Manufacturing Mischief at The Tank
There is something so entirely engaging about watching puppets say and do things that are totally unfiltered. This type of production can be both confronting and very humorous, and you can find one right here in NYC. Manufacturing Mischief is exactly what it sounds like, but will also make you question the influence certain individuals have on democracy.
Manufacturing Mischief is a satirical puppet show about critical thinking versus modern-day technology. Imagine Noam Chomsky going head-to-head with Steve Jobs and Elon Musk while Ayn Rand and a small Donald Trump get it on. Yes, those are the main characters of this wild show. Enticed yet?
Directed by Meghan Finn and written by Paul Hufker, this play highlights the political division and chaos of government and presents on the idea of artificial intelligence and the continual power struggle by well-known individuals with some very surprising results.
There is also something classic and entertaining about the plot of good versus evil. But what is different about this story is who it casts as good and evil. The evil characterizations damage and destroy everything you know about democracy but in a satirical presentation that will probably mess with your head a little bit.
Pedro Reyes took the ideas of Finn and Hufker and conceived and created Manufacturing Mischief as a critical analysis of egos and power play at the top level of democracy, while also proving that anyone with a small amount of influence will try and do anything for their own personal gain.
The puppetry on stage is beautifully crafted and expertly executed. There is something about watching these silly dolls that can’t help but bring a smile to your face. And the fact that they’re using real-life caricatures as the main cast? Brilliant.
In a time when the government seems to be running at its own pace and against the wish of the majority, it’s good to see a humorous take on the commander-in-chief, created by some of the leading literary and critical thinkers of our time. All of this works together in presenting an extremely comical production that will lift your spirits.
Featured Image Credit: Sham Sthankiya