Two weeks of new puppet theatre! HERE’s first mini puppetry festival will present new, live and fully realized iterations of works and in-progress excerpts that were developed as part of Dream Music Puppetry Program’s new Mini-Residency Initiative during the 2020-21 Season. Artists Kate Brehm, Andrew Gaukel, Sara Outing, Lake Simons, Sachiyo Takahashi, Rowan Magee, Christopher Williams and Patti Bradshaw will present their new creations which embrace music and a range of puppetry techniques, choreography and object work as they explore a range of themes around the human condition and our existence at this moment in history.
Puppetopia is made possible through the generous support of Cheryl Henson. Individual performances are made possible with support from the Jim Henson Foundation, the Jim Henson Foundation Residency at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, and Puppetry at the Carriage House (PATCH) Residency.
Puppetopia includes the following programs:
PROGRAM 1 – Mainstage:
(POSTPONED to August 2022) ANYWHERE (Théâtre de l’Entrouvert)- Freely inspired by the novel Oedipus on the Road by Henry Bauchau, Anywhere evokes the long wandering of Oedipus accompanied by his daughter Antigone. The fallen Oedipus appears in the form of an ice puppet that gradually turns into water then into mist and disappears in the Erynian Forest, the place of clairvoyance.
PROGRAM 2 – DOT:
WALKING IRIS (Christopher Williams & Patti Bradshaw)- an absurdist puppet/dance work inspired by botanical wonders such as the walking iris (Neomarica gracilis), winged immortals including the Greek goddess Iris (personification of the rainbow), Harpies (sisters of Iris), and the Boreads (wind brothers), as well as the mysterious “Ladies in Blue” fresco recreated from fragments found in the Minoan palace of Knossos on the island of Crete. Set to stylized “re-imaginings” of ancient Greek musical fragments recorded by Gregorio Paniagua, excerpts from the work-in-progress for Puppetopia will feature puppets by Wendy Froud and Williams along with prosthetic costumes by Patti Bradshaw.
ANIMIST (Andy Gaukel)- In Animist, a solo performer engages with a life-sized puppet to explore the stress of depression, addiction and the profound feelings of loss many of have experienced not only during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also during life itself. The piece is wordless, and, with the exception of a chair, puppet, and performer, takes place entirely on a bare stage defined by patterns of light reminiscent of broken windows.
ONE NIGHT IN WINTER (Sachiyo Takahashi & Rowan Magee)- One Night in Winter is the first chapter of Shinnai Meets Puppetry, a project to introduce the Japanese storytelling of Shinnai-bushi to international audiences with puppetry. Sachiyo Takahashi performs One Night in Winter by great master Okamoto Bunya under her official Shinnai-bushi name Okamoto Miya, collaborating with puppet designer/builder and lead puppeteer Rowan Magee. The story is of a lonely old man who receives a surprise visit from a Tanuki (Japanese raccoon dog) on a cold winter night. This adaptation of the song by Okamoto Bunya is performed by Sachiyo Takahashi, Rowan Magee, and Emma Wiseman.
PROGRAM 3 – Mainstage:
THE EYE WHICH WE DO NOT HAVE (Kate Brehm)- The Eye Which We Do Not Have is an eerie, yet powerful psychological tale about suppressed female desire told with puppetry and performing scenery. With a nod to Hitchcock, its cinematic style points to a constantly shifting perspective. Please note that this performance is not suitable for children under 13.
DOORS (Sara Outing)- Doors is an allegory about exhaustion and resilience, set among echoes and blueprints of the structures that keep Black Americans from being free. Tracking the journey of an ever-morphing central figure, Doors leaps across time and place to examine four centuries of displacement and survivorhood to find cues for rest, modes of resistance, and a vision for the future.
PROGRAM 4 – DOT:
SORRY ABOUT THE WEATHER (Lake Simons)- Lifting the blanket of dementia and sliding in next to my mother I try to slip beneath her skin and unravel pieces of her life and tie them together with my own interpretation of what is in her weathered mind. A puppet play performed by Lake Simons and Erin K. Orr with music by Rima Fand.
Until further notice, performances at HERE are Vaccinated Only Performances; all patrons attending performances will be required to show proof of a complete COVID-19 vaccination (NY Excelsior pass or vaccination card) and be masked while inside the building.
As of January 31, all patrons will be required to show proof of a complete COVID-19 vaccination AND proof of a booster dose (for those eligible in accordance with CDC guidelines).
In addition to showing proof of full vaccination status and a picture ID:
All patrons will also be required to wear masks (KN95 or KF94 masks are strongly recommended).
We ask all audience members to please stay home if they have a sore throat, are feeling sick in any other way, or have been recently exposed to COVID-19, and to please contact the box office for refunds or exchanges.
All of our performers, technicians, and staff members are required to be fully vaccinated and masked unless they are onstage performing. Additionally, they are participating in an active testing regimen to keep everyone as safe as possible.
HERE’s Comprehensive Site Safety and Reopening Plan can be found at reopening.here.org. The designated HERE Site Safety Monitor will be present at every performance and will be responsible for enforcing compliance with this Safety Plan. HERE reserves the right to revise protocols as the rate of transmission changes and in light of new scientific data that may present itself.