Monday, November 24, 2008

A Terrible Sadness

My friend Douglas Paasch died suddenly on Saturday. His most recent show, the Wizard of Oz, had opened the day before at the Seattle Children's Theatre.

Doug was Seattle's best puppeteer, bar none, as well as a hugely imaginative thinker, a giving friend, and a total sweetheart of a man. I worked with him on a whole mess of shows, and saw and admired his work in many more. He was one of the very first puppeteers to commit to being part of Drunk Puppet Night, way back in 1998, and I always believed that Doug lent that whole crazy enterprise a dose of beauty and professionalism that it otherwise would never have deserved.

The most beautiful puppet show I ever saw was Doug's adaptation of dozens of Paul Klee paintings into a living, breathing piece of theatre. I believe Doug was extra proud of that one too, but day in and day out for 20 years or more Doug made gorgeous objects and brought them to life. He was a beautiful man and his loss will be sorely felt by the many people who loved him, by the hundreds who worked with him, and by the many thousands of theatre goers who were captivated by his work without ever knowing his name.

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