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The Paper Hat Game

From 22 member  reviews
Members say: Clever, Slow, Quirky, Ambitious, Original

About the show

The Tank presents Scotty Iseri's misadventures as whimsical prankster through the language of toy theater and projection. More…

The hero of this visual kaleidoscope hands out paper hats on the subway with the intention of bringing a bit of childlike joy to daily commuters. But even heroes fall on hard times, and despite the Paper Hat Guy’s daily attempt to brighten the city, the city isn’t always able to reciprocate. Torry Bend transforms this almost-true story into a constantly shifting landscape of urban life via live puppetry, intricate models, photo-motion video, and a collage of shifting scenery—all layered into a performance space only slightly bigger than an oven.

Member Reviews (22)


Clever, Slow, Quirky, Ambitious, Original
Avg Score

Clever, Enchanting, Exquisite, Masterful, Quirky

See it if You're a fan of detailed puppets with a quirky story. Super great puppets. Attention to detail is amazing. Story is odd but sweet.

Don't see it if You can't handle quirky. This show is small but powerful.

Clever, Slow, Great staging, More an art performance than a theatre performance, Beautiful paper sculptures

See it if You enjoy art installations. This is a series of slow-moving, pretty dioramas of paper & video. You like puppetry & want to see backstage.

Don't see it if You want a traditional theatre piece with a story & a lot of dialogue. You don't enjoy puppetry and/or art.

Ambitious, Clever, Confusing, Masterful, Original

See it if You enjoy PHENOMENAL puppetry. The sets and puppets were masterfully executed, as were the projections. Plus they let you go backstage!

Don't see it if You need a linear story. This was less story...more...multi-media exploration, beautifully executed. However, it felt long for a 1 hour show

Quirky, Refreshing, Ambitious

See it if you want to see a short, quirky & creative show with terrific puppetry, you can look beyond puppets to see exploration of human experience

Don't see it if you don't like puppets, you can't arrive early to get a seat close to the front (the "stage" is very small)

Original, Quirky, Innovative, Clever

See it if you're looking to see something out of the ordinary. This is more puppetry and performance art than a play, but still very enjoyable.

Don't see it if you need dialogue or a plot to enjoy a show.

Clever, Original

See it if You are open to puppets. It is a pensee on the big cold city, and an attempt to brighten it. Not all goes well, but the craft is impressive

Don't see it if You need things to move forward crisply. It is a long hour.

Exquisite, Great staging, Quirky, Masterful, Original

See it if you like experimental theatre presentation and design, especially puppetry and animation

Don't see it if you want your puppet shows to have plot and dramatic complexity.

Banal, Dizzying, Disappointing, Confusing, Excruciating

See it if If you'r into puppets. Other than that, pointless. Complete visual piece that can be done in a 5 minute YouTube video.

Don't see it if I would not recommend this to anyone.

Clever, Great staging, Slow, Original, Delightful

See it if you want to see some really great puppetry. The mixed-media aspect was cool, but the paper work was really the best part.

Don't see it if you value story over form. Also, if you get uncomfortable with technical difficulties. Felt like we had several and my stomach was a knot.

Clever, Entertaining, Edgy

See it if You like innovative staging, but try to sit near the front, it's small and a little dark. Hard to see in the back.

Don't see it if You hate puppets, are easily bored by non-linear "arty" shows.

Confusing, Disappointing, Slow, Dizzying, Excruciating

See it if I usually love these...I guess I waited so long cause it was painful. This was one I felt was a waste of time. Maybe I didn't get it

Don't see it if all I can say is save your money. Sorry I waited so long...but...bleh

Wonderfully creative, Clever, Ambitious, Visual urban feast, Animated tableau

See it if You like offbeat theatre, visual art, puppets

Don't see it if You need a plot-driven play with much verbiage

Ambitious, Slow, Original, Quirky, Intelligent

See it if You like something different, and if you not good with sitting through a long show because this show is very short.

Don't see it if You get bored easily or you don't like visual rather speaking shows

Clever, Slow, Interesting

See it if You enjoy toy theater and dream-like storytelling

Don't see it if You don't have patience

Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating, Overrated

See it if you like puppetry, you are looking for something completely different, and you don't mind repetition and the absence of a clear storyline.

Don't see it if you feel that visual beauty and originality cannot overcome a nonsensical story, slow pacing, and mind-numbing repetition

Absorbing, Ambitious, Enchanting, Intelligent, Elegant design

See it if you like puppet theater for adults about the challenge to remain human in an urban environment and you like incredibly well-crafted design.

Don't see it if you don't like meditatively paced theater without dialogue and if you need your theater to last longer than one hour.

Clever, Enchanting, Ambitious, Intelligent

See it if You appreciate multi media shows that are clever and unique

Don't see it if If you get bored easily as some of it goes on too long is sensitive to sounds get distracted easily

Ambitious, Enchanting, Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Quirky

See it if You are intrigued by puppetry and unconventional staging in story-telling.

Don't see it if You do not want to see unconventional puppetry.

Slow, Quirky, Clever

See it if Like to see a different way of telling a story within a movie, have a hour to kill.

Don't see it if you don't like puppets

During previews
Clever, Slow, Intelligent, Quirky, Refreshing

See it if You enjoy great visuals You are open to a non-linear story that rolls out at a leisurely pace targeting your senses not your logic.

Don't see it if You expect a shallow children's show.

During previews
Clever, Enchanting, Delightful, Refreshing, Original

See it if you can use your imagine to fill in the spaces where reality isn't handed to you ...resulting in a magical shimmer

Don't see it if you need everything explained and delineated

During previews
Enchanting, Confusing, Dizzying, Indulgent, Slow

See it if You like paper art and indie style theatre.

Don't see it if You don't like paper art.

June 26th, 2016
"This enchanting, sui generis toy theater piece provides a multilayered, multidimensional portrait of a Chicago in perpetual upheaval and a man who is nearly crushed by it...The timeless 50 minutes of the show’s duration is rather like a magically charged version of the hat from the title: an une...
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July 1st, 2016
"The entire enterprise is so singular, so original, and, in its small-scale way, so daring...Where 'The Paper Hat Game' disappoints is in the narrative department...It coasts for a good long while on its sheer visual invention...In the final analysis, 'The Paper Hat Game' succeeds more as a demon...
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June 28th, 2016
"An unexpected delight…It’s a transcendent experience as we delve into the psychology of a large and busy metropolis…The highly innovative video and photo motion animation will have you questioning what is real and what is imagined…'The Paper Hat Game' is both joyous in its childlike wonder and e...
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June 30th, 2016
"The narrative—which touches on themes of alienation, loneliness, and the difficulties of communication within the urban jungle—is a bit fuzzy and lacks fullness; even the visuals aren’t always immediately accessible. However, the overall combination of video, puppetry, and multiple scenic device...
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