The Paper Hat Game
Closed 0h 50m
The Paper Hat Game

The Paper Hat Game NYC Reviews and Tickets

(22 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.

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Member Reviews (22)

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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.

Critic Reviews (12)

The New York Times
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 unexpected mitzvah that shakes the urban blinders off our eyes and forces us to see the uncanny beauty and terror of where we live."
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Lighting & Sound America
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 demonstration of the skill of its creative team than as a fully realized piece of work...Still, shows as original and dazzling as this don't come along every day. I'm betting you'll be mesmerized."
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Stage Buddy
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 emotionally brave and revealing in its storytelling. It is a most unique theatrical experience that will satisfy all your senses."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
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 devices showing the urban landscape from both interior and exterior perspectives is exceptional."
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Village Voice
June 28th, 2016

“Relying on a dense soundtrack of city noise with only sporadic dialogue, ‘Paper Hat’ toys with a couple of narrative styles but never settles on one (a brief foray into documentary, for instance, jars). The visual artistry, however, delivers. Creator/director Torry Bend and video designer Raquel Salvatella de Prada play with scale, depth, and perspective to make colorful use of limited space...It's a riveting, kinesthetic experience that makes ‘Paper Hat’ worth the ride.”
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July 8th, 2016

"The show is crammed with moving images, box scenes, live puppets manipulated by live puppeteers performing before projections, with loud live sounds...The bleacher seats at 3 Legged Dog distance viewers from the miniature happening. Probably a more intimately laid out setting would have helped the audience enjoy the show even more. At a distance, it was charming and moving, disquieting and lively."
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Off Off Online
July 7th, 2016

"It’s rare to see anything remotely like 'The Paper Hat Game': a seamless and brilliant performance. The delicacy, virtuosity, and utter freshness of this avant-garde theater work will delight you long after you’ve left the theater...The 50-minute production is visually and acoustically dense—exquisitely so...'The Paper Hat Game' brings a childlike sense of wonder to the mundane."
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New York Theatre Guide
July 2nd, 2016

"Overall, the story is a delight for adults and children alike...Certain sections of the story seem to be drawn out longer than necessary, but it is worth it to see the imagery. It is not until very late in the piece that Iseri’s character speaks. He explains a darker part of the story that would have otherwise been extremely unclear…The toy theatre piece is a miniature reminder of the joy, trials, and winning attitude that, combined, make up New York City."
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Theater Pizzazz
June 25th, 2016

"What elapses in fifty minutes is a skilled motion study, tracing the live hours and movement of the puppet. The buildings are astonishingly well constructed and painted. In fact, the best part of the show is seeing how scenic backgrounds, documentary video imaging, and puppetry work together...We count on downtown theater to have variety, rhythm, and texture. What was sadly missing in this show was a dimensional script, filled with bold changes over time."
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The Minnesota Daily
September 29th, 2013
For a previous production

"A compelling, elegant delight…A simple and beautiful story, which is where the show gets its power. The narrative never pulls any punches — its visuals drive the action forward deliberately and charmingly, always pulling its audience along for the ride...It’s a well-oiled machine that communicates the depths of human connection with sparse dialogue. That’s not an easy accomplishment."
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Triangle Arts and Entertainment
October 25th, 2012
For a previous production

"Ingenious and truly original, 'The Paper Hat Game' is a toy-theater piece for children of all ages — and 'For the Ages.' Creator and director Torry R. Bend and cohorts have given a face to a faceless male subway commuter in present-day America, and transformed his story into a timeless tale. If Triangle Theater Review had a five-star system to rate the excellence of theatrical productions, 'The Paper Hat Game' would get six!"
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Indy Week
October 24th, 2012
For a previous production

"Torry Bend brings a brilliantly cinematic dimension to this area's formidable puppetry scene...A sense of playful invention permeates this work as Bend, Salvatella de Prada and a cadre of lighting and puppet designers test just how completely they can merge the realms of film, stage and puppetry…'The Paper Hat Game' also demonstrates the degree to which such humble materials can take us, all but literally, on another person's journey."
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