Trash Film Debauchery at HOBT for Puppets after Dark Cabaret

Still from <i>Molly Grows Up</i>

Still from Molly Grows Up

Trash Film Debauchery and In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre team up this Friday for a Valentine's Day themed night of sex-ed videos, video dating montages, puppets, animated shorts, burlesque, and more at Avalon Theater. So now's your chance to get a jump-start on your V-Day plans with a sex-positive night of silliness and art. 

Theresa Purcell, who has been running the Trash Film Collective since 2003, when she was a student at the University of Minnesota, says the group specializes in screening horror films, sci-fi, and pieces in other cult genres. Since its start, they have moved around, hosting events at places including the Turf Club and Trylon Microcinema.

Recently, Laney Ohmans, the communications and development director at HOBT, contacted Purcell about doing a program together. At first, they were going to host a Mystery Science Theater 3000 type of event. But eventually things evolved into a variety show and cabaret concept.  

"It kind of morphed into a puppet cabaret," says Ohmans. "It's exciting partnering with Theresa. She has an encyclopedic knowledge of every single campy movie that's ever been recorded."

For the event, Trash Film Debauchery will be showing a 15-minute sex-ed video, called Molly Grows Up, about a young woman going through her body's changes. There will also be some "sad '80s video montages," Purcell says, from the Love Connection-era of video dating. The evening will boast a live panel as well, including actual sex experts and comedians.

Other items on the program include animated shorts by Hannah Quinn Rivenburgh and Steve Ackerman, Roboclit by Rebekah Rentzel and Andi Cheney, a burlesque performance by 
Angie Courchaine called Winter Biker, and a blowtorch wielding interpretation of the Fiona Apple song "Hot Knife" performed by Davey Steinman (as Davey T Blowtorch). The show will be presided over by Daniel Palnau as master of ceremonies. 

It's a fun fact that the Avalon Theater, where In the Heart of the Beast is based, used to be a porn theater. "This show is a pretty good contrast to those days. We're replacing porn with sex-positive, puppet-facilitated educational films," says Ohmans. 

Ohmans hopes for an extended partnership with Trash Film Debauchery in the future. "I love her and I love her stuff," she says, referring to Purcell. "I admire the series a lot, and we've been wanting to do a fun promotional thing that was a mini fundraiser." It's an especially good fit, she says, as so many of the HOBT artists work with projection anyway. 


Puppets After Dark Cabaret: An Intimate Edition

9 p.m. Friday, February 7

The Avalon

1500 E. Lake St., Minneapolis