Carolinian – Arts & Entertainment
Issue: 2/25/02

Cirkus Subverkus
By Valerie Marino

Nearly 75 students and faculty gathered in the Ashby Parlour of Mary Foust dormitory Sunday evening, February 18, for the “Degenerate Cardboard Cabaret,” also known as Cirkus Subverkus.
As stated on flyers around campus, the Cabaret was “incredible puppet antics… subverting America’s push to make us happy consumers in a high speed race toward globalization. Creative thinking, great satire, radical ideas, high energy. Like nothing you’ve seen before!” You can say that again.
This troupe of puppeteers, none of whom would reveal their true identities for print in The Carolinian, who call snowy Vermont home, are on the road for a tour of the nation, coming down the East Coast then heading in to the Midwest for a few dates.
The troupe performed several skits, all centering around an anti-war, anti-commercialism, and anti-big government political agenda.
The first skit took place near a cave in southern France. The plot: A local farmer invents a special kind of (delicious) cheese from leaving moldy bread near his cheese and voila! is an overnight success as a local businessman. However, to the farmer’s demise, a big bad fast food chain comes along to squash the little guy with the motto of “obey, submit, consume.”
“It brought to light things that are in the backs of people’s minds,” said Neely Richardson, a freshman Nursing Major at UNCG. “It was very informative,” she said.
Other skits dealt with the idea of who and what society wants us to be, as one puppet boy was enlightened by a girl in the bathroom encouraging him to step outside his box and become his own person.
While the puppeteers, had a specific agenda to press, they did it in an informative, comedic, and strangely innocent way. The use of puppets was a nearly effective way of telling someone your philosophy or idea without really doing it yourself, almost as if the person is behind a mask.
“It was a political message in a comedic form,” said Ryan Hays, a freshman and UNCG Art Education major. The show was a “comedic performance done by people outside of what normal society constructs,” said Hays.