This workshop will investigate your role as the director for the puppet stage. How does your puppet play manifest from the first rehearsal to closing night? What is your approach to have your vision engage the audience? Distillation, pushing the lazzi, the violence of choice, discovery, the mystery of process and the limitation of the figure will be discussed and explored. In this workshop participants will work together to direct small gestures, fragments, and tiny scenes. Participants are asked to bring a fragment of a script, a vague idea, a puppet, or a section of their current work.
Michael Sommers has practiced theatre arts professionally as a designer, director, composer, performer, playwright and technician for thirty-nine years. In 2000 he co-founded, with his partner Susan Haas, Open Eye Figure Theatre whose original work has been presented at the Walker Art Center (Mpls.), in New York, Chicago, Washington DC, Winnipeg, Canada, Indonesia, China and Mexico. He has created over forty original works for the Open Eye Stage and puppet plays for the nationally recognized summer program THE DRIVEWAY TOUR. He is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Theatre and Dance and is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including a Ford Fellowship, the Bush Enduring Visions Award and the Doris Duke Impact Award.