Torry Bend 'Dreaming'
Torry Bend is an award-winning puppet artist and Associate Professor of Theater Studies at Duke who premiered Love’s Infrastructure at Duke Performances in 2014. For her newest work, Dreaming, Bend reimagines an iconic American cartoon in collaboration with Howard L. Craft, the poet, playwright, and arts educator who created the first African-American superhero radio serial, The Jade City Pharaoh. This new theatrical work investigates the legacy of influential artist Winsor McCay and his famed comic strip, Little Nemo in Slumberland, which ran from 1905 to 1911 in The New York Herald. Dreaming confronts overtly racist imagery in McCay’s work, using puppetry to tell the story of McCay’s cast of characters on the event of his death; the characters must reconcile the fame they each found as stereotypes. Having first appeared as a work-in-progress at Sheafer Lab Theater, the final production of Dreaming debuts at the von der Heyden Studio Theater before its New York premiere at La MaMa in 2020.