14:00 PM

Drama Prof Writes, Produces Puppet Play With a Horror Twist

By: Mary Ann Cozza

kelley Assistant Professor Kelly Switzer

Kelly Switzer is a talented and diverse creative professional. An assistant professor of drama at UHD, Switzer has a background in local scenic and costume design. She also recently wrote a multimedia puppet work, "Cthulhu: A Puppet Play," based on the writings of the 20th century horror author H.P. Lovecraft to be performed at The Ornery Theatre in February.

"Lovecraft was a master at horror and science fiction," Switzer said. "During this process, we've discovered that he has somewhat of a cult following - which is pretty cool."

Switzer wrote the play with her husband Mike, who founded The Ornery Theatre and serves as the artistic director for "Cthulhu." The Switzers received an "emerging artists" grant from the Houston Arts Alliance which helped them realize their creative vision.

While the play involves puppets, a medium Switzer has long been interested in considering her background, she says they're not puppets in the traditional "Sesame Street" kind of way.

"These puppets take several hours to make," she said. "I sculpt and paint all of them myself."

Other local artists involved in the production include Stephanie Saint Sanchez, of the award-winning La Chicana Laundry Pictures, who directed a film that will be incorporated into the play and George Heathco, who composed and will perform an original score that utilizes the Morse Code translation of "Cthulhu is coming" as a thematic base.

The play can be seen at 8 p.m. Feb. 14-18 at The Ornery Theatre at 14 Pews, 800 Aurora St. Houston. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 with a student ID.


A puppet hand-crafted by Switzer. A puppet hand-crafted by Switzer.