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Created by award-winning Brooklyn-based artist, puppet designer and director Robin Frohardt, The Plastic Bag Store was conceived as an immersive installation and puppet-theater piece designed to take place in a storefront retail space. Yucky Shards cereal, Bagorade sports drink, Fabags deodorizers boasting “that fresh bag scent”, rotisserie chickens, cupcakes and sushi are among the thousands of hand sculpted items—all made from discarded plastic bags. The store was scheduled to open in March 2020 to coincide with New York’s plastic bag ban but was postponed due to the city’s COVID-19 lockdown ultimately opening in a vacant Times Square storefront for a limited audience in Fall 2020 earning a spot on the NY Times’ Best of 2020 Theater list. For L.A. audiences, Frohardt and her team will reimagine a visit to The Plastic Bag Store through a new film commissioned by CAP UCLA.
Plastic Bag Store: The Film transforms the installation into a dynamic series of stories that traverse ancient history, the present day and a future dystopia. The Plastic Bag Store employs inventive puppetry, humor, craft and a critical lens to explore how the hordes of plastic waste might be misinterpreted by future generations.
Frohardt states, “The Plastic Bag Store is a visually rich and humorous experience that hopefully encourages a different way of thinking about the foreverness of plastic, the permanence of the disposable, and that there is no 'away' when we throw something out. There is great humor to be found in the pitfalls of capitalism—humor and satire can be powerful tools for social criticism especially with issues that feel too sad and overwhelming to confront directly.”
Plastic Bag Store: The Film was created by Robin Frohardt. Original music by Freddi Price. Performed by Nick Lehane, Admiral Grey, Rowan Magee, Andy Manjuck, and Emma Wiseman featuring Tyler Gunther. Director of Photography Robert Kolodny. Sound Design Lawrence Everson with additional sound by Chaid Raines. Produced by Caitlin Mae Burke and Robin Frohardt. Executive Producers Linda Brumbach and Alisa E. Regas. Production Management by Pomegranate Arts, Production Manager Jeremy Lydic, Geneneral Manager Rachel Katwan.
Plastic Bag Store: The Film was commissioned by the UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance with additional support by the Adelaide Festival, Times Square Arts and Pomegranate Arts. Funds for Plastic Bag Store: The Film provided in part by the James A. Doolittle Endowment.
The Plastic Bag Store was commissioned by Times Square Arts with generous support provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the National Endowment for the Arts; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional commissioning support has been provided by Carolina Performing Arts, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It was developed with support from: MANA Contemporary, The Made in NY Women’s Film, TV & Theatre Fund by the City of New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment in association with The New York Foundation for the Arts; Olson Kundig; The Jim Henson Foundation; and is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC). The Plastic Bag Store is a project of Creative Capital.