ARE THEY EDIBLE? was a multi-sensory contemporary puppetry performance inspired by Homer’s Iliad and the Odyssey. It took place in an interactive setting where the audience was guided to roam amongst different puppetry stations while dining on food that has been chosen to support the performance both literally (as puppets) and dramaturgically. The food consumption aimed to engage the audience in a tactile discourse on the relationship between war, heroes, intolerance, and moralities. Hence, the audience was given the perspective of the gods with a birds-eye view of the scope of atrocities, and with the eerie sense that this was all constructed for their enjoyment.
It was played to sold-out houses at La Mama ETC's Puppet Series and had a subsequent remount also to sold-out houses at The Flux Factory.
Sets by Torry Bend
Lights by Burke Brown
Sound by Margaret Schedel
Photo by Hunter Canning
Part of St. Ann’s Warehouse's LALAPALOOZA! 2007
A Mini-Festival of New Puppet Theater from The Lab
Created with Alison Heimstead and Shannon Scrofano
This was an experimental puppetry piece inspired by the Book of Genesis.
This piece explored the idea of the creation and destruction of civilization. The protagonist, Noah, tries to navigate the line between duty and emotions. As a result he is floating between memory and the floodwaters. This production was part the 2007 LABAPALOOZA! (a mini Festival of New Puppet Theater from The Lab) at St Ann's Warehouse.
What you are viewing is an excerpt from the performance.
Written by Erik Ehn
Designed + Directed by Janie Geiser & Susan Simpson
This was a toy theater production. It is a form of puppetry that has its roots in 1800s Europe. It is also referred to as model theater or paper theater. One of the prominent features of this form of puppetry is its miniature scale.
For this production the proscenium opening was approximately 4 feet wide by 3 feet tall. The entire production was contained within an independent stage setup with wings and such all of the same scale. Most of the lighting elements were built into the stage itself.
Conceived and directed by Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew
Designed and Drawn by Cristina Paulos
This is a toy theater adaptation of a contemporary fairy tale with the same title by Seattle playwright and writer Bret Fetzer. Toy Theater is a form of puppetry that has its roots in 1800s Europe and is often referred to as model theater or paper theater. One of the prominent features of this form of puppetry is its miniature scale. This production featured a proscenium opening of about 4'-0" by 3'-0" tall.
This was an unique and challenging adaptation since I had to translate the words on the page into a visual form. In the end I eliminated ninety percent of the text and used an orchestrated soundscape as text.
This production was invited to PQ06 (Prague Quadrennial 20076).
Adapted + Directed by Tracy Otwell
@ the Cotsen Center for Puppetry, California Institute of the Arts
Sets by Kimberly Manuel
Costumes by Irina Kruzhilina
US premier by Stefan Weisman with libretto by David Cote
Music Direction by Steven Osgood
Directed by Mallory Catlett with Prototype @ HERE Arts Center
Puppetry Design by Tom Lee
Sets by Joseph Silovsky
Costumes by Andreea Mincic
Inspired by the 1960 short story by James Hurst, THE SCARLET IBIS is a family opera about brotherhood, illness, and the power of the imagination to soar above physical limitations.
Created & Directed by Torry Bend
Video by Raquel Salvatella de Prada
Puppet Design by Aaron Haskell
The Paper Hat Game tells Scotty Iseri's true story of his adventures (and misadventures) as whimsical prankster "The Paper Hat Guy" through the language of Toy Theater and projection. The hero of this visual kaleidoscope has a simple game: handing out paper hats on the subway with the intention of bringing a bit of childlike joy to daily commuters. But even heroes fall on hard times, and despite the Paper Hat Guy’s daily attempt to brighten the city, the city isn’t always able to reciprocate. Torry Bend transforms this almost-true story into a constantly shifting landscape of city life. The story finds its shape with live puppetry, intricate models, photo-motion video and a collage of shifting scenery all layered into a performance space only slightly bigger than an oven. With dreamlike video designed by Raquel Salvatella de Prada, a gritty soundscape, and live puppetry, the performance offers a voyage into the psychological and physical workings of a large city.
Conceived by Kevin Augustine
Co-written and Co-directed by Kevin Augustine and Edward Einhorn
Presented in association with Untitled Theater Company No. 61
Sets + Video by Tom Lee
Costumes by Ciera Wells-Jones
Alone in a barren paradise, God the Father struggles with dementia as he tries to manage his divine office. But while fielding an unending flow of prayer requests, he uncovers a secret from his ancient past he'd rather remain forgotten. What happened to the Mother Goddess with whom he once shared his heavenly throne?
Featuring Catskill-style comedy, bloody puppetry and a tour-de-force performance by the “Man Upstairs” himself, The God Projekt is a raucous and darkly humorous investigation into the consequences of cosmic actions and the meaning of life itself.
Target Margin Lab 2016 @ HERE Arts Center
Invited to be one of the four lead artists to approach The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O’Neill in new and radical ways. I conceived and directed an audio and live-action puppetry animation journey into the sobering minds of the wax figures who were once proud and ambivalent drunks at Harry Hope’s bar.
"Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew's consistently inventive Act IV, which combines puppetry and video with Merlin Whitehawk's startling, intense, even gymnastic live performance of Hickey's self-loathing confession." - NY Times by Laura Collins-Hughes
Review by The Huffington Post by Bess Rowen - The Iceman Experimenteth: Part III
Written by Erik Ehn and Directed by Glory Kadigan
Premiered at La Mama ETC 2016
A killer walks in a circle, finds a killer, circles the killed. Experimental writer Erik Ehn’s latest play about the violent and universal cycle of life follows the tragedy of Emmett Till and his mother that helped spur the Civil Rights Movement as well as three other stories, illustrating America’s history of violence towards those most vulnerable. Society cannot hide from any of this, from losing, moving, seeing, longing. This poetic and lyrical play creates a unique world where the victims are allowed to show the killer himself again, and again, despite…
This production featured live music, shadow puppetry, digital puppetry and videography to bring the four stories to life.
"With a cast of 20, the production boasts striking lighting by Benjamin Ehrenreich, well complemented by Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew’s shadow puppet and video design." New York Times
Assistant Puppet Design:
Tomas Del Valle
Linh Valerie Pham
Tomas Del Valle (Lead)
Linh Valerie Pham
Clover Overall Design Team:
Scenic Design: Mike Kaukl
Lighting Design: Benjamin Ehrenreich
Costume Design: Izzy Fields
Sound Design: Jacob Subotnick