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Puppetry Vaudevisuals Interview Women Writer

Vaudevisuals interview – Leslee Asch – “Out of the Shadows”.

What is the first name that comes to mind when you hear the word puppet? Likely, it’s Jim Henson. Many books and thousands of pages have been written about Jim Henson’s life and work. This will, however, be the first book to focus solely on his love of the field of puppetry, an important and as yet unexplored aspect of Jim Henson’s lasting legacy. The Jim Henson Foundation’s International Puppet Festivals brought puppet theater into mainstream American theater.

Jim Henson knew that in order to introduce U.S. audiences to puppet theater our American companies would need to be seen with the best in the world. Thus, a festival! To realize Jim Henson’s vision for a puppetry festival in New York, the author served as producing director, working with Jim’s daughter Cheryl, who served as executive producer, to produce five award-winning festivals that would equal the European festivals and put U.S. puppet artists on the international stage.

Between 1992 and 2000, The Jim Henson Foundation presented five International Festivals of Puppet Theater in New York City and developed a national touring program. The festivals presented 136 different productions from 31 countries in 24 theaters throughout New York City. Over 120,000 people attended New York performances; nearly 400,000 saw exhibitions; 100,000 more attended Festival on Tour performances, and millions of people read about the festivals.

Out of the Shadows examines the festivals and their continued legacy, including a look at the contemporary puppet theater landscape. This year, 2020, is the 20th Anniversary of the last Henson Festival and the 30th Anniversary of Jim Henson’s death. It is time to reflect back.


“The American theater now knows there’s such a thing as serious puppetry, that it exists in the world. There were some amazing performances that really shifted my view of how powerful puppetry could be.” ~ Mark Russell, producer of Under the Radar Festival, The Public Theater


“The festival was massive for me. It was so important.” ~ Basil Twist, puppeteer, and Artistic Director, Dream Music Puppetry Program, Here Arts Center


For more information and to purchase the book go here!


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Categories
Abrons Art Center Avant_Garde_Arama Bushwick Starr Comedy Dance Half-Straddle Music Performing Arts Women

FLASHBACK – Half Straddle performs at Avant-Garde-Arama – May 2nd, 2015 – Abrons Arts Center

In these very trying times, I wanted to reach back to a performance that startled me when I originally documented it. The performance by Emily Davis on May 2nd. 2015 Avant-Garde-Arama had that impact on me. Performed at the Abrons Arts Center on behalf of the amazing Bushwick Starr performance space. Seeing this piece now in these difficult times makes us realize how valuable the AGA was for so many years. This show was ‘chock-full’ of wonderful performers. (John Fleck, Uzi Parnes and Ela Troyano, Half Straddle, Martha Wilson, Travis Chamberlain (for Jennifer Monsoon) Holly Hughes, Jack Ferver, Yin Yue Dance and the Institute for Psychogeographic Adventure.) Watch and listen to this ‘Half-Straddle’ piece performed by Emily Davis.

ABOUT HALF-STRADDLE

Half Straddle is an Obie-winning, New York City-based ensemble of performers and designers that make plays, performances, videos, and music led by writer and director Tina Satter that have been seen through the United States and internationally. 

Half Straddle has premiered 10 full-length shows, and a number of shorter works and video projects that have been seen at festivals and theaters throughout the U.S., Europe, Australia, and Asia.  

In October 2019, the critically acclaimed Is This Room, a show conceived of and directed by Tina Satter and starring Becca Blackwell, Emily Davis, Pete Simpson, and TL Thompson, with costumes by Enver Chakartash, was the company’s Off-Broadway debut at the Vineyard Theatre. The show had premiered at The Kitchen in January 2019. In 2014, Half Straddle’s show House of Dance was nominated for a ZKB Patronage Prize at Zürcher Theater Spektakel. 

The company began in 2008 and received their Obie Award grant in 2013. 

All of Half Straddle’s company members and collaborators work extensively in a range of other performance contexts, often creating their own work, in avant-garde theater to Broadway, to university teaching and as theater artists in NYC public schools. 

In New York City, the company’s work has been presented at the Vineyard Theatre, The Kitchen, New York Live Arts, New Museum, Danspace, Performance Space New York (formerly PS122), Bushwick Starr, HERE Arts Center, Dixon Place, American Realness at Abrons Arts Center, COIL Festival, Ice Factory Festival, and PRELUDE Festival.

ABOUT BUSHWICK STARR

The Bushwick Starr began in 2001 as a developmental space for the New York based theater company, Fovea Floods, Inc. In 2004, the company helped to fully convert the space to a black-box venue while producing a large-scale theatrical run. In the subsequent years, as the neighborhood of Bushwick began to transform into a thriving artistic nexus desirous of space and support, we decided to open our doors to other artists. Since doing so, we have quickly grown into a bustling theatrical venue, enjoyed by artists and audiences near and far.

We believe in the power of art to communicate in surprising ways. The work we present is bold, new, and daring, often melding disciplines, and always full of ideas. The Starr supports artists with 360 degree love by offering an attentive, nurturing, and supportive environment for our artists, helping them develop their best work under ideal circumstances. We provide a space that houses and ignites the conversation around intersecting communities and creates a cultural bridge through ongoing community programs and events.

AVANT-GARDE-ARAMA

Avant-Garde-Arama is Performance Space 122’s longest-running series. A multi-disciplinary mini-festival featuring break out performances in dance, music, theatre, performance art, video/film, and more presented in eight minutes or less. While PS122’s East Village home is being renovated, Avant-Garde-Arama and other programming will take place at multiple venues around the city.

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Here Arts Center Physical Theater Vaudevisuals Interview Video

Vaudevisuals interview with Richard Saudek – “Beep Boop” @HERE

“BEEP BOOP”

Created by physical comedian Richard Saudek (Balls at 59E59), TV and film composer Jesse Novak (BoJack Horseman), and director Wes Grantom (Eager to Lose at Ars Nova), beep boop is a multimedia clown show carelessly crafted to be both meaningful and meaningless. It’s a hilariously twisted romp, exploring our obsession with technology and our increasing loneliness in a world with so many ways to connect.

Here is another great interview with Richard!

For more information/tickets click here.

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Categories
Comedy Here Arts Center Mask Performing Arts Photography Puppetry Variety Arts Video

James Godwin – ‘The Flatiron Hex’ – An Appeal!

““The Flatiron Hex” is a dauntingly original and possibly hallucinogenic delight.”

The New York Times

THE FLATIRON HEX

I was asked to photograph the early development stages of this piece a few years ago. It was a delightful challenge to capture James Godwin’s puppet creations in still photographs. ( see image above)

I must admit I was rather taken by the unorthodox story line and puppets that were made for this show. They were macabre and magical.  So now, James needs YOUR help to mount this show at HERE Arts. After a successful run at Dixon Place, it is now ready for more audience viewers. I am copy and pasting his ‘Fund Raising’ copy here and hope that you give it some consideration. Be part of this creative process and production.

““The Flatiron Hex” is a solo puppet performance that tells the story of Wylie Walker, a contract shaman who works for NYORG, A city in the middle of a swamp. Wylie uses his unusual talents to solve problems and do routine maintenance on the city’s interweb biotechnology. Due to the haunted land and sentient mainframes, Wylie faces many occult adversaries. Storms constantly threaten to destroy NYORG, but a secret feature of the Flatiron building keeps the storms at bay, that is as long as the cloud-code is cracked and the correct ritual procedure is followed. Inspired by speculative fiction and neo-noir, “The Flatiron Hex” is peeking inside a parallel world infected with intelligent viruses and paranoia. Elements of the fantastic collide with the every day to become evocative of a magical reality. It’s also a quest, a blood soaked comedy of redemption and sacrifice. HISTORY OF DEVELOPMENT: “The Flatiron Hex” was created by Co-writers James Godwin and Tom Burnett during a residency at Dixon Place, supported in part by a Doris Duke Exploration Grant. The first workshop presentation of “The Flatiron Hex” took place in October 2014 as part of the P.A.T.C.H. Series with the support Heather Henson and a Jim Henson Foundation Production Grant. After completing a wildly successful 6 show premiere run at Dixon Place in New York City in May 2015, “The Flatiron Hex” is now raising funds for a month-long run at HERE Arts in September 2017.

This is the link where you contribute!

Here is James Godwin posing for my “Clown Un_Mask” series a few years ago.

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Sept 7th through Sept 30th, 2017

For more information about the show go here!

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Categories
Comedy Here Arts Center Music Performing Arts Puppetry Vaudevisuals Interview

Vaudevisuals interview with Jessica Scott – “Ship of Fools” @ HERE

Backstage at HERE I had a chance to interview theater director/performer/teacher/puppeteer Jessica Scott. Her new show opens Oct 13th.

SHIP OF FOOLS

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Conceived by Jessica Scott
Devised by Jessica Scott with Anonymous Ensemble
Co-Director, Puppetry, Costume and Set Design by Jessica Scott
Co-Director, Text, and Projection Design by Eamonn Farrell
Original Music by Alex Klimovitsky, except Gnossienne No. 3 composed by Erik Satie with lyrics by Eamonn Farrell
Lighting Design by Ayumu Poe Saegusa
Sound Design by Gavin Price
Performed by Kate Brehm, Liz Davito, Jacob Graham, Takemi Kitamura, Sarah Lafferty, Georgie Tisdale, and Jessica Weinstein

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For more information/tickets go here!!

Categories
Cabaret Comedy Dance Here Arts Center Magic Music Performing Arts Puppetry Variety Arts

Vaudevisuals interview with Edward Einhorn – “Money Lab”

Vaudevisuals interviewed Edward Einhorn who conceived and curated the MONEY LAB. Opening at HERE Arts Center at 145 6th Avenue, NYC
It is described as 'an economic vaudeville, a multi-disciplinary experiment to discover whether economic ideas can be represented through performance.'
In this interview Edward talks about the Money Lab and the many aspects of the project/performances.

For more information on the MONEY LAB go here:

MONEY LAB – March 20 – April 11
Tickets $20, plus a required $5 – 10 buy in
PLUS: EVERY NIGHT HAS TWO PREMIUM SET AVAILABLE: $50 EACH
EXTRA BENEFITS! PRIORITY SEATING WITH MORE LEGROOM! FREE SNACKS!
Conceived and curated by Edward Einhorn
Game design: Edward Einhorn and Gyda Arber
Assistant producer: Patrice Miller
Stage manager: Berit Johnson
Set design: Christopher Heilman
Lighting design: Jeff Nash
Video design: Gil Sperling
Costume consultant and design: Natalie Loveland
Sound engineering and design: Travis Wright
Concessions manager: Corinne Woods
Interns: Joshua Espinoza, Allison Hohman, Angelica Sumner

Hosted by Mick O’Brien

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