"Echo in Camera" opens the La MaMa Puppet Series
Roman Paska's "Dead Puppets" are bone white and carried (by Paska and two puppeteers) as opposed to attached to strings. Regardless, they are inquisitive, creative beings. This includes Pulcinella who maintains his cool demeanor and black mask as Ferryman to the dead. "Echo in Camera" is Paska's magical reworking of the Orpheus myth. Now called Tom, Orpheus is not looking for his wife but his other, more reckless self. They are total opposites that hate each other but cannot compose otherwise; each is his "better" half. Instead of the ghostly, reclusive Shades, Paska's Underworld inhabitants include Joan of Arc, who hears many voices and Beethoven, who can only hear the Toms' Afropop beat. The saint and composer aren't exactly helpful in the search for self, but their inclusion is an enlightening addition to the myth.