Family-friendly fun: UNO Theatre’s “Human Centipede” a handful

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***All stories published in this week’s Gateway are satirical and should be treated as such. None of the stories printed are factual and do not represent the actual intentions, feelings, or actions of any of the people mentioned.***

Kelly Langin
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

UNO Theatre’s adapted-from-film production of “Human Centipede” is a different experience for the usual theatre patron. While most visit the theatre to watch actors’ entire bodies portray a story live, this particular production features only fingers and voice.

“Human Centipede” by UNO Theatre is a family-friendly finger pup-pet show.
Student director Sue Sutherland said UNO doesn’t provide enough “alt-art” for the “non-mainstream” art students. She said she aims to provide inclusion for UNO’s students who feel that “normal” theatre productions don’t represent them.

“I wanted to merge a movie that many people talk about with a lesser known art form in theatre,” Sutherland said. “That lesser known art form is finger puppets.”

“Human Centipede” is a 2009 horror film where a doctor forces three people to connect their digestive and gastric systems together by surgery. The film has long been criticized as a disgusting and unnecessary exploitation, but it appears to be artful enough for Sutherland to have wanted to adapt it for the stage.

Finger puppets is a form of theatre production that has not yet been implemented into UNO’s program. Sutherland hopes her version of “Human Centipede” will expose young college students to the art and open their minds to the possibilities that finger puppet shows provide.

“Nothing constricts you when you just use your fingers,” Sutherland said. “No costumes, no hair, no makeup – it’s just you, your voice and your finger.”

The stage features four actors sitting in a circle, with no backdrop, a small camera set up in front of the actors and a single spotlight shin-ing on the actors. A small television screen was set up on the side of the stage, but it was a blank blue for the beginning of the production.

The actors dressed up their fingers with tiny costumes and drew faces on their fingertips. That sort of simple costume idea reminds the theatre-goer of a simpler time, when you made up stories with your friends when you were five and acted them out using action figures, and you fought over who was going to be the good guy.

It was hard to see what was going on without the television screen on. Sutherland also elected not to use microphones for the show, so the actors had to shout their Sometimes the actors forgot – or maybe were sometimes too embarrassed – to say their lines loud enough, but attendees who have seen the film version of “Human Centipede” could understand where the story was going regardless.

By the middle of the second act, the small screen was finally fixed, revealing three puppet-clad fingers lined up lengthwise, attempting to make it look like they were stitched together. Due to the disclaimer on the flier that no fecal matter would be used in the production, the actors had to shout, “Oh, poop!”

“I’m getting a grade for this,” said freshman Greg Gabbons, who played the middle finger.

***All stories published in this week’s Gateway are satirical and should be treated as such. None of the stories printed are factual and do not represent the actual intentions, feelings, or actions of any of the people mentioned.***

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