CAP UCLA will present the world premiere of the filmed experience of Robin Frohardt’s
Plastic Bag Store. An immersive puppet-theater piece designed to take place in a storefront retail space, The Plastic Bag Store transforms from an installation into a dynamic series of stories that traverse ancient history, the present day and a future dystopia. A tragicomic ode to the foreverness of plastic, The Plastic Bag Store employs inventive puppetry, humor, craft and a critical lens to explore how the hordes of plastic waste we’re leaving behind might be misinterpreted by future generations.
In its real-life incarnation The Plastic Bag Store appears as a storefront grocery, beckoning to visitors with its colorful marquee and promotional ads. Inside, shelves are stocked with Yucky Shards cereal, Bagorade sports drink and Fabags deodorizers boasting “that fresh bag scent” and thousands of original, hand-sculpted items: deli meats, fresh produce, multi-layered cakes, sushi rolls, frozen foods, boxed cereal and rotisserie chickens—all made from discarded plastic bags. The store’s products are not only made in New York, they are made “of” New York—specifically of New York’s trash. Frohardt worked with residents of her Brooklyn neighborhood, local bottle collectors and New York City-based recycling centers to create the installation’s specially designed inventory.
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. And there it sits, stocked and ready for its grand opening, waiting until the day it can welcome visitors. 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.
The Plastic Bag Store was commissioned by Times Square Arts, developed by Carolina Performing Arts at UNC Chapel Hill, and produced by Pomegranate Arts
Funds provided by the James A. Doolittle Endowment