Playing After Dark -- This Friday and Saturday Nights

Neither cartoons, puppets, video games, nor music sound all too foreign.  Unless you’ve been living under a rather sizable rock (or had the misfortune of attending an artistically disinclined South Carolina public school), you’ve undoubtedly encountered each of these creative media before.  But chances are you haven’t encountered them together as a single, collaborative event.

This Friday and Saturday, Pocket Productions affords you the opportunity to do so.  Since 2009, this local arts organization has been expanding the public’s definition of art by exposing Columbia to innovative examples of interdisciplinary artistic cooperation.  Their “Playing After Dark” series, in particular, has introduced audiences to visual, musical, performing, and even culinary arts.

This weekend’s installment of Playing After Dark (titled “1001”) revolves around the unique collaboration between digital and analog art.  It will feature the following performances: Dre and Sammy Lopez of Piensa Art Company will present a combination of digital and analog drawings; Lyon Hill (puppetmaker and puppeteer with the Columbia Marionette Theatre) and Wade Sellers (commercial producer/director and owner of Coal Powered Filmworks) will perform a marionette/cartoon act; Professor Fripples (brilliant young programmer David Hamiter) will show off an audio controlled video game that runs alongside a puppet show; and DJ Deft Key (Entropy Studios’ producer, sound engineer, multi-instrumentalist, and remix artist) and singer/songwriter Bob Benjamin will perform a fusion of digital and acoustic music.

Playing After Dark “1001” begins at 7 pm this Friday and Saturday at CMFA Arts Space (914 Pulaski).  Tickets are available for $10 in advance (online at, $12 at the door, or $8 with membership.  In addition to the one free drink with admission, fine IPAs, stouts, Merlot, Syraz, and hors d’oeuvre will be available.  The event may also feature a “puppet” boiled peanut stand courtesy of Happiness Bomb (a diverse group of artists, musicians, designers, programmers, and, of course, puppeteers).

For more information about Pocket Productions, check them out on Twitter ( and Facebook (


-- Austin Blaze - intern, Jasper Magazine