Here is a list of who you will see presented:
Shoshana Bass, Sandglass Theater, When I Put On Your Glove
When I Put On Your Glove is a puppetry, dance and spoken word piece that explores a daughter’s relationship to her father’s work building upon a premise that puppets are containers of memory. In it, a daughter explores what it means for her to slip into her father’s art – and not just the form, but the actual pieces. This work addresses universal questions of belonging, childhood, fear of loss, death and the complicated nature of navigating generational artistic legacy. The passing of these puppets into new hands marks a pivotal moment of generational transition for Sandglass Theater. It is an engagement with what legacy means in the field of puppetry; how an art form endures and transforms as it is handed to the next generation; meeting the voice of the past with the voice of the present, and singing it into the future.
Torry Bend, If My Feet Have Lost the Ground
What would you do if you found a letter labeled “Read Me,” and inside there was a beating heart? If My Feet Have Lost the Ground shares the story of Grace, a woman suspended in flight with constant work, who finds just such a letter stuffed in the airplane pocket in front of her. As Grace struggles to keep the fragile heart alive while desperately trying to return it to an unnamed owner, we learn that the heart’s owner might not be interested in being reunited. The play shows us two people united by their willingness to give their hearts away, one at the end of a great love, the other at the beginning.
This text-less play is steeped in magical realism and navigates love, loss, aging and risk in a highly poetic visual narrative. The story relies on the blending of video and puppetry, Bunraku and shadows all played out on a rotating stage constructed in a similar manner to a chalkboard; it is both earth and sky as it changes from shadow/projection screen to table top.
In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, The Story of Crow Boy
The Story of Crow Boy explores the intriguing life and work of Japanese American artist Taro Yashima and his compassionate vision. Yashima grew up between the two World Wars in increasingly militarized Japan where he was tortured in prison for his ongoing faith in a social art/peace movement. After his release, he came to the USA to study art and eventually joined the American war effort against Japan, believing that a swift end to WWII would protect the innocents of his homeland. Yashima illustrated his early years in wartime Japan with searing graphic narratives and in his later life he made a series of luminous children’s picture books, including “Crow Boy” which won the Caldecott Honor Award.
Our narrative path of Yashima’s story follows his travel through the ravages of war to arrive into his work of compassionate insight. The performance integrates acting with puppets of varying sizes and animated projections gleaned from Yashima’s own work, historical newsreels and propaganda leaflets. The action transpires in a room whose walls are alive with memory, and performer’s bodies become the landscape for the puppets. Most of the sound rises from traditional vocal Japanese music, and the inventing of what it means to sing “the voices of crows.” The performance is in English and Japanese.
National Marionette Theatre, Hansel and Gretel
The story of Hansel and Gretel has captured the imagination of audiences for generations. In our newest production, two master puppeteers bring the most famous of the Grimm Brother’s stories to life. Featuring exquisitely crafted marionettes, scrolling scenery and the beautiful music of Engelbert Humperdinck, Hansel and Gretel is sure to delight audiences of all ages!
Mesner Puppet Theater, The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales
Based on the wildly popular book by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, Jack, of the famous beanstalk, guides audiences through the humorous collection of twisted fairy tale parodies, including a man made of stinky cheese instead of gingerbread. Audiences will also be able to enjoy goofy tales of Chicken Licken, Cinderrumplestiltskin and a duckling who really is just ugly.
Bonnie Duncan, The Gottabees, Lollipops for Breakfast
You can’t have lollipops for breakfast! But today, Sylvie decides she’s going to break that rule, even if it means she has to make her own amazingly perfect lollipop from scratch. Come along as she and her trusty pet bird search for missing ingredients, wrestle with giant candy machines, and get lost in a magical pop-up cookbook.
Brad Shur, Puppet Showplace Theater, Cardboard Explosion!
Get ready for a one-of-a-kind puppetry experience! Cardboard Explosion! brings original stories to life using nothing but cardboard and the power of your imagination. With help from the audience, puppeteer Brad Shur transforms simple cardboard shapes into elaborate puppet characters, then brings them to life right before your eyes. Get ready to outsmart dragons, choose-your-own superpower, and train adorable animal sidekicks in this fun, energetic, participatory show.
Margarita Blush, Unfolding
Unfolding is a puppet theatre production delving into the themes of women’s wisdom and empowerment. The show features exquisitely hand-crafted puppets, acting, shadow imagery, unique scenography, and original music score, performed live.
The inspiration for this project arises from all things female – from goddess myths and world folklore to prejudices women still face and overcome every day. Unfolding is a magical “21st century fairy tale” that provides a metaphor for the contemporary woman’s path to empowerment and self-discovery. As in a fairy tale, a heroine goes on a journey over mountains and through dark forests to encounter a series of obstacles and hardships. She braves storms and fear, overcomes distractions and doubts, and meets a wise Crone as we follow her life’s journey.
Mousetrap Puppets, Punch and Judy
A Punch and Judy show, suitable for all ages, that still retains all of the fun, chaos, slapstick, and sausages of the traditional shows seen along the British seaside.
Katherine Fahey, Crankie Storytelling
A variety of shadow puppet crankies based on songs and tales. The crankies are intricate papercut scrolling artwork, through which shadow puppets appear.
Parasol Puppets, Punch and Judy
Punch and Judy is the original interactive live theatre hand puppet performance. This quarrelsome couple illustrate all that is good about “slapstick humor.” Audiences enjoy this show because it is loud and silly and allows the crowd to laugh, cheer and shout encouragement to the puppets. Based on characters created over 350 years ago, this traditional performance can best be described as a combination of Saturday morning cartoons meet professional WWF wrestling meets Jerry Springer. Mr. Punch is the ultimate “anti-hero” of the show. His “run-ins” with the other characters (including his wife Judy, his neighbor, his neighbor’s dog Toby and the local policeman) create each unique performance.
Every Punch and Judy performance is different. Puppeteer Peter Allen (the Punch and Judy “Professor”) talks to the audience before the show and listens to the audience during the show. Professor Peter Allen then draws from his cast of puppet characters to create a performance specifically designed to entertain that group of people. No two shows are ever the same because no two audiences are ever the same.
Rogue Artists Ensemble, Zen Shorts
Based on the Caldecott-winning book, Zen Shorts follows three siblings as they navigate the pressures of school, friendship, and the struggles of growing up. But everything changes once a Zen master panda named Stillwater moves into their neighborhood and shares three simple Zen tales that illuminate their world. Using Hyper-theatrical puppet performances, magical video projections, and original songs, Zen Shorts is an adventure filled with imagination, love, and panda philosophy.
Rough House, Ubu the King
Ubu the King brings Jarry’s seminal satire Ubu Roi to life in all its absurd, grotesque glory. In the hands of five power hungry puppeteer-performers, loveable dirtbag Pa Ubu murders, lies, and farts his way up to the Polish throne—and back down again. Beautifully designed and meticulously realized, Ubu is ridiculous, spectacular and regrettably relevant.
Plexus Polaire, Ashes
Ashes is a visual show inspired by the novel Before I Burn by Gaute Heivoll. Ashes is the story of a pyromaniac who in 1978, the year of the author’s birth, ravaged a village in the South of Norway. While recounting this true story, elements of the writer`s own story appear. The two parallel narratives intersect, the meeting created by mirrors and echoes, thereby illustrating the faults present in the human soul and the fine line between sanity and madness.
A lonely secretary remains in the office after everyone else has gone home. From her little corner, using photos from old film magazines, she escapes into a world of daydreams. There she is a glamorous movie star from the 1940s and finds her ideal love at last. But as the story unravels, as imagination and reality collide, her romantic tale becomes a Hitchcock nightmare! This one-woman show reveals the obsessions and dangers of romantic fantasies. The language of black and white is transformed to the “low-tech” universe of paper cut-outs and object theatre, creating a tension that is absurd, painful and humorous.
Gare Centrale, Ressacs
At the service of a poetic transposition of what is called “the crisis” and of the human aspirations that flow from it, Gregory Houben and Agnès Limbos, accompanied here by Françoise Bloch, surf between game and narration, between incarnation and point of view at the heart of a theater of objects, dialogues and music.