio. Disfarmer’s work was discovered by East Coast art critics and curators in the 1970 and today is being championed collector Michael Mattis and gallerist Steven Kasher. Aside from that, there isn’t much about Disfarmer’s life that would lend itself to the dramatic demands of theater. Especially puppet theater.
    Yes, the production, by Dan Hurlin and based on a script by Sally Oswald, is done with puppets. Here you see the star Disfarmer puppet.
     Based on the review by Christopher Isherwood that appeared in today’s New York Times, the play is…well, lacking in drama. Nonetheless, it’s worth taking note of. Read the review here, and watch a video of a portion of the production.–David Schonauer