Diggity Dog Days - The Play Ground

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5 Comments

Diggity Dog Days was performed at The Play Ground in Duluth. Diggity Dog Days is an adult puppet show that is performed solely by the puppeteer, Margo McCreary. It was a very playful adult story about an irresponsible dog, Jack; and his owner which Jack refers to as his feeder.

The playwright’s intentions of the play were somewhat unclear. The ending was indistinguishable and the message or moral of the story was very hard if not impossible to think of. It was a fun story that simply seemed to describe the typical routine of a dog. Other than Jack’s romp with Darla; the play appeared to be more fitting for a child audience than an “adult” audience as described in the description of the play. The writer of Diggity Dog Days could easily consider exploring the options of making it in fact a play for children.

The playscript supported the director’s approach. It was light and fun script and the directors approach carried that out perfectly. The story never dove into very dark and serious matters and it was kept very playful. The script is meant to be a lively story and it did just that. It was a fun and mindless production to watch.

Margo did an excellent job at making Jack, a puppet, seem like a real dog. There were times when Margo would just seem to disappear and all one would focus on is the lifelike dog moving about the stage. The audience could also see the musicians and the sound effects person. The lighting design did not attempt to hide them from the audience and it added to the performance. It was obvious that everyone on stage including the musicians were enjoying themselves, seeing the enjoyment of them added to the playful feeling that Diggity Dog Days truly had.

The stage was very simply. It had five different platforms which stood for different locations. It was interesting to see how simply an ironing board could so easily be transformed into the neighborhood that Jack would go on walks in. That just shows the true talent Margo possesses. The lighting design was helpful in demonstrating the mood the audience was supposed to feel. It was usually brightly lit except for when Jack was sent to the pound. The audience was able to connect with Jack’s feeling of abandonment as the lights turned a cool blue when Jack was in the pound. The sound supported the style of the production by being very upbeat and cheery. The music that was played live was very jazzy which again gave the production a playful feeling. The puppet, Jack, was very small. It was sometimes hard to be able to see all of what he was doing but Margo made his actions very large to help with that. The puppet itself looked like it was done by a fifth grader in art class. The costume design could explore a different look; possibly making him larger as well as more professionally put together.

The play was not worth attending. The moral was unclear and vague. Margo is a very talented puppeteer, however, it would be interesting to see her explore different options of plays.

Diggity Dog days was preformed in the location called the Duluth Play House. The story was based on a somewhat naughty dog named Jack and his owner called the “Feeder.” Throughout the entire play you go through the life of Jack. He ventures from place to place after escaping from his yard. This is an adult themed puppet play and has many funny references. I would have to say that these types of plays are not my cup of tea but I did enjoy seeing it.
One solo puppeteer preformed the whole play by the name of Margo McCreary. She did an excellent job going from stage to stage in this performance. The play itself takes place in five separate scenes that make up the places Jack goes. You would think that something with this many scenes would be elaborate, but it was very simple and easy to follow for me. I would say that she could get a little more complicated for the scenery. I feel this wouldn’t really take away from the play or puppet.
I really didn’t see the point the writer was trying to get across however. This performance always stays in a happy light never really getting to the scary depths of emotion. We always see Jack in a playful explorative mood going from place to place. From the chicken coop to the jail cell it’s never very depressing.
I would have to say that this play was not really worth if for me so I do not recommend it to many people. However, if you into a puppet show that seems to always be in a lighter mood, feel free to give it a try.

Sophia Carlson
December 9, 2012
Diggity Dog Days Play Review

The Duluth Play Ground put on the puppet play, Diggity Dog Days. This is a sort of new type of play for Duluth because it is an “adult” puppet show. Everything in the play is done by one puppeteer, Margo McCreary. The story is about a sarcastic and kind of trouble-making dog named Jack and his owner which Jack refers to as his “Feeder”. Throughout the play you follow the daily life of Jack the dog. The whole play is upbeat and cheery. This is definitely a play to see if you are in a good mood or want to be cheered up.

The lighting in the play really contributed to the cheerfulness of the show. The light was always bright and constant for most of the show. The only time when the lighting really changed was when Jack got sent to the pound. The lighting became blue and gloomy. This helped portray the sadness and mood of Jack. This scene didn’t last too long though.

The scene design consisted of 5 different platforms. These contained the 5 scenes that Jack would go visit. The transition from scene to scene was very well done. Margo did a great job at transitioning from place to place.

The show didn’t contain a moral or a real point. It was a mindless kind of show, with no real plot. Also, the play did not have to be an “adult” show. A few things could have been cut out and it would’ve been a great children’s play. Overall, the play is not worth seeing because there is not point of the story, and it gets repetitive with the same mood throughout the entire show. It is a happy show, but it is not worth spending time and money on it.

Diggity Dog Days was a puppet show put on by the Duluth Playhouse. Performed by Margo McCreary and the puppet dog Jack the play consisted of jack the dog going through life changing events with his owner, which made him carry out acts of distress among the people who interacting with Jack everyday. The play has some good parts, but also have parts that could be improved to make a better show.
One thing the play did really well was the use of sound and lighting to represent what was going on throughout the scenes. This was huge to portray those things that way since there wasn't much going on on the stage for the audience to know exactly what was going on in the play. This helped the audience know the difference between a positive action or a negative action throughout the play. Another thing about the play that made it good was the response of the audience to Jack. Jack was a comical dog due to his obnoxious ways and playful qualities throughout the play. These were some positive effects on the audience for the most part.
One thing the play could've improved on was the use of more characters besides Jack. This could be done by creating a couple more main puppet characters that interact with Jack throughout the play. Another thing would the play could improve on would be creating a more problem-solution plot thats more organized. For example throughout the play Jack constantly got into a bad situation, but then the next moment he was either out of the situation or he was in the clear with his owner. It seemed really hard for the audience to distinguish how the problem was solved.
Overall the play is fun to see if you enjoy comedy and puppetry, but if you don't really like the monologue format of puppetry then this play is probably not for you because it lacks dialogue of course or even character interaction, which can cause confusion on whats really happening and why its happening. Overall the play received a 5 out of 10, but with some improvements that score can be improved cause McCreary is one talented individual.

Kaitlyn Hukriede
December 12, 2012
Diggity Dog Days Play Review

The Playhouse, located in the heart of Duluth, has recently taken on the play Diggity Dog Days directed and performed solely by Margo McCreary. This production is unlike one almost any theatregoer has seen. Referencing typically historical play methods by using puppetry, this play consisted of a “one woman show” in which puppeteer McCreary performed all of the play using one puppet placed on the front of her body. This fits into the genre of adult puppet theatre, but overall should be placed in a unique genre of its own.

The plotline follows the life of the “puppet” dog Jack, who is a mischievous troublemaker and illustrates the story of his day-to-day routines with his “Feeder” or owner. McCreary did an excellent job of transitioning between the five stages that make up the entire scenery of the play. The overall theme of the production played on simplicity, which seems contradictory since so many complicated elements are used to enact such a play, but it flowed smoothly and carried on.

This play was also unlike most plays because most follow a plotline that begins with a problem and leads to the climax, and in the end a resolution, however this production did not follow that path. It was a sporadic “peak” into this dog Jacks life. But what the play lacked in story line was made up in visual techniques aimed at the audience. Like mentioned before, the scenery did a great job at creating a setting, but also done well was the lighting cues and sound methods. It set the mood for the play and created variety that was missing from only having one character, hence a puppet, at that.

This type of theatre is more uncommonly seen throughout playhouses, so being open to new theatre ideas such as Diggity Dog Days is hard for audience members to do. I feel there could be a lot of improvements made in order to reach the liking of more audience members. The main idea or focus of the play is to have the sole character, Jack the dog, being performed by one person, McCreary, which is such a fresh and fun idea…but this idea could be expanded on by creating a richer plotline in order to hold onto the audience and make them have a better grasp on the idea of following one character for the entire show.

Overall, McCreary is an extremely talented puppeteer. I don’t believe many actors could put on such a show and do so in such a successful way. However, I feel if changes were made this show would be 10 times better. Even just simple tasks such as making a bigger puppet more intricately decorated to create a better stage presence and setting it to a story. This play is an interesting one to get out and see if you have nothing else to do, but not to the point of being a must-see theatre experience.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Harvey published on December 4, 2012 10:51 AM.

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