Press Mentions

Kismet hitches a ride on Jellybird. Photo by C. Stanley Photography

Kismet hitches a ride on Jellybird.                     Photo by C. Stanley Photography

The Amazing and Marvelous Cabinets of Kismet has been getting attention in both print and online media, thanks to interested writers and some very kind reviewers! Below, a selection of mentions from the past few weeks.

Jacqueline Lawton, one of D.C.’s most accomplished dramaturges and playwrights, was kind enough to profile us on her blog.

Stephanie Merry of The Washington Post Weekend section, wrote a fantastic preview article about Kismet.

Reviews have been coming in over the past week from DC Theatre Scene, Maryland Theater Guide, DC Metro Theater Arts and The Washington Post.

Check back soon for a post on some of the comments we’ve been hearing from audiences!



Marvelous Marionettes

For a very long time, marionettes were the one form of puppetry I was a bit scared of. So many strings, so wobbly and hard to control. They felt like the most complicated kind of puppet out there and I wasn’t sure I could construct one adequately, let alone perform it. In spite of that, quite a few of our characters in the Paper World section of The Amazing and Marvelous Cabinets of Kismet are marionettes or variations of marionettes. Here are some photos of the different controls and how they work.

Gecko marionette control

This is the control for Gecko. It moves his back legs and one of his front legs.

Loopy marionette control

This is the control for the Loopy. It’s a variation on a 19th century control that I found a picture of in a book. The bottom piece unhooks to move the two “arms” of the puppet, while the top piece anchors the rest.

School of Fish control

One marionette is complicated enough. Putting together four of them makes some things easier and some things harder. You sacrifice individual movement when you put multiple puppets on the same control, but it’s worth it to get the effect of the group moving together. Genna came up with the design for this control, of a whole school of Paperfish.

Puppet Workshop Announcement!!

scrap logoThe Amazing and Marvelous Cabinets of Kismet is a project that happened because a group of artists all read books by Shaun Tan and were inspired to create a new story. We hope that watching our puppet play inspires other people to create their own stories as well. To help that process along, we are thrilled to be able to present a PUPPET-MAKING WORKSHOP on Sunday, May 12 in collaboration with SCRAP DC.

Directly after the 2pm show, Karen Klein and Heather Bouley from SCRAP will lead a workshop on making puppets from recycled materials. This workshop is for all ages and is a perfect activity for families to do together. There are only 25 spots in the workshop due to space limitations, so buy your tickets today!

Meet Puppeteers Amie Root and Matt Reckeweg

We’ve had some casting changes in The Amazing and Marvelous Cabinets of Kismet over these past few weeks, due to some unforeseen circumstances. As a result, we are thrilled to welcome Amie Root and Matt Reckeweg to the project!

Amie RootAmie Root is a performer, fight director, choreographer, stage combat and movement instructor based out of Washington, DC. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a BA in Drama, with a focus in physical theatre. She currently works as a teaching artist for the Tony award winning Shakespeare Theater Company, DC. She has taught movement and stage combat courses at University of Kentucky, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Regent University-Virginia Beach, Kennesaw State University, as well as the three week National Stage Combat Workshop hosted by North Carolina School of the Arts and returned, for a third year, to the three week Central Illinois Stage Combat Workshop hosted by Eureka College. She is also guest artist faculty for California State University’s Summer Arts program hosted by CSU-Monterey Bay.

Matt ReckewegMatt Reckeweg is a director, puppeteer, visual artist, and a DC area native. He studied Theatre at the University of Maryland, College Park where he was a member of the improvisational theatre group, Erasable Inc. In 2009, he co-founded Pointless Theatrea DC non-profit organization dedicated to creating original works of puppet spectacle, where he currently serves as Co-Artistic Director. Pointless directing credits include: Canterbury (2013), Minnie the Moocher (2012), Hugo Ball: a Super Spectacular Dada Adventure (2011)and The Sleeping Beauty: a puppet ballet (2010). Pointless design credits include: Imagination Meltdown Adventure (2012), and The Solar System Show(2010). Other credits include performing at the Puppet Co. in Glen Echo, and designing for Flying V TheatreIn addition, Matt also teaches puppetry and improv through various schools and local organizations including Arena Stage.

Kismet Rehearsal Videos

Our puppets Kismet and Mophead taking a break on the set.

Our puppets Kismet and Mophead taking a break on the set.

We’re heading into our last few rehearsals before tech starts later this week.  New faces, new movements and even some new puppets! We have loaded our cabinets, drawers and lots and lots of paper into the Mead Theater Lab at Flashpoint and are figuring out how Kismet’s story fits into this space. Looking back over the past months of rehearsal, here are a few (very tiny) videos of our experiments and ideas from this crazy journey.

Meet Puppeteer Cecilia Cackley

Last in our series of short interviews with the puppeteers of The Amazing and Marvelous Cabinets of Kismet. All photos are by Sarah Gingold.  

Cecilia operating the Lightbulb puppet.

Cecilia operating the Lightbulb puppet.

Bio: Cecilia Cackley has been experimenting with puppets for more than ten years. As a puppeteer, she has worked with GALA Hispanic Theatre, the O’Neill Puppetry Festival, the Avignon Off and the Source Theater Festival. Cecilia has directed for the Capital Fringe Festival, Young Playwright’s Theater, Rorschach Theatre and The Inkwell. She taught third grade in the public schools for six years and currently works as a teaching artist in Washington DC. Cecilia is a proud company member of GALA Hispanic Theatre and Young Playwright’s Theater.

When did you first become interested in puppetry?

My mother actually collects puppets as art, so they were always around the house and I could play with them. I remember making up little shows with marionettes from Mexico when I was 8 or 9. I started taking puppet workshops when I was about 14 and when I got to college I tried to find ways of incorporating them into plays I wrote or directed.

Cecilia and Mophead.

Cecilia and Mophead.

What is the most unusual puppet or puppet show you’ve worked on?

I made a puppet of a giant mouth out of poly-foam when I was 14 and part of a teen puppet troupe. It was part of a set of puppets that formed a massive face when we all stood together. We created it for an outside community event and I got to run through the crowd asking “Where is my nose? Where is my eye?” It was lots of fun.

Which is your favorite puppet to perform in Cabinets of Kismet? 

I’ve been getting more and more interested in marionettes lately, so I really like the paperfish, who hang from multiple strings. I’ve never seen a marionette made from paper before, so it’s been fun to figure out how to attach them and make them move. In general, I love all the paper puppets; they are so quiet and calm.