100 Creatives: Joel Orr

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What He Does: Joel Orr is the artistic director and founder of the Bobbindoctrin Puppet Theatre. He's been producing avant garde and exceptional puppet shows since 1989. Our first brush with his work was when Bobbindoctrin was tapped to open for The Legendary Pink Dots with the short production The Crucifixion... a puppet play that had us shouting "I love sodomy" for weeks afterwards. Since then he's gone on to write, perform, and produce dozens of productions.

Why He Likes It: Orr enjoys the cross-pollination of artistic abilities that come with working with puppets. As an English Literature major and a member of Edward Albee's Playwright Workshop, his background is in writing. From that beginning he's added directing, building, acting, and designing to his artistic resume.

"It's as though the puppet itself, a proxy or effigy of life, provides the perfect shield from personal scrutiny and allows all participants to brave more technical elements within the show," says Orr. "I, for one, would never have acted as much had I not had a puppet to hide behind."

What Inspires Him: "My inspiration comes from the place where humor and anguish overlap. The most compelling comedy to me is the joke that makes you laugh and then feel bad about laughing."

If Not This, Then What: Though he couldn't really conceive of a world where he couldn't be a puppeteer in some form or another, Orr's other passion is cooking.

If Not Here, Then Where: Nowhere. Not only does Orr unabashedly love Houston and its diverse and vibrant art scene in multiple disciplines, he has a plan for if and when he is declared almighty ruler of the Bayou City.

"If I ruled Houston and could make it a different city, I would force artists under penalty of law to go outside of their perspective fields for entertainment and inspiration," says Orr. "Music people, go to galleries. Gallery people, go see theater. Dance people, go hear music. Rotate. "

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