May Grab Bag

A roundup of articles and more that we highlighted on Twitter this month

Czech style marionette carved by Cecilia in one of Mirek's classes.

Czech style marionette carved by Cecilia in one of Mirek’s classes. See #1

1. A great article with even more awesome photos about our friend Mirek Trejtnar who runs the Puppets in Prague marionette-building workshops. Read it if you’ve ever been curious about how to make a marionette.

2. Some advice from Jim Henson, rendered in brilliant comic form by Gavin Aung Than. Read it for inspiration–we keep it handy in the studio for when motivation is needed!

3. Genna discovered this article about an artist performing with puppets in the New York subway. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone perform with a puppet in the DC metro–have you?

4. An article and video from Sandglass Theater of Vermont about their recent experiences performing in Cuba. Their work is a huge inspiration to us and well worth a look.

5. NPR has a weekly podcast called Pop Culture Happy Hour and recently one of the discussion topics was fairy tales. It’s not exactly the kind of stories we’re working with for Malevolent Creatures but still interesting and fun to listen to.

January Grab Bag

A roundup of events and people we highlighted on Twitter this month: 

Giant flower from Under the Canopy.

Giant flower from Under the Canopy. See item #5.

1. The Kennedy Center is hosting a World Stages Festival this March and there will be PUPPETS! Handspring Puppet Company,  that created War Horse, is working on a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes from Canada is doing a show called Penny Plain. There will be puppets on display at the Kennedy Center that you can see for free. So yes. You should go.

2. Puppetry and activism are two of our favorite things. So even though we haven’t actually met in person, we’re big fans of The People’s Puppets of Occupy Wall Street. Hopefully one day we’ll get to work on something with them and maybe it will even involve giant puppet drops of water, like the ones you can see on their Facebook page.

3. All DC puppet fans should check out The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorerplaying at the Artisphere in Rosslyn from February 6-9. This is a heartwarming story about a deep-sea explorer in search of lost love, told through a combination of sound, puppetry and animation. Created by Weeping Spoon Productions from Perth, Australia, I saw this at the Edinburgh Fringe back in August and am looking forward to seeing it again.

4. Puppets in Prague is an amazing place to learn about marionettes (I did a workshop with them back in 2011) and they have a whole bunch of workshops going on this year. If you’re thinking about taking a trip to Prague (and really, why wouldn’t you be?) check them out.

5. Have we mentioned that we’re going to be at the Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival this year? With not one, but TWO shows? March will be here before you know it, so you should get moving and buy tickets for our pieces Under the Canopy and Fabulas MayasWith folktales, shadow puppets, and rainforest creatures, you really can’t go wrong!

February Grab Bag

PUPPET STANDUP! See #3 for all info.

PUPPET STANDUP! See #3 for all info.

1. An interview with Shaun Tan that made me slightly less grumpy that I missed his Keynote Address at the SCBWI Winter Conference earlier in the month. Favorite quote: “…we have to make sense of ourselves within a world that can shift and change radically…” That’s the story of Cabinets of Kismet in a nutshell!

2. Basil Twist, who is one of the most well-known contemporary puppeteers in the US, is creating a lobby installation as part of The Rambler by the Joe Good Performance Group. At the American Dance Institute, March 2 and 3; more info here.

3. Standup is a tough business, particularly when you’re a puppet. THIS Saturday, February 23 at 8 & 10pm, come support local puppets in Puppet Standup, a showcase of the best puppet comics working today. Get tickets here and if you use the code GRABBAG, you’ll get 20% off General Admission tickets to the 10pm show! Don’t miss this unique event (no ventriloquists here!) at the Warehouse Theater, 645 New York Ave, NW.

4. If you’re searching for a fun night out this week or next week, look no further than the Mead Theater Lab at Flashpoint and the show Canterbury, produced by our friends at the Pointless Theatre Company.

5. Our friends at Puppets in Prague still have a few spaces left in their March workshops on making marionettes, for anyone lucky enough to be in Prague this spring.